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Two Factor Authentication and Candy Canes

Online security

Tis the season for candy canes and trees with sparkly lights. It is also a great time to add some two factor authentication or 2FA to your list of things to do to keep your online safety in shape.

What is 2FA?

Two factor authentication is a like an extra step in the stairwell of the signing in process. It requires a double validation to say that yes, this is indeed who you claim to be as you are signing into an account.

There is also MFA, multi-factor authentication which as its name says, uses multiple steps to authenticate you when you are signing into an account online.

While at first you might think that these extra steps with their authenticator apps are a bit annoying to do, you will in fact be thankful that it can save you from a cyber attacker entering your accounts.

So enjoy the holidays this year, the sparkly lights and the candy canes with the knowledge that 2FA and MFA are working for you to keep your accounts better protected.

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What is Privilege Access Management (PAM)?

Privilege Access Management or PAM in cyber security terms is about offering solutions for securing your sensitive data.

Lets break this down:

  • First off, what does the word privilege mean in this context? Well, it essentially means having the authority to access an account.
  • Second, the word Access in this context means just that-having permission to access the account. The last word, management, means in broad terms, the taking care of managing who has access and what the requirements are for access to the data.

Why is Privilege Access Management important in technology today?

The principle of least privilege is well known in the cyber security world. PAM is based upon this idea that all users should have access only to the information and systems that they need to perform their job. Its a security idea as such.

PAM secures against risks and is used to protect sensitive data in a business. The access points are limited in order to prevent such things like data breaches this is done by managing and tracking privileged users.

Did you know? “Forrester states that 80% of data breaches are connected to compromised privileged credentials.”(Source)

Did you know?
“Gartner has identified PAM as one of the top 10 security projects for organizations in 2019.”

There are many types of Privilege Access Management account types but we will save that for another more in-depth blog post. The implementation of processes to ensure the handling of privileged accounts will reduce risks from user behaviours and other vulnerabilities. Providing solutions with a well planned and well managed PAM program will mitigate the risks for your company and ensure better security.

Here are some fundamental aspects that a good PAM program should contain, according to Heimdal Security in the Netherlands.

  • Having a strong password management policy in place.
  • Log and record all privileged user sessions.
  • Follow the Zero Trust model and applying the Principle of Least Privilege – in other words, not keeping unnecessary privileged accounts in your environment.
  • Implement a leading-edge Privileged Access Management tool.

So there you have it, a brief overview of privilege access management-PAM, now you know more about securing sensitive data.

Sources:

https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/privileged-access-management/

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Making Passwords Stronger

Password Safety

Using passwords at play and at work is a part of our everyday daily lives. You have probably have heard about the need to create a strong password, renewing your passwords and using two factor authentication when possible.

But have you heard about password managers that can create unique passwords and store your login passwords in one place online? Well, they are one option for keeping all those random passwords in a tidy and relatively safe place.

Making passwords stronger is something we hear about in the media often these days, and its an important thing to do when you use many devices, here are our top 5 things to look for in a strong password.

  1. Use words that are not normally associated together.
  2. Use a password manager to create a strong password for you if you want a very strong password.
  3. Don’t share your passwords with with other people.
  4. Use different passwords for every place you need one.
  5. Don’t use personal information such as a birth year in a password-that everyone can look up.

For those of you who really hate passwords there is a biometric solution with a bold move to where we may no longer need passwords and instead only use our biometric data as proof of entry. Although this too carries its own set of security issues. A big name brand that talks more about this is Microsoft.

So, whether passwords are always going to be with us or whether they will eventually become a thing of the past it seems only time and technology adoption will tell. One thing we know for sure is that we can guarantee is that passwords sure are getting trickier to create but are still too easy to forget whether at work or at play.

Tech the halls with gadgets!

Decorated tree with sparkly lights

Its that time of year again when Christmas trees get adorned with sparkly festive lights . Its also the time of year that fun technology gadgets are on sale during Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the holiday season of December approaches.

The most popular technology gadgets for this year are listed in wonderful places like Toms guide. For 2021, they have many deals on familiar Apple products such as the popular Roomba-robot vacuums, and some not so familiar like the smart video doorbells. They also have deals on the Oculus quest that offers a view into a virtual world.

So, if you like to decorate trees and stock up on technology gadgets in the sales, we think that you are bound to find something to suit everyones needs in the deals to be had this year.

Decoding DeFi

Decentralized finance

If you have ever heard the term crypto currency and Ethereum in the news this year you were actually following news about the broader term known as Decentralized finance or DeFi.

Decentralised finance (“DeFi”) is an umbrella term used for the blockchain form of finance that is open to anyone. Essentially, it cuts out the need for middlemen using a decentralized system that can consist of a mix of open-source technologies, blockchain, and proprietary software and can be vastly complex, virtually lawless and often hard to grasp.

What does DeFi do?

  • Offering people more control over their own money is one of the more enticing aspects of DeFi, but it doesn’t stop there.
  • It is also largely censor free and highly programmable.
  • DeFi is evolving at a fast pace with some countries already adopting cryptocurrency as a formal mode of financing.

However it is not without risks that can include hacking and scams.

DeFi for the Future

As DeFi evolves, it is certain to play a large role in the future of finance options for humans around the globe. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, and our increased reliance on the internet, the idea of global financial services independent of banks is certainly gaining momentum.

Sources:

What is cloud computing?

Google cloud

What is The Cloud?

The Cloud in technology terms can be described in many ways but it is essentially someone else’s storage of your data. It is a fast and great way to store your data not on your actual premises, thereby often reducing your overhead costs. It is also highly scalable and varies in price often according to your needs and scale.

Where is the cloud stored?

The cloud in technology is not some fluffy white object in the big blue sky, it is instead actually on land in enormous ordinary warehouses scattered across the globe. Your data is stored on the servers in these enormous warehouses.

Who sells cloud services?

The cloud can be sold as three levels of cloud computing service models, Internet as a Service-Iaas, Platform as a Service-Paas and Software as a Service-Saas. Iaas, PaaS and SaaS are not mutually exclusive. Many mid-sized businesses use more than one, and most large enterprises use all three. A customer can access and scale the IT capabilities it needs for a predictable cost, without the expense and overhead of purchasing and maintaining everything in its own data center.

86% of Google Cloud customers agree that “Google Cloud helped increase their operational efficiency and optimize IT spend,” according to a TechValidate study.

Companies like Amazon web services, Microsoft, Google Cloud and many other big name brands offer cloud services for businesses to choose from. The cloud really offers the flexibility to scale your business based on demand and in turn reduces your costs and improves the speed of delivery.

So, there you have it a brief introduction to cloud computing. From what it is, to some of the benefits it can offer. The cloud is certainly forward thinking and can help to drive business transformation now and in the future.

Sources:

https://www.ibm.com/cloud/learn/iaas-paas-saas

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/cloud-services/#overview

https://cloud.google.com/why-google-cloud

Unravel the mystery of Ethereum

Ethereum is a popular topic these days, with the power of cryptocurrency becoming more mainstream.

Let’s start with what is exactly ethereum? It is in fact a type of cryptocurrency that works on the basis of a blockchain network.

Ethereum

Ether facts

It has recently gained popularity in the media, it is also known as ETH. The diamond or lozenge shape coin is known as ETHER.

Ethereum began in 2013, and is now giving other cryptocurrencies a run for their money. Ethereum also allows for the creation and exchange of NFTs, which are non-interchangeable tokens connected to digital works of art. It is seen as an alternative to bitcoin.

Top 5 Ethereum facts

  • Ethereum was initially crowdfunded.
  • Ethereum is now supported by large businesses.
  • Ethereum was first created by a person named Vitalk Buterin a Russian/Canadian who also co-founded Bitcoin Magazine.
  • The Ethereum Alliance of EEA is a collaboration of startups.
  • Ethereum is an open sourced blockchain which was forked in 2016 into two seperate blockchains: Ethereum and Ethereum classic.

The future of ethereum

Only time will tell where this new found cryptocurrency boom will lead us to. In the meantime ethereum is now standing as the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world.