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Gone Phishing

As the long weekend approaches in Canada, many people will be at the lakes for a spot of fishing, but in technology terms the word Phishing means something very different.

Phishing Definition

Phishing in technology terms is the sending out of emails, texts, voicemails and more. This is done by cyber criminals seeking out information like credit card numbers, bank account access, account information or gift card numbers.

What can you do to prevent a phishing scam?

There are many things you can do to prevent yourself from getting phished, these include:

  • Being more careful when receiving new emails or texts or messages.
  • Reporting and or deleting the content.
  • Not falling for scam texts or emails that claim to be from popular brands or government departments.
  • Never giving out personal information unless you have verified that it is safe to do so.
  • Keeping updated on frequently circulated scam texts and emails.

So, now you know how to prevent online phishing its time to go outside and enjoy the long weekend if you can.

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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.

Why is visual brand identity important?

SophieKeats_ Instagram feed image

Visual brand identity is key these days for companies, with more and more video and podcast content blossoming in feeds. While it is true that most companies have a visual component to their particular brand, working on a visual identity as well as content identity is key to brand success.

For myself, as a writer what started off as a few humble images and cool technology photos plus cyber words has now morphed into a creative wordswag filled look and feel for my Instagram and LinkedIn feed that my audience of real people seem to resonate with most days. Plus, there is the benefit that I truly enjoy creating it especially when the lightening bolts of creativity strike!

So, why are visuals important to your brand?

  • People like and enjoy visuals to go with their words.
  • A strong visual identity can help to strengthen your brand message.
  • A visual brand identity can give an instant impression of your brand’s personality without even saying a single word.
  • In a crowded digital space the strength of your visual branding can influence whether someone follows your profile and engages with your brand- or not.

As you experiment with finding the right fonts and styles and images to match your brand style, there are many platforms that can help you on your way, places to start off with like Canva have easy to use sizing for social media templates, there are also many sites with different colour pallets that can show you which colours compliment each other for your visual brand identity. Also, that giant visual board called Pinterest sure can provide an endless supply of go-to ideas.

Tell your visual identity story

Visual brand identity is about telling your story with images that captures the magical essence of your business. It is both a joy and a journey to share our many stories in order to make real authentic connections with our audiences who are after all real people. So, go have some fun with creating your brand’s visual identity and get creative!

Sources:

https://later.com/blog/visual-branding-on-instagram

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:

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.

What is an NFT?

We hear the word NFT splashed about in the media and on the news, but what is an NFT really all about? Let’s start with the word NFT, it stands for these words: non-fungible token.

A non-fungible token is a digital asset that can be a piece of digital art or music or a photo. It cannot be replaced or exchanged for another one because every NFT is unique!

Non fungible Art

The sales of digital art are growing, one example that received alot of news coverage is the artist Beeple who recently sold an NFT called Everydays: The first 5000 days, for $69 million. This is just one example of the growing popularity of NFTs in the world of digital art.

How are NFTs stored?

NFTs are stored in blockchain which means they are stored on a network of computers across the world.

The uses for NFTs

NFTs are not just used for art, they can be used for music and photos and other items. More and more items are becoming available as NFTs. The world is certainly just at the beginning of all the possibilities for them.

Sources:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/25622442

https://nypost.com/article/what-is-nft-how-does-it-work-examples/

Juice Jacking-what is it?

Despite its rather tasty name, juice jacking is in fact a type of cyber attack that can happen when charging your devices.

Juice jacking happens when a device is plugged into a charging port and either the port is corrupt or the cable is corrupt, enabling data to be stolen and/or malware to be installed.

Prevention of juice jacking

You can prevent juice jacking with these four tips:

1. Use your own battery pack for charging devices in public spaces. 2. Dont charge your phone on some one else’s computer. 3. Avoid using public charging stations. 4. Use a USB data blocker.