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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.

Top five Data Security Tips

Data security tips

In 2021, data is considered an asset for most people and organizations, however it can also be one of the biggest liabilities if you don’t have the right security and protection in place to keep it safe.

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and insurance company Nationwide points out that, “According to Nationwide, 68% of small businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan. The problem with this is the longer it takes you to restore your data, the more money you’ll lose. Gartner found that this downtime can cost companies as much as $300,000 an hour.” Twitter: @growwithco

Having practices and procedures in place to protect your data can benefit you and an organization. Here are our top five tips that may assist you in your quest for better data security.

  • Back up your data regularly. There are many options including the cloud to choose from and this daily practice of backing up your data can really save you money in the long run.
  • Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible to protect your points of entry. Use VPNs whenever possible if you are travelling and paying in public places to protect financial data.
  • Get good and trusted antivirus software to prevent online attacks and create a budget to train your staff in phishing awareness regularly.
  • Implement a zero-trust architecture policy to only give the minimum permissions necessary for certain access points.
  • Finally, always Remember to always turn off your devices when finished to avoid leaving you open to attacks when you are not using the devices.

Data security tips are always evolving and its also a really good idea to stay up to date online with the latest technology news and best practices to keep on learning. We hope that these tips can help you to better protect your data security and that of your organization this year.

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

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.