“A Travelers Guide To Protecting Your Data”

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“A Travelers Guide To Protecting Your Data”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

When you hear the word “summer”, what is the first thing you think of? Vacation? Travel? Did you know that most people wont leave home without their smartphones, tablets, and/or computers? Have you ever wondered how traveling can compromise your digital security?

 

People tend to think of vacations as a time to get away and un-plug from the world, both the digital world and physical world. But, it is not realistic to believe that you will NEVER go online while traveling. Yes, it is fun to post pictures and status updates on your social media accounts in real time. But, did you know that by doing so, there is a possibility you are opening yourself, and your digital devices, to cyber criminals?

 

When traveling, public Wi-Fi might seem like a great thing. It allows you to check your email, work, and post updates to your social media accounts. But, as convent as it is, connecting to public Wi-Fi can also be dangerous. Cyber Criminals can take over public networks, and logging onto a corrupted network allows cyber criminals access to your:

  • Personal details
  • Credit card numbers
  • Passwords

 

The data that you, as a traveler, bring wherever you go is valuable and desired. It is important that while traveling you do everything in your power to keep your digital information safely out of the reach of cyber criminals.

 

How? Here are a few tips.

  • Only Use Secure Wi-Fi Networks. When connecting to a public network, consider using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. This will ensure that your confidential information stays private. A VPN will also ensure that your data goes directly from your device to the network that you are connecting to.
  • Update Your Devices. Updating the software on your devices, as well as the applications updates, is important. Even though the constant update reminder can be annoying, it is your devices way of protecting you and your data.
  • Do Not Use Public Computers. Never use public computers when logging into to banking, email and social media accounts. This means computers in hotel business centers, as well as in-room iPads. Crooks can install keylogging software to track your keystrokes.
  • Secure Your Mobile Devices. Set a PIN for your devices. Setting a PIN can protect your device from unauthorized users.
  • Use Cash Whenever Possible. Using cash whenever possible while traveling keeps your credit/debit card safe from fraudsters. But, if you are to use your credit/debit cards, be cautious.
  • Backup all your devices. Before going on your trip, whether it is for business or vacation, it is a good idea to back up your mobile devices. This allows you to be able to retrieve your information if lost, in case of emergency, or stolen.
  • Critical information should be stored in a different location. When traveling, it is a good idea to store any critical and private information temporarily in a different location. Examples of different locations are: Flash Drives, Mobile Devices, or Cloud Storage.
  • Make sure your computer’s firewall is enabled. Enabling your computer’s firewall helps stop hackers from getting into your system, as well as keeping viruses from spreading and safeguards outgoing computer traffic.

 

If you have any questions about Digital Security, Hacking, Cyber Security, Computer Forensics, or Mobile Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


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“Your Medical Records Are Next

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Have you ever worried about your credit/debit card information being stolen by hackers? Did you ever think that by visiting your doctor’s office your identity could be stolen? Did you know that, when it comes to protecting customer information, the healthcare system is behind the financial sector by about 10 years?

 

As more hospitals, doctor’s offices, and healthcare facilities go from paper records to digital records more hacking issues are expected. More personal information can be accessed by hackers because more is accessible online.

 

One of the challenges of protecting patient data is that the data is stored digitally. By storing patient information digitally, all devices that have access to this information have access to the internet. With internet access, these devices and the information they have access to can be breached by hackers. Also, data breaches can potentially occur when the patient data is being transmitted over the internet to the cloud. Many hospitals and doctor’s offices utilize cloud servers to store patient data without the patient’s knowledge. Hackers can exploit a vulnerability on the devices, with access to the cloud, compromising millions of patient files.

 

What makes health records so valuable to cyber criminals is the personal nature and its shelf life. Health records contain information such as:

  • Policy Numbers
  • Medical History
  • Billing Information
  • Social Security Numbers

 

Even though some patient data, such as Credit/Debit card information, can be shut down when fraudulent activity is detected. Other data cannot be changed that easily, such as Social Security numbers. So, it is important to protect that information so data breaches do not occur.

 

How can Doctor’s offices, hospitals and healthcare facilities protect patient data?

There are multiple ways that patient data can be protected. Some ways include:

  • Encryption Platforms. Encrypting data makes sure that all data that is being exchanged is done so safely.
  • Back-up patient records. By backing-up patient records this gives hackers less motivation to go after those organizations and their records. All back-ups should be kept in a secure environment.
  • Employ biometric authentication. This helps control and limit access to labs and records to only authorized personnel.
  • Device Management. Device management protects devices in case of theft.

 

If you have any questions about Hacking, Data Security, Cyber Security or Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


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“Hacker Alert: Employees Beware”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Is your company open to cyber attacks? Do your employees take cyber security seriously? How can you get your employees to take cyber security more seriously? Did you know that many security breaches are caused from employee’s careless decisions and their lax attitude?

 

Cyber criminals gain the trust of the employees working for the targeted businesses by using social engineering tactics, but there are also other tactics that can be used.

 

One of the tactics that cyber criminals have been using is referred to as the “Business Email Compromise”. This is when cyber criminals target the employees that have access to the company’s finances. Some examples of cyber scams include:

  • Bogus Invoicing Scams. When a compromised employee’s account is requesting a payment information change.
  • CEO Fraud Scams. When the cyber criminal is pretending to be a CEO requesting an emergency payment.
  • A Compromised Employee’s account scam. The compromised account can send out a false invoice to vendors.
  • An Attorney’s Email Identity Scams. This email’s identity could be used to pressure immediate payments.

 

For the company’s safety, it is important for employees to be cautions and take cyber security seriously. Altering an employee’s behavior may seem like a challenging task. There are conditions that can be created to help reduce cyber threats, even if the threats cannot be eliminated altogether.

 

How can these conditions be created?

These conditions can be created by educating employees. It is important to remember, when educating employees, to make your message stick in their mind. To do this it is important to remember:

  • Do not use scare tactics. Treat cyber security awareness as a marketing campaign, with the purpose of persuasion.
  • Use videos and infographics.
  • Do not send out long memos, they will get ignored. It is important to keep it fun & short.

 

As important as it is to educate your employees on cyber security, it is also important to make your employees part of the cyber security process. For your companies cyber security to be beneficial it is important that your employees are trained properly first.

 

How does training employees in cyber security benefit your company?

Training employees in cyber security gives them the skills and knowledge to act as a firewall, giving your company a first line of defense.

 

Here a few steps that can help boost your companies cyber security.

  1. Make Cyber security a cornerstone in your business, and make it part of every employee’s job. By doing so, this will make your employees invested in the outcome of your companies cyber security.
  2. Create a secure log in process by: (1) Getting rid of any stick notes with usernames and passwords written on them. (2) Creating a two-factor authentication. (3) Re-set passwords monthly.
  3. Stay ahead of the everchanging security threats. Update your software & security patches frequently.
  4. Have an “onboard process” and “offboard process”. Having an “onboard process” means all new employees should be introduced to the companies cyber security policy from the start. Having an “offboard process” ensures that you can ID ex-employees that might be disgruntled and if they pose a malicious threat to your company’s data security.
  5. Make sure your company has a recovery plan & backups in place. Having daily backups offsite can help your company recovery quickly from cyber attacks. Having a recovery plan in place allows you to know the proper steps to take in the event of a cyber attack

 

* * Remember: Cyber Security is everyone’s responsibility * *

 

If you have any questions about Cyber Security Training, Cyber Security, and Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954)727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


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“Printers Beware”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Did you know that 54% of employee’s say that they do not always follow the security policies put into place by their company’s Information Technology departments? * Did you know that about 51% of employees who have a printer, copier, or a multi functioning printer (MFP) at their work place say that they have copied, printed, and/or scanned confidential documents at work before? *

 

With cyber threats on the rise, it is not a shock that even printers are not safe from cyber attacks and data breaches. If a printer is connected to a wireless network and is unsecure, then it is open to hacking. Once compromised, other devices connected to the same network are left vulnerable.

 

How can a hacker gain access to a network using an unsecure printer?

 

One way a hacker can gain access to your unsecured printer is if the firmware is out-of-date. This allows the system to accept malicious lines of code. The hacker can then use the code to gain access to:

  • Print Jobs.
  • The user’s computer.

 

Another way a hacker can gain access to your unsecured printer is using a drone. Along with a drone the hacker would need a mobile phone and two applications. The two applications would do the following:

  • The first application identifies all wireless printers
  • The second application deploys malware into the printers.

 

So how does this type of drone attack occur?

 

Firstly, the hacker would fly a drone using a smart phone into position outside of an office building. Once into position, the hacker activates the two applications. Once the first application scans for open Wi-Fi printers, the second application establishes a fake access point (one that mimics the real device). Once established, the fake access point is then able to intercept documents that have been sent to the real device. With network access gained, the hacker can then in-bed malware into the company’s network.

 

When malware is installed within the network, hackers can gain access to your servers and documents by:

  • Accessing sensitive and/or confidential information.
  • Changing the printer’s settings or LCD readout.
  • Launching DoS attacks (Denial-of-service attacks).
  • Using the printer to receive and transmit faxes.
  • To send unauthorized print jobs.
  • Retrieving saved copies of documents.
  • Eavesdropping on network printer traffic.

 

To take preventative measures against attacks on your printers Some typical prevention procedures include, but are not imited to:

  • Educating Employees on the importance of security
  • Defining what constitutes a secure password
  • User identification (with PINs and other verification) for printer usage.
  • Data encryption protocols (to prevent interception of data across the network).

 

If you any questions relating to Firmware, Network Security, Printer Security, Cyber Security or Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.

 

 

*(The statistics represented in this blast were identified from: Network, C. (2013, February 07). The Hidden IT Security Threat: Multifunction Printers. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2013/02/07/the-hidden-it-security-threat-multifunction-printers/#b615affb615a )*


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“In A Day Where Everything Is Getting Smarter, It Might Be Smarter To Play Dumb”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Did you know that 6.6 million people in the US are stalked every year*? Only 1 in 5 victims are stalked by strangers*. 85% of stalking victims know who their stalkers are*. Did you know that there are 78% of stalkers use more than 1 approach when it comes to stalking their victims*?

 

We live in a day and age where technology is continuing to get smarter. With technology getting smarter so are the cyber criminals. Today Cyber criminals are always looking for vulnerabilities and back doors to provide access to his or her next victim.

 

Recently, vulnerabilities in cyber security have been found hiding and lurking in the shadows of smart appliances. Some examples of smart appliances include:

  • Smart Refrigerators
  • Smart Slow Cookers
  • Smart Dish Plates

 

Smart Refrigerators can have 3 built in cameras, that allow you to see inside of the Refrigerators from where ever you are. They also can have the capability of streaming music, streaming videos, as well as sharing calendars, notes, memos and pictures. The Smart Refrigerators can also have voice activated features. If these refrigerators fell victim to a hack attack, then hackers would have total control over all the features.

 

By hacking the Smart Refrigerators, hackers can then peer into your life. Watching you, your spouse, and even your children with the help of the video feed that comes from the Smart Refrigerators cameras.

 

Also, they can listen to every conversation going on inside your home because of the voice activation speakers (the speakers that help to refrigerator listen and respond to your commands).

 

The Smart Refrigerators can also share calendars, notes, memos and pictures. If a hacker was to gain access to this information, it could be sold on the dark net to someone with malicious intent. But, you could also be stalked. With this information, a stalker would know your schedule, know what your family and friends look like, where your favorite places are, among other things.

 

A Smart Slow Cooker is another smart device that cyber criminals and/or hackers could use to their malicious advantages. Being a Bluetooth connected device allows the Smart Slow Cooker to connect to smartphones (both Android and iOS devices), and tablets that have the Smart Slow Cookers application. From this application, you can control all the features, including:

  • Adjusting the temperature
  • Turning the Smart Slow Cooker on/off

 

With access to the Smart Slow Cookers, hackers would be able to get into the application and mess with the settings. They would be able to turn it on and off as they pleased, they would also be able to control the heat settings, possibly being able to blow the power source creating a fire. Hackers would be able to do all of this without the consent or knowledge of the device’s owners.

 

Do you wear a fitness tracker on your wrist consistently? Do you monitor your caloric intake with said device? Did you know there is a Smart Dish Plate that can help you track your eating habits and calorie intake? The Smart Dish Plate is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connected. It connects to your smartphone, via application, and your fitness tracker. It also has 3-mini built in cameras.

 

If hackers and/or cyber criminals were to gain control over this device, then it is likely that your phone and its data will be targeted as well. This leads to the possibly that this data could be sold on the dark net.

 

With the 3-mini built in cameras, hackers would also be able to spy on you through the camera feed.

 

By gaining access to the smart kitchen appliances, hackers can do many things without your knowledge or consent. They can control the device and all its features and they can also gain access to any other internet connected device connected the same network, including:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Computers
  • Alarm systems

 

If you have any questions about hacking or cyber security contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please Feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.

 

 

 

*(The statistics represented in this blast were identified from: Stalking Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.)*