Cybersecurity is an essential tool in the fight against all kinds of online criminal activity. While a lot of us take it for granted that the sites we visit, share, and shop from, are all safe and have been thoroughly vetted by the appropriate authorities, you really never can be too careful. Cybersecurity is one of the primary, everyday things that we need to attend to to be sure that we keep our funds and our data out of the hands of people who might want to misappropriate them. Safety when shopping online, or even just browsing, is paramount. Here are a few tips from us to you to stay on the right side of cyber security.
Whether it’s for your business or for you personally at home, the benefits of a VPN are endless. What the term means is Virtual Private Network, and what the program does is that it masks your online activity, whatever it may be, from third parties who might be lurking around. A VPN’s function is essential to shield your actual data and connection from anyone and anything by funneling it through a secure connection. This is especially helpful if you browse from public connections. Perhaps you work from a local coffee shop; this can be dangerous in terms of what’s available to prying eyes if you aren’t protected. Hackers target places with public connections to nab data; don’t make it easier for them.
The only downside to having a VPN is that it will inevitably slow your internet speed a little. All of your data is being bounced from one side of the world to the other, so this little drop in speed should hardly come as a surprise, as inconvenient as it can be.
It feels like this should go without saying, but we’re saying it anyway. Having a reliable antivirus installed is non-negotiable if you use the internet on any of your devices. If you’re unfamiliar with what antivirus software does, we’ll break it down for you. It acts as a soldier or security guard against malware (any software made with malicious intent), spyware (software designed to remain hidden and capture your data), viruses in general (harmful programs that replicate on your computer) and anything dangerous that might find its way into your computer.
Some antivirus software works to combat all of these forms of the program; others may only take on one at a time, so be sure you understand what you’re purchasing. Remember that programs like this need regular updates to stay current and functioning at a high level.
We know it’s challenging to remember a hundred complicated passwords, but keeping your passwords long and complex is a crucial aspect of keeping your sensitive data safe. The more unique and complex your password, the more difficult it is for any hacker to figure out what it is. If there are security questions that need to be set, consider using a translation tool to translate them into a different language. The more unpredictable they are, the better. Adding a space before or after other characters is another excellent option to add uniqueness.
If you struggle to keep track of all your passwords, you can make use of an app like LastPass or Samsung Pass (depending on what device you are using) to keep all your information safe but still readily accessible. You could also consider using a password-protected spreadsheet.
You might be asking, what is the difference between an antivirus and a firewall? Well, we’ll tell you. A firewall protects your hardware and your software, making it essential if you or your business have physical servers. It also blocks viruses or deters them from even entering your network, rather than dealing with them after the fact. Firewall and antivirus make a very successful team. A firewall will keep your network traffic, inbound, and outbound, safe and secure. It may block certain unsavory websites which might be used by hackers to target unsuspecting visitors. It can also be programmed to stop people in a business from sending out certain kinds of data.
If you run a business, this is particularly important. If your business handles any kind of online transaction with credit cards, identity numbers, or bank transfers, you’ll need an encryption program to keep that data safe. It alters the information being sent and received into unreadable codes. It’s a program that is designed to anticipate the worst-case scenario; should your data get stolen, the hacker who has it will not be able to read it without the correct keys to do so.
Ignore emails from unknown senders
This is just good common sense when it comes to emails and calls. Any email coming from an unknown sender or from an email address that looks even the least bit suspicious is one that you should delete without opening it. Unscrupulous individuals and hackers will try to get to you through a seemingly innocuous email. They may tell you you’ve won something in a contest that you never even knew you had entered, or that they are a long-lost relative with an inheritance that needs to be passed on to you. Though it would be nice to think that these things happen, it is a fair bet that they aren’t really real. Ignore, delete and block the sender.
Back up often
This is a good idea for many reasons, not only to safeguard your data from cybercriminals. If you back up your data on the cloud or on physical hard drives regularly, you can be sure that you’ll always have access to it, even in the worst of times. This takes away the leverage that hackers might have to ransom your data back to you, but also puts your mind at rest that you’ll never lose important data because it is stored in more than one place.
There are many basic cyber security tools that you can make use of to safeguard your data; we suggest you start today.
There are several widely-used, reliable strategies to enhance your enterprise cybersecurity framework across your organization. Experienced IT professionals understand the importance of advanced cybersecurity measures to secure and safeguard enterprise networks. Enterprise cybersecurity measures are much more advanced than individual network security techniques. Sophisticated cybersecurity procedures must additionally extend to your workstations, IT hardware, networks, and on-premises business structures. You even need to monitor cybersecurity on remote employee’s home workstations. When properly strategized, enterprise cybersecurity measures are essential to protect the data of your organization, internal stakeholders, as well as your valuable customers. Read on to learn about the essential strategies to enhance your enterprise cybersecurity framework.
Install Enterprise-Grade Cybersecurity Resources
Enterprise-grade security resources are essential tools to optimize your business cybersecurity framework. Without cybersecurity resources installed, you risk your platform security, performance, and data being compromised. Advanced firewall systems are one of the most integral cybersecurity components your organization can purchase. These systems monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic from your network to identify and proactively address potential threats. At the same time, you need to purchase advanced, enterprise-grade antivirus software to protect your network from potentially malicious attacks. Some of the most commonly purchased enterprise antivirus options are malware protection, system monitoring, and machine learning antivirus software. Even more, you should consider the benefits of using a VPN for your business. You need to install sophisticated, enterprise-grade cybersecurity resources to optimize your business security framework.
Integrate A Container Registry
Integrate a container registry into your organization to optimize your organizational cybersecurity framework. Advanced container registries are essential tools to organize and package your enterprise software libraries and files. Registries utilize containerization technology to securely package and seal software programs inside ‘containers,’ along with all of their application libraries, binaries, repositories, and additional files. Once integrated, a container registry supports all of your Docker containers and Helm Chart repositories across your software programs. An advanced container registry serves as a centralized, single access point to access your remote images and integrate them into your build ecosystem. Utilize an advanced container registry to optimize your enterprise cybersecurity framework.
Preform Frequent IT Risk Assessments
Frequent IT risk assessments are essential to optimize your enterprise cybersecurity framework. Preforming these regular assessments can largely improve online security in your company. Regular IT risk assessments are essential to identify potential malware, ransomware, spyware, or additional network virus attacks. At the same time, IT risk analyses can identify potential threats that could be caused by natural disaster, system failure, or accidental human interference. Thorough analyses can even protect against malicious behavior like interference, interception, or impersonation. By conducting frequent assessments, you can protect your organization from data loss, legal consequences, as well as application or system downtime. You need to preform frequent IT risk assessments to significantly optimize your organizational cybersecurity framework.
Enforce Stronger Passwords
Enforce stronger passwords to strengthen cybersecurity procedures across your organization. Strong passwords are essential to protect your network accounts, enterprise information, customer data, and employee systems. The best passwords contain mixed case letters, numbers, symbols, and special characters. At the same time, you should never use the same password for more than one enterprise account. Ensure that employees do not have their passwords written down anywhere where they can easily be viewed, compromised, lost, or stolen. If you are worried about losing your enterprise passwords, purchase a secure password manager to store all of your account data. You need to enforce stronger passwords to optimize your organizational cybersecurity framework.
Map Threat Surface Area
Once you have identified threats, it is essential to map your threat surface area to optimize your enterprise cybersecurity procedures. Take a considerable amount of time to map out your threat surface area based on quantifiable risk. You can determine risk based on potential threats to your stakeholders, employees, or even your customers. Mapping your threats allows you to identify the specific data, applications, identities, systems, and network elements that must be sufficiently safeguarded. Through this technique, you can identify and allocate valuable resources for specific network defensive measures. Be sure to map your threat surface area to optimize your organizational cybersecurity practices.
There are several strategic methods to optimize your enterprise cybersecurity framework. First, you need to install sophisticated, enterprise-grade cybersecurity resources. Utilize an advanced container registry to store and securely transport data throughout development stages. At the same time, preform frequent IT risk assessments to analyze your security performance. Moreover, enforce stronger passwords to optimize your organizational cybersecurity framework. Furthermore, be sure to map your threat surface area throughout your business. Consider the points mentioned above to learn about the essential strategies to enhance your enterprise cybersecurity framework.
You may have heard that Netflix is losing shows because every corporation needs a streaming platform nowadays. At the same time, it’s also gaining new favorites and reception of NetflixOriginals has been positive so far.
Unfortunately, you can’t always access all the Netflix shows in your area. Not that US residents get to, either – but they definitely have a wider selection to choose from. No matter where you’re located, there’s an easy way to gain access to the full catalog. Click here to see how to watch Netflix US on a smart TV, for the full cinematic experience.
Or, read below to see how to watch Netflix US on any device, anywhere in the world.
How to Watch Netflix US from Abroad
If you don’t have a smart TV, you can still use a VPN to access the Netflix US catalog. All you need to do is connect to a server in the US, and a US IP address will be assigned to your device. This works for any other country your VPN provider has obfuscated servers in – great for those of you interested in foreign cinema or documentaries.
How exactly does that work? Well, IP addresses are how Netflix and other streaming platforms check your location. That’s how they know which shows to assign to you. It’s an outdated mindset to have in the digital era, but the licensing legislation is too convoluted to get into.
Does Any VPN Work with Netflix US?
You could try one of the many free VPNs out there to see if they work with Netflix. But chances are they’ve been blocked, since the providers lack the funding for fresh new IPs. Yes, Netflix are aware that people use VPNs to bypass geo-restrictions, and do everything possible to block them.
Subscription-based VPNs can afford to get new servers for streaming, or implement new obfuscation techniques that hide the fact you’re using a VPN. Moreover, this practice isn’t illegal either. After all, it’s not like you’re pirating anything.
You’ve paid for your Netflix subscription, so why shouldn’t you be able to watch the shows you want just because some out of touch executives didn’t get the memo about how the Internet works? Get a free VPN trial from a decent provider, grab some popcorn and start watching.
Here are some shows you should check out. First, a classic that’s leaving Netflix soon:
No introductions are necessary for this fan favorite. Netflix has said its goodbyes to the series already, though you can still catch it on the platform until January 2021. So better get to it while you still can, unless you plan to subscribe to NBC’s “Peacock” streaming service to watch it. With a name like that, who wouldn’t?
Jokes aside, their current selection of shows just doesn’t seem worth yet another subscription. Although they’ve taken The Office hostage, long-time fans of the show have expressed their disinterest in the comments on Netflix’s original Twitter post.
Parks and Rec
Yet another beloved sitcom that’s leaving Netflix US for NBC’s streaming service in October 2020. The show ended in 2015, but the cast have recently reunited for a one-time reunion special. It received a warm welcome from excited fans that just needed something good to happen in an otherwise dreary year.
The wholesome comedy that defined the series is still there – even if the lovable goofs of Pawnee were social distancing like everybody else. It isn’t available on Netflix like the rest of the series, though you can watch it for free on NBC’s YouTube channel. You still need a VPN to access it, though – as it appears to be a US-exclusive.
The Midnight Gospel
Let’s talk about something fresh for a change. Don’t let its colorful visuals trick you into believing it’s a kids’ show – The Midnight Gospel is some trippy stuff. If you grew up watching Adventure Time in the 2010s, you’ll be happy to know series creator Pendleton Ward handles this one too.
Even if you haven’t, fans of the show have described it as a trippier Rick and Morty. Now, while TheMidnight Gospel does inter-dimensional travels on alien worlds, the show is very much its own thing. And the concept of it is fascinating.
Clancy visits worlds that are on the verge of dying by using his “universe simulator.” He then holds interviews (called “spacecasts”) with the creatures he meets. The philosophical topics they cover are varied, but we’ll let you discover the magic for yourself.
Since it’s a Netflix Original, you can basically watch it anywhere without a VPN. We all look forward to when we can watch whatever we want without jumping through hoops to do so. Until then, using a VPN is your best chance to see The Office or Parks and Rec before they depart. These two shows are classics in their own right – but if they’re not to your taste, rest assured the US Netflix library has a ton to choose from.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to create a secure connection while using public networks. However, today’s network environment is filled with issues like Firesheep and Wi-Fi spoofing, making the security of your online activity even more important. In addition, as virtual offices and telecommuting become more prevalent, relying unsecured public networks is a hazard.
You or your employees have probably taken advantage of free Wi-Fi at the airport or local coffee shop to upload business files via an unsecured connection. Working from a café is common in today’s world, but at a huge cost.
A VPN works like a firewall by protecting your computer data whenever you are online. Technically, a VPN is like a Wide Area Network (WAN) that features the same functionality, look, and security as expected on a private network. VPNs are now a popular choice for businesses and even private individuals concerned about their online security.
A VPN taps into various dedicated connections via encryption protocols that create virtual P2P connections. In the event a cybercriminal tries to access data transmission, the encryption ensures that they cannot read it. If you are still not sure whether a VPN service is for your business, consider the following benefits.
Reduced Cyber Attacks and Security Breaches
Being targeted by hackers may sound like something that happens to certain businesses and people. Unfortunately, the only headlines you see are those of the biggest breaches that have happened.
Case in point is the increase of zero-day vulnerability by a massive 125 percent from 2014 to 2015. When you use a VPN and keep your employees off public networks, you are taking a proactive step towards reducing the likelihood your business will be targeted.
When your employees are aware of Internet vulnerabilities, they are less likely to log into your business resources on public networks. If they travel a lot, they are less likely to work while on the road for long stretches. One sure way of boosting productivity is peace of mind, which employees get when they know when and where they can connect to your network.
Increased Client Trust
If your business involves collecting data from clients, patients or customers, you can increase their trust by using a VPN. You can also make use of tools, such as a network monitoring solution, to ensure that your network is up at all times.
While many of your clients may not understand what a VPN does, a little education will go a long way in making them feel secure. Wouldn’t you rely on a service provider that goes the extra mile to ensure your personal data is secure?
Stay Local, Even when Abroad
If your business processes require that you or your employees travel a lot, a U.S. based VPN may be necessary for replacing the real IP address you are at. Travel to some countries may see you come across restrictions that prevent you from communicating with your office. For example, the Great Firewall of China is used to reroute queries and even erase content.
Therefore, to stay in constant communication with your office and complete your work, you will need a VPN. Furthermore, some of your customers and clients may be wary of trusting emails sent from overseas. A VPN ensures that your business posts, emails and others represent your home base.
Implementing a VPN for your offsite employees is an easy, fast, and effective online security solution. However, it only works when everyone is on board, which you can do by informing everyone that you are starting the VPN protocol, its benefits, and how he or she can gain access to it.
The popular press is awash with news that hackers have breached HBO’s cyber defenses and have allegedly stolen steal than 1.5 terabytes of data, including scripts from unaired Game of Thrones episodes. As fascinating as this news may be to consumers of popular culture, it obscures more serious cyberattack news stories that have far deeper consequences. Consider, for example, the five most significant network hacks from the past several years.
In 2014, hackers exploited a vulnerability in OpenSSL using a tool known as “Heartbleed” to break into a virtual private network (VPN) that a major corporation had used to encrypt data and communications. Individuals and businesses routinely rely on the added encryption provided by a VPN to ensure confidentiality of communications. This recent hack reveals that even VPNs have their weaknesses.
A foreign government was believed to be behind a 2015 hack attack on the insurance giant, Anthem Health. That hack compromised more than 78 million consumer health and insurance records. More recently, the governments or government proxies of North Korea, China, Russia, and the United States have all been accused of participating in hacking activities.
Image source Flickr
The “Petya” ransomware attack crippled more than 60 percent of computers and networks in the Ukraine in early 2017. A subsequent analysis of the attack suggested that although the attackers demanded a ransom to release frozen systems, the attack might have had a moiré sinister purpose of disabling the Ukraine’s technology infrastructure.
The Dyn distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that struck a significant number of computers and networks in North America and Europe in late 2016 was the largest ever cyberattack launched on the internet. The attack continued for several days, affecting servers utilized by Twitter, Netflix, CNN, and other major web players.
The Wannacry ransomware attack in early 2017 was stopped early in its tracks by good luck and quick thinking on the part of the individuals who first noticed it. Still this cyberattack crippled parts of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service and enriched the hackers who demanded and were paid more than $100,000 to release various systems and networks.
The scope and scale of these massive cyberattacks should cause all businesses, regardless of size, to reassess their cybersecurity strategies. In all likelihood, like HBO, the entities that were affected by these cyberattacks had erected defenses against hacking and gave their employees at least some rudimentary education and training in eliminating the human error and conduct that exposes a network to cyberattacks. Yet as these attacks suggest, even commonly-suggested cyber defense strategies, such as VPNs, are not fully effective against determined groups of hackers, particularly if those hackers have government resources behind them.
This does not suggest that businesses should abandon all hope and give up on their cyber defenses. Rather, they need to confirm that those strategies are up-to-date and consistent with the latest tools and techniques to fend off cyberattacks. Realizing, however, that none of those tools and techniques will be foolproof, businesses also need to develop a plan to respond when they do experience a successful attack. Cyber security insurance is a mandatory part of that plan.
Cyber security insurance will cover a business’s direct losses when a cyberattack damages data and hardware, which gives the business some assurances that its profits will not be entirely consumed by the need to recover those elements. Insurance can also protect a business against third party liabilities and regulatory fines that may be levied when a business loses its customers’ personal or financial information. Depending on the size of the business, a single cyberattack can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $2 million or more. Few businesses are equipped to absorb these kinds of costs directly. Cyber security insurance can cover these losses and allow a business to continue its operations with a minimum of interruptions after it experiences a cyberattack.
Today’s workforce is more agile than ever before as technology transforms the way we do business. Thanks to Wi-Fi and mobile devices, employees are often encouraged to work from anywhere or bring their own devices into the office. But with this newfound flexibility comes new risks.
While many companies are making the move to mobile, so are cyber criminals. Below are a few reasons crafty hackers are specifically drawn to mobile devices and what you can do to insulate yourself against this growing threat.
Unprotected Wi-Fi: Remote employees love free Wi-Fi, but many are completely unaware of the risks of joining an unfamiliar connection. Cyber eavesdroppers can often steal information in transit over insecure Wi-Fi connections, even if the data is being sent to a secure network. Especially cunning hackers may even set up a phony hotspot to snare unsuspecting users and pilfer their most valuable data. Don’t conflate ‘work from anywhere’ with ‘work from any connection!’
If you want to connect to the internet safely and privately, update your Wi-Fi settings to block open sharing with other devices. Consider using a Virtual Private Network or VPN to turn your public connection into a personal one. Finally, turn off your Wi-Fi connection when you are not using it. This will reduce the time available for hackers to penetrate your firewall.
Image source Flickr
Trojan Horse Apps: Sad to say, many of the consumer apps available for download on the app store are downright dangerous — either because they are unguarded or malicious. Phony flashlight and calculator apps, for example, have been known to contain spyware which tracks a user’s keystrokes or phone calls, and can even be used to listen in on their conversations or sell personal information to advertisers.
Mobile app security depends on a keen eye and warry thumb. If an app doesn’t seem right, don’t click it. Don’t just trust the reviews, be on the lookout for grammatical or spelling errors, unnecessary permissions or apps which eat up a considerable amount for no discernable reason. Take notice of these red flags to better protect your mobile app security.
Losing Your Phone: It seems all too obvious, but one of the easiest ways to open yourself up to digital infiltration is to drop your phone in a public place. If you haven’t locked your device with a PIN or password, a single swipe is all it takes. Does your phone or tablet connect to your email, social media, banking and box services? Too bad, because a smart hacker will have no trouble stealing your identity, locking your social pages, vandalizing your finances and transferring your business data to god-knows-where.
Remember, protecting your phone means implementing safeguards before you lose it. Always lock your devices using a PIN, password or thumbprint. While it’s not perfect, it might be enough to discourage some thieves. Download device locator or remote wipe apps to keep your information from falling into the wrong hands.
Mobile Phishing & Spoofing: The majority of hackers prefer to use methods tried and true, and no attack is more common than phishing attacks. While phishing scams are still used to swipe personal account information and login credentials through spam emails and bogus sign-in pages, some cybercriminals have updated their techniques for the mobile age.
Beware of SMS or text messages containing web links from unknown sources. You could be putting your mobile app security at risk. The same can be said for social media sites as devious cyber crooks masquerade as a familiar user or company. If you are unsure about a link, avoid it or communicate your concerns to the sender in person to avoid catastrophe.
Protecting yourself from digital intrusion is not only important to your own security, but also for the safety of your business, your customers and your partners. Safeguard your mobile devices using the tips above and stay educated about up-and-coming threats. After all, the world of mobile security is still in hot competition with hackers and cybercriminals around the world.
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