Tag Archives: Business

The Dangers of Plug-ins

Plug-ins are add-ons developed for all types of solutions and applications. The most well-known provide new features for browsers, messenger services and tools such as WordPress. All of them, without exception, can cause significant security breaches at your company.

Plug-ins as an attack target

The widespread use of certain plug-ins is the main reason that some hackers have focused their attention on acquiring or using plug-ins to launch attacks. It should be noted that the nature of these add-ons, as well as their objective, is highly varied. All plug-ins are susceptible to security breaches, no matter what they are geared towards.

For example, for WordPress, plug-ins such as Display Widgets (with more than 200,000 users), Appointments (8,000 users), Captcha (300,000 users), and NextGEN Gallery (more than one million users) highlight the growing trend of using these add-ons to house attacks are insert malicious code These affect all users that visit a page that has the plug-in activated.

Browser plug-ins for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer are not any less dangerous. For example, the well-known LastPass (password manager) has received criticism due to serious problems with security over the past year. Malicious software such as adware and hijacking software has appeared in these kinds of plug-ins. One of the best examples is from last year when Fireball managed to infect more than 250 million computers.

Although plug-ins vary widely, all have the potential to create security problems that often begin with a loss of control of the device: the appearance of pop-up ads, erratic behavior, etc. They can also cause data loss given that they collect personal information, including login information, and send it secretly. Furthermore, they can insert harmful software: viruses, all types of malware and backdoors.

Why plug-ins?

There are two main reasons that hackers pay so much attention to plug-ins. The first, as we mentioned, is the massive user base that many plug-ins have. Exploiting a security flaw of already established plug-ins is a sure bet for cyber criminals. The second reason is the diversity of available plug-ins.

The use of open-source solutions and wide variety of languages and tools have given rise to exponential growth of solutions to use in our day-to-day lives. However, all this has also resulted in potential security issues. These applications are in constant battle against hackers who are trying to exploit their vulnerabilities. The more diverse the panorama, the more possibilities there are of solutions being exploited.

For WordPress, the preferred techniques are using exploits and existing flaws in PHP, Ajax and Java, along with many others. This exponentially increases the possibility of a security problem. On the other hand, this affects visitors to the page as well as the servers where they are located, allowing for criminals to spread infections rapidly.

Plug-ins at companies

This should give us an idea of the potential impact the indiscriminate use of plug-ins can have on companies. If a corporate website uses this popular CMS (or a similar one such as Drupal, Joomla, etc.) company data, as well as that of servers and users, could be at risk.

One should know that add-ons in a company’s system, used as attack vectors, can cause huge data losses. What is the solution? Firstly, it is vital to have a good IT team and for employees to have a solid knowledge of security.

Secondly, intelligence and predictive security tools, such as Panda Adaptive Defense 360, are the best option to maintain an exhaustive control of a company’s network, foreseeing, preventing and remedying potential attacks thanks to its ability to monitor all system processes in real time.

Lastly, there is always taking the extreme measure of prohibiting plug-ins, both in a company’s browsers and well as on its website. There should be no problem for websites if they are “custom-built”. For browsers and apps, with proper control, the amount of damage that a company can suffer can be severely limited.

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Afraid of insider attacks? This is how you can defend your company

There is no doubt that insider attacks at a company can be catastrophic. According to Haystax, they can cost a company on up to $500,000 to $1,000,000. What’s more, 90% of companies surveyed in the latest Crowd Research report are considered to be vulnerable to this type of security problems. In fact, 53% of companies claim they have suffered an insider attack in the last 12 months. However, not all security managers know about the implications or even the origins of this problem. How can one take on a problem that comes from within?

Where do these attacks originate?

When speaking of insider threats, there are usually two clear but different causes: negligence and malicious intent. While the first usually happens due to a deficiency at a company, the second is more dangerous since it is intentionally harmful. In both cases, the main actors are users with privileges and administrators. It is also important to keep in mind the role of consultors and temporary employees as well as regular employees who can also pose a threat. The origin of the security breach is the first thing to consider in order to stay protected.

Insider attacks are on the rise

According to data gathered by Crowd Research, the number of insider attacks has grown and they are becoming more frequent. The percentage of deliberate data breaches also grew as opposed to unintentional incidents. The vast majority of these vulnerabilities stem from regular employees, but as we mentioned, attention should also be paid to providers and users with privileges.

What points are most vulnerable? Cyber-criminals are most interested in information concerning accounts of users with privileges, as well as confidential business information.  After this, they are interested in is personal information, followed by different information related to industrial espionage.

Taking care of vulnerabilities

The main vulnerabilities stem from a lack of control, according to Crowd Research. The most common vulnerabilities stem from an excess of users with privileges and misuse of privileges, which can allow criminals a simpler way to gain unsupervised access. The increase in the number of devices that have access to sensitive information has also caused networks to be more vulnerable.

In addition to increasingly complex technology, there is a clear lack in education, which is one of the main culprits in internal security failures. Therefore, companies should invest heavily in cybersecurity training for employees. This might seem costly, but as we mentioned, the cost of repairing an internal problem and the consequences thereof often exceeds hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How to defend your company

Bearing all this information in mind, some protection measures should be put into place. Firstly, it is crucial to observe and monitor employee behavior within the network in real time, review the server logs to look for any suspicious behavior and use specific data to analyze how to prevent a possible insider threat.

This means preventing information leaks caused by malware or employees, as well as having protection against attacks or fixing vulnerabilities found in the system. Solutions such as Panda Adaptive Defense 360 combine the latest-generation protection (NG EPP) and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) technology with the ability to classify 100% of running processes.

Having a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) strategy and encrypting information are the main measures against insider threats as cited by 60% of security professionals surveyed by Crowd Research. It is necessary to have impeccable identification access control as well as restrict and control all endpoints.

Lastly, it is vital to control and monitor access to valuable resources such as information, databases, connections, anything that can result in a significant loss. It’s also a good idea to reasonably track employee activity, something that can easily be done with the correct tools. In short, having a solid control and repair plan overseen by the right team, together with exhaustive monitoring and proper security training is the best path to protect oneself from an unexpected security failure.

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Your Company’s IT Resources are a Mine for Hackers

Blockchain technology was invented in early 2009 to support bitcoin, a new digital currency with a clear objective: make transactions without the need for traditional intermediaries. Invented by the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin kicked off the cryptocurrency boom. But as society’s interest in cryptocurrencies has grown, so has criminal interest, creating headaches for companies’ security departments.

The rise of cryptojacking

Mining cryptocurrency is necessary for the system to work. Mining consists of a series of computations performed to process transactions made on blockchains. It creates new cryptocurrency and confirms transactions along the blockchain network. To create more cryptocoins, it is necessary to mine them. Without mining, the system would collapse.

Many users themselves have begun mining cryptocurrencies as a way to make money. Miners perform mathematical operations to verify transactions, and to do so, they use special software. Therefore, for mining to be lucrative, it is necessary to have a great deal of computational power. To make money from mining, cybercriminals are turning to cryptojacking.

Cryptojacking consists of the unauthorized use of a user’s devices to mine cryptocurrency. Basically, attackers make use of malware to hijack computers, tablets or smartphones, for example, and use them to covertly mine cryptocurrency. The user will probably note some lag in their device, but won’t be aware that it’s due to an attack attemping to mine cryptocurrency. One of the most common techniques consists in taking control of the victim’s CPU or GPU from a website infected with malware to mine cryptocurrency, such as what happened recently with YouTube. In this case, the advertising agency DoubleClick was victim of an attack that hid a Coinhive cryptojacking script in the code of YouTube advertisements. Coinhive is the most commonly used script to carry out these types of attacks. A study by security researcher Troy Mursch detected 50,000 new infected websites with cryptojacking scripts, with 80% of them using Coinhive.

Another attack technique consists in using Microsoft Word’s online video function, which allows users to insert videos in documents without the need to embed them. In this case, attackers take advantage of this feature to insert malicious scripts and to covertly take control of the power of the victim’s CPU.

Background theft

Cryptocurrency has become the gold of the 21st century. As a result, we are set to see more attacks attempting to mine cryptocurrency. Now that IT teams and state security forces have their eye on ransomware attacks, cybercriminals are opting for more secure methods to make a buck and have begun stealing IT resources to mine.

The difficulty in detecting this type of attack is making it one of cybercriminals’ preferred methods to illegally line their pockets. These attacks are also becoming increasingly sophisticated in order to affect the greatest number of devices possible. The more computational power they steal, the faster they can mine. This is giving rise to attackers fighting each other over CPU resources. Cybercriminals are including a mechanism in their code to detect competing miners and eliminate them in order to take complete control over the CPU’s resources.

That’s why companies are becoming the prime objective of attackers in 2018. If they get access to a corporate network, they have an enormous amount of resources available to them.

How can a company protect itself from cryptojackers?

These attacks have serious consequences for businesses. The most evident consequence comes from stealing CPU cycles which can slow down systems and networks, putting business and the general system availability at risk. Furthermore, once a company has been attacked, it is likely that a lot of time, money and effort will be required to get rid of and correct the problem. Intensive cryptocurrency mining can also have financial repercussions for a company, as electricity bills can be quite a bit higher due to the high energy demand.

Additionally, these attacks can wreak havoc on corporate devices. If mining is performed over a prolonged period of time, devices and their batteries can experience extreme overheating which can the devices.

Of course, one should also not forget that being a victim of cryptojacking means that an attacker has gotten through security systems and has obtained control of the company’s devices, putting the company’s data privacy at risk.

To be protected from a possible cryptocoin mining attack, one should follow these security measures:

  • Perform periodic risk evaluations to identify vulnerabilities.
  • Regularly update all systems and devices.
  • Adopt advanced cybersecurity solutions that allow for a detailed visibility of activity on all endpoints and control all running processes.
  • Create a secure browsing environment, installing extensions that hinder cryptocurrency mining.

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BYOD: when protecting the perimeter is not enough

It’s a well-known fact that millennials and generation Z are digital natives and are basically always connected to their gadgets.  This trend has consequences extending beyond the consumer market, with an effect on the corporate world as this young cohort enters the workforce.  One example is more people using their own laptops and mobile phones at the office and for work in general. The consultancy firm Markets & Markets estimates the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) market will be worth $73.3 billion in 2021.

BYOD has several advantages for companies. IT managers note that employee productivity is on the rise and workers have more flexibility, resulting in better customer service. That said, it also presents various challenges for security that go beyond a company’s physical perimeter. What risks does BYOD entail? What is the best way of dealing with them?

The perimeter includes wherever an employee is located

Companies are exposed to a high number of threats coming from all sides, from dangerous web content to malware that can affect the entire corporate network. Attacks are increasing in frequency, resulting in more attention being paid to cybersecurity. That’s why the firm Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that the total spend on cybersecurity will hit one trillion dollars in the next five years.

However, many of these investments in cybersecurity only protect devices and servers on the corporate network. With BYOD, it’s clear that only protecting the physical perimeter is insufficient. The trend has resulted in personal mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, which are not under direct control of IT managers, being able to access the corporate network from anywhere. This means that the perimeter extends to anywhere employees are located, no matter how far they may be from the office. Thus, it is necessary that protection covers all devices.

The need for a BYOD policy

To prevent security risks and before applying solutions, it is essential for companies, regardless of their size, to establish a BYOD policy with a clear blueprint and adapt it to all platforms so that they are properly prepared. Accordingly, consultant Larry Alton recommends that a BYOD strategy include specific guidelines.  Once the criteria for program use are established, IT managers should allow employees to add their personal devices to the network.

However, it does not mean that IT has strict control over employees’ devices. The ideal situation is to strike a balance between keeping a company’s data secure and safeguarding the privacy of employees, who will of course continue using their devices for personal use. Thus excessively strict or invasive policies are counterproductive. Policies should be completely transparent to determine each party’s responsibility.

Monitoring solutions until the endpoint

Given the nature of the security risks of BYOD, organizations should implement solutions that apply a constant real-time monitoring of the corporate network and of all its access points. Generally, security solutions only address servers and work stations within the physical space of the company but, as we mentioned before, with BYOD, simply protecting the physical perimeter is not enough.  Therefore, protection should extend to all endpoints and devices.

One example of this type of solution is Panda Adaptive Defense, an endpoint detection and response service capable of accurately classifying any application and blocking advanced threats as well as zero-day and directed attacks that other more traditional solutions are incapable of detecting.

Although BYOD presents new security risks, the opportunities it offers companies and employees far outweigh these risks if the necessary precautions are taken. A prevention strategy based on appropriate policies and on real-time monitoring solutions for all devices is the best way to take advantage of BYOD’s full potential.

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Small business cybersecurity risks for 2018

About 99.8% of all businesses in the USA are considered small businesses. The Census Bureau and the Small Business Administration define small businesses as private companies having fewer than 500 employees. Roughly about 50% of the US workforce in the US is employed by small businesses. While this is a significant chunk of the US economy, this is arguably the most fragile one. Only one-third of the newly formed small businesses will survive ten years or more.

Being a small business in the sea of thriving competition means that you have to be spotless in everything you do as chances your business won’t last long are high – only about half of all new small businesses make it past the 5-year mark. Small business owners wear many hats and are known to be the most optimistic businessmen in the world. Even though the risks are there and your business could cease to exist in a blink of an eye due to a cyber-security issue or a lawsuit, being a business owner is probably the only way for you to get a piece of the American dream. So many people jump on the train!

While optimism is an integral part of being a leader, leaders do not rely on luck, they are cautious and always prepared. It has been estimated that half of the small businesses that suffer a cyber-attack go out of business within six months as a result. And your business could be the next victim.

Here is a top five of the biggest threats to small firms in the US for 2018.

Phishing attacks

The first, and probably the most common problem seen in small businesses, is seeing them falling for phishing scams. Those types of scams are as old as the internet, and you can avoid becoming a victim by educating your employees about the dangers on the internet, and by restricting their rights accordingly. Make sure that even if they want to harm your company devices, they won’t be able to succeed.


No one is safe; ransomware attacks happen all the time and companies from all sizes fall victims every day. Ransomware attacks could be easily avoided if all company systems are kept up-to-date, and they have quality anti-virus software installed. Always make sure that you regularly make backups of your company’s files and be very careful with the data that you open on your computer – use your anti-virus software to confirm that they are not malicious. Make sure you run regular educational cyber security seminars with your employees who have access to company devices.

Cloud storage

The cloud computing services are genuinely changing the ways how small businesses operate and are becoming an option of choice for small and medium-sized companies. Cloud storage services ease the lives of many business owners as they come with defense measures and timely security updates. While cloud storage might seem like a great idea you never know if your cloud storage provider is as secure as you want them to be, make sure that you are using reputable service providers.

Attacks affecting websites

Web-based attacks will continue to change small businesses in 2018. Very often small business websites do not have multiple layers of security and hackers make their way in so they can execute malicious activities right from your company website. This could have a disastrous effect on your branding as such websites get quickly penalized by search engines such as Google and Bing. Not changing your passwords or not updating your company website WordPress plugins may cost you a lot.

Compromised and stolen devices

Laptops, cell phones, tablets, computers, and Macs – they all contain company information that could be useful for cybercriminals. Make sure that you highlight to your employees that company information should only be stored and accessed by verified and adequately secured company devices. The information on stolen or compromised machines could be used against the interests of the company that you own or represent.

Small business will be a target in 2018!

However, cybersecurity should not be of concern if you have multiple layers of security on all your systems, backup up your company’s files often, and you regularly update your systems. Do not ignore those update-notifications – they are released by service providers to improve processes and security. Your chances of becoming a ransomware victim, or seeing your company website being taken over by hackers significantly decrease if you build a habit of updating your systems and have anti-virus software solutions capable of handling the cybersecurity needs of your company.

Check out our 2018 Cybersecurity Trends Report

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What Will the CISO of the Future Look Like?

As the cyber landscape evolves, the role of the CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) is transforming. Managers at companies of varying size are more aware of the importance of cybersecurity than ever before, and, therefore, CISOs are increasingly present on the boards of directors. The new business context due to disruptive technological developments (such as the Internet of Things and the rise of the cloud), together with growing threat levels, requires security managers to face various changes, such as aligning with business objectives to respond to security needs. Although the profile of a CISO is still technical, its link to business objectives requires specific capabilities and a broaderbusiness vision.

New Responsibilities for a New CISO

With the increase in cyberattacks and the danger of sensitive data leaks looming over companies, the work of the new CISO takes on a role never before seen. According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, 67% of CISOs are responsible for establishing their company’s security strategies and initiatives. This figure indicates an increasing level of influence, confirming that the CISO goes from being a simple guardian of the IT area to a trusted adviser in the upper echelons of organizations.

In the above mentioned study, 60% of respondents said that their organization considers security as one of their priorities. The ability to prevent and respond to attacks is now of great importance for companies, which begin to value the tasks of the CISO to promote awareness and provide adequate training in cybersecurity among the staff, as well as investments in cybersecurity  tools to detect possible threats.

The integration between business and technology taking place with the digital revolution is creating a more complex ecosystem for companies and their employees dedicated to security. The CISO must now act according to business demands and assuming the same objectives as other executives of the company.  69% of the respondents in the Ponemon study consider that the appointment of a security director with corporate responsibility is fundamental for the company. The CISO of the future must report its activities within the organization, assume budget and compliance challenges, and implement business tactics driven by business objectives.

And let’s not forget their responsibility toward ensuring the availability of IT services at all times, as well as their airtight grip on data. In this way, the new CISO must reduce the imminent risk of data leaks, protecting the privacy of users and consumers, and complying with new regulations, such as the GDPR.

From Technician to Leader

Most security officers have a technical profile related to studies in computer science. It makes sense, taking into account the need to understand programming and work closely with your team on a technical level. However, the CISO of the future must have business vision and be able to influence the direction the company takes, with leadership skills and interpersonal and strategic communication. The CISO of the future must also be able to draw up plans and models of operations that contribute to the brand, including not only the technical side of cybersecurity but also its essential human side.

The CISO has made its way into organizations after years of being considered an afterthought, and this recognition must be welcomed by security experts as an exciting challenge. This evolution, which now requires an amalgam of technical, legal, regulatory and communicative knowledge, demonstrates the shift towards a global ecosystem much more aware of the importance of cybersecurity. It’s time to reinvent yourself and accept that the traditional IT role no longer exists. Are you ready to be the CISO of the future?

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PayPal Subsidiary Data Breach Hits Up to 1.6 Million Customers


Global e-commerce business PayPal has disclosed a data breach that may have compromised personally identifiable information for roughly 1.6 million customers at a payment processing company PayPal acquired earlier this year.

PayPal Holdings Inc. said Friday that a review of its recently acquired company TIO Networks showed evidence of unauthorized access to the company’s network, including some confidential parts where the personal information of TIO’s customers and customers of TIO billers stored.

Acquired by PayPal for US$233 Million in July 2017, TIO Network is a cloud-based multi-channel bill payment processor and receivables management provider that serves the largest telecom, wireless, cable and utility bill issuers in North America.

PayPal did not clear when or how the data breach incident took place, neither it revealed details about the types of information being stolen by the hackers, but the company did confirm that its platform and systems were not affected by the incident.

“The PayPal platform is not impacted in any way, as the TIO systems are completely separate from the PayPal network, and PayPal’s customers’ data remains secure,” PayPal said in its press release [PDF].

The data breach in TIO Networks was discovered as part of an ongoing investigation for identifying security vulnerabilities in the payment processing platform.

As soon as PayPal identified an unauthorized access to the TIO’s network, PayPal took action by “initiating an internal investigation of TIO and bringing in additional third-party cybersecurity expertise to review TIO’s bill payment platform,” PayPal press release [PDF] reads.

The company has begun working with companies it services to notify potentially affected customers.

Besides notifying, the company is also working with a consumer credit reporting agency, Experian, to provide free credit monitoring memberships for fraud and identity theft to those who are affected by the breach.

To protect its customers, TIO has also suspended its services until a full-scale investigation into the incident is completed.

“At this point, TIO cannot provide a timeline for restoring bill pay services, and continues to recommend that you contact your biller to identify alternative ways to pay your bills,” TIO’s Consumer FAQ reads

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to you by the disruption of TIO’s service.”

Since the investigation is ongoing, PayPal will communicate with TIO customers and merchant partners directly as soon as the company has more details on the incident. Also, the affected customers will be directly contacted by the company.

Gladius Shows Promise in Utilizing Blockchain Tech to Fight Hackers

Blockchain startups are cropping up left and right aiming to disrupt existing services and business models.

These range from the trivial to potentially game-changing solutions that can revolutionize the internet as we know it. Among those that promise to change the world, most are attempting to reconstruct the entire internet infrastructure into something that is decentralized, secure, scalable, and tokenized.

There are also those that aim to solve the most significant problems plaguing the digital world, particularly potentially costly and tedious security issues. We do not lack for dangers, ranging from data breaches to denial-of-service attacks, and other hacks.

For the most part, there are capable SaaS and software-defined services that are capable enough in addressing the threats that involve malware and DDoS.

However, blockchains offer much much more.

The plague of DDoS

Distributed denial-of-service or DDoS attacks involve a malicious hacker deploying a network of infected computers in sending traffic and making queries to the target host. By deploying a botnet with potentially thousands of unique devices, it is difficult to block on a per-IP basis.

Oftentimes, without adequate protection, a DDoS attack can slow down a website or service to a crawl until it is no longer accessible either by running out of bandwidth allocation or simply being overwhelmed with traffic.

According to this DDos Impact survey, almost half of respondents say they have encountered a DDoS attack, with more than 90 percent of these businesses being attacked a span of 12 months.

The average DDoS attack lasted between 6 to 24 hours, and at the cost of $40,000 per hour, these cost businesses about $500,000 per attack on average, with some even costing more for larger enterprises.

For small businesses, the cost can be more severe, especially for those that depend solely on their online operations and sales to thrive.

These are only the costs associated with IT activity. When a website goes down, all its business goes down with it – this can be particularly troublesome for a company running an e-commerce website or a consumer-facing application.

Blockchain-based solutions for DDoS

Sadly, a DDoS attack is something that cannot be prevented. You can only mitigate its effects, and your infrastructure can merely ward off the excessive traffic and bandwidth utilization through several means. For the most part, deploying DDoS protection entails deflecting any botnet traffic, so that your main server or cloud deployment is not overloaded.

As earlier mentioned, cloud-based DDoS protection acts as a barrier between the main server and the internet-at-large Whenever an attack occurs, the service efficiently “absorbs” the traffic to minimize the impact on the infrastructure itself.

This can only go so far, however. Even the most robust of cloud infrastructures can just handle so much traffic. Besides, for businesses, the costs involved could be overwhelming.

Here is where a blockchain and a highly distributed approach can offer more value.

Gladius, a blockchain service for DDoS prevention and website acceleration aims to leverage on its global network of individual and independent nodes in mitigating the effects of a DDoS attack and caching content all across the world to make the website load faster.

Being a decentralized network, users can rent out their spare bandwidth through a desktop client and earn money by sharing their bandwidth. Then, their excess bandwidth is distributed to nodes which in turn funnel the bandwidth to websites under DDoS attacks to make sure they stay up.

During “peace time” or periods without a DDoS, Gladius’ network also speeds up access to the internet by acting as a content delivery network, wherein web content is cached for faster delivery to the target client’s browser.

The perks of a peer-to-peer network

Image Credit: Gladius

A decentralized network has additional benefits beyond the simple cloud-based deployment.

While a cloud is, to some extent, distributed, it is still owned by whoever runs the platform. In contrast, a blockchain runs completely off of a decentralized network, wherein the nodes are independently owned.

Herein lies the additional benefit.
With most blockchains, nodes are rewarded through a tokenized incentive scheme – it is the same with Gladius. Individual computer owners can earn cryptocurrency tokens whenever their resources are shared with the network.

Toward a decentralized sharing economy

Blockchain startups are representative of where we are heading in the future: a truly decentralized sharing economy. We have had a glimpse of such sharing economies with platforms like Uber, Airbnb, and the like.

However, these foster a sharing economy without the decentralized aspect – the platform is still owned by a corporate entity, for instance.

With blockchain startups, the sharing economy is built entirely upon the independent and decentralized nodes that make up the network.

Bitcoin proved that we could have an exchange of value through a decentralized system. Ethereum proved we could establish self-executing smart contracts without third parties or mediums.

With solutions like Gladius, we are likewise hopeful that the internet’s infrastructure can be disrupted for the benefit of both users and business that build value.

Did Your Childhood Monsters Dwelling Under the Bed Grow to Be Real?

Remember when you were a youngster, and lived in nightly fear of the monsters dwelling under your bed, or those hiding in the closet? That made it an act of foolishness to swing your legs over the side of the bed and expose munch-able ankles to the demons. Even worse would be to risk opening the closet door at night, to provide a portal for their crossover into the human world.
The only way to safely make it through the night was to stay motionless in bed, fully covered by your charmed-against-monsters favorite blanket, and await the safety of morning sunlight.


The demons of the night have probably long since retreated from your bedroom – but for adult internet users, they have re-emerged from the shadows, in the form of hackers and cyber attackers, still lurking, still waiting for their opportunity. And sadly, this time they are real – lately, the internet has been buzzing with the recently discovered WPA2 vulnerabilities known as KRACK.

Everyone who listens to the news occasionally, or checks their morning news feed before heading off to work, should be aware of some of the spectacular network breaches against major corporations. In fact, one or more of those violations may even have affected you personally, since several of them have resulted in massive amounts of sensitive personal information being hijacked by criminals. But such headline-grabbing attacks are far from the only depredations being carried out these days on the Internet, nor are the big corporations the only targets.

Small businesses the target of cybercriminals

Cybercriminals are starting to realize that attacks against lots of small businesses can be just as lucrative as a single attack against a major player. Ransomware attacks and other forms of malware breaches can yield significant profits when carried out in volume against small businesses, and now hackers have upped the ante to include attacks against individuals, in the form of breaching devices which are tied to the Internet of Things (IoT). It was recently demonstrated that even using an ordinary Wi-Fi connection can expose you to attack by a smart attacker, in physical proximity.

Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)

Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) is the second, and theoretically stronger, incarnation of security protocols for wireless networks, but it was recently shown to have a vulnerability which allows attackers to modify how the protocol works so that that network traffic can be intercepted. Depending on how a specific network is configured, it would have even been possible for malware to be inserted, without the attacker ever owning or disturbing standard password security, thus evading detection.

This capability makes wireless devices, including all those connected to the IoT, vulnerable to Key Reinstallation Attacks (KRACK), which compromise the encryption component of the WPA2 protocol. Without getting into the technical weaknesses which make this possible, you should know that such attacks are likely whenever a cybercriminal is physically positioned close enough to a device on a Wi-Fi network so that the signal can be intercepted and manipulated. What all this means for devices connected to the IoT, is that they would need to have software or firmware updates which close up the vulnerability to KRACK attacks. The affected manufacturers have begun issuing patches to address the problem but remember that you don’t have to only rely on patches – there are other ways to protect yourself.

Are More IoT devices Driving More Cyber Attacks?

The short answer to this is – yes. Cybercriminals are notoriously opportunistic, and the potential ubiquity of IoT devices provides merely endless possibilities for security breaches. Just “listening in” on such network traffic can provide useful, sensitive information about accounts and other data that can be converted into profits.

The monsters under your bed have grown up with you, and they have now moved into the shadows of cyberspace, waiting to nip at your ankles or to have you barge brazenly into their closet stronghold. And unfortunately, this time they are real – make sure you have a chance to fight them off by arming yourself with a protective blanket.

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Panda Security and Deloitte Have Exciting Announcement for the Gartner Summit

Following the success of the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit in the US, Panda Security will also be participating in the London conference held on 18-19 September 2017. The summit will address the major challenges facing IT security leaders today. Analysts, panellists, and presenters will offer proven practices, technologies and methods to help adjust to the digital transformation and managing the increase in cybersecurity risks.

Panda Security will discuss how to protect your business with Adaptive Defense, the new cybersecurity model. We will be at Booth #S24.

In addition to sharing experiences at stand S24, we will be giving a joint presentation in conjunction with Deloitte. Juan Santamaría, General Manager of Panda, and Edward Moore, Associate Director of Cybersecurity at Deloitte EMEA, will discuss the fundamentals of cyberdefense for companies. In a talk titled ‘From Incident Response to Continuous Response Management, Building Resilience in Organizations’, we will discuss how to avoid economic losses and reputational damages brought about by cyberattacks such as ransomware.  The session will be held on Tuesday 19 September, from 10:35-10:55 in the Solution Showcase Theatre on Level 1.

As 100% prevention is not possible, organizations must continually improve its detection and incident response capabilities to significantly reduce the probability of experiencing a damaging breach.

Learn from the directors of Panda Security and Deloitte EMEA how to maximise returns on your company’s investments using the latest resilience practices.

Adaptive Defense, the Common Link Between Deloitte and Panda Security

Businesses are currently facing unprecedented challenges as they process the large volumes and high speeds of modern digital interactions. With exponential increases in attacks originating from unknown threats (up more than 40% from last quarter alone), it’s logical to conclude that companies need to be doing more to reinforce their security and control. It’s for this reason that Panda Security and Deloitte EMEA have created a Cyber Alliance to provide an integrated, dynamic, and adaptive security ecosystem.

At the heart of this agreement is Adaptive Defense, a managed cybersecurity service based on continuous monitoring of all active processes, with automatic classification via artificial intelligence, and behaviour analysis by Security Operation Center experts. This ecosystem allows organization to become more resilient and reduces significantly the probability of experiencing a damaging breach.

You can see here further details on the joint Panda Security and Deloitte talk and add to your calendar for the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit here.

The post Panda Security and Deloitte Have Exciting Announcement for the Gartner Summit appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.

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