Thursday, 2 February 2012

Do you like the Timeline?

Facebook launched the new profile look "Timeline" a while ago. Changes to Facebook always bring out mixed responses from its users. Now, Facebook is making it mandatory for users to have the Timeline and get rid of the old profile.

The latest change will allow people to access friends' status updates and activities as old as 2004, when Facebook was launched. The website, however, insists that this isn't changing any of the existing users' privacy. A spokeswomen of Facebook says "Timeline does not change any of your existing privacy settings."

What do you think about the new Facebook Timeline? Have you tried it yet?

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Which Country is "Cyber-ready"?

A survey backed by McAfee has revealed that Israel, Finland and Sweden top the list of being countries which have “cyber-readiness”. Reports have revealed that Israel deals with over 1,000 attacks every minute.

China, Mexico and Brazil however have been rated as the least capable of defending themselves against cyber-attacks.

"The subjectiveness of the report is its biggest strength," explained Raj Samani, McAfee's chief technology officer. "What it does is give the perception of cyber-readiness by those individuals who kind of understand and work in cyber security on a day-in, day-out basis."

The report concludes by claiming that information needs to be shared more globally to be one step ahead of the attacks, and that more laws should be enforced to aid cross-border crime.

UK has been rated at 4 out 5, along with USA, Germany, Spain and France.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Imagine A Day Without Wikipedia...

...Now live it. 

Wikipedia has joined a blackout protest against the US Anti – Piracy moves.

If you’ve attempted to access Wikipedia, you’ll see a black screen which says

“Imagine a world without free knowledge”

Other sites like Reddit and Boing Boing are also taking part in the blackout.

The protests are against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), planned by the US Congress.

Friday, 13 January 2012

5 Easy Steps to Make a Hacker’s Life Difficult

Following are five steps which will help in preventing security breaches. While no one can guarantee preventing breaches, these steps will help make life difficult for hackers:

1. Optimised Passwords – We wrote a blog about poor passwords a while ago. There was a time when the password “password” used to be a fail-safe way of deceiving hackers. Although most people now know how poor the password “password” is, there are still quite a few who would use some equally obvious choices of passwords. For instance, using your name, and your date of birth – such information is now easily accessible via social media. 

Don’t use passwords which can easily be guessed. Mix characters in the words. For example, use exclamation mark instead of the number 1, ampersand sign for number 8 etc.

Another problem with passwords is that people tend to become lax after making one. Even if your password is difficult to crack, it is good practice to keep changing it every now and then. People who do not change passwords and use the same on multiple sites are more likely to suffer a breach.

2. Efficient Anti-virus, and rightly set Firewall – These are one of the most basic things which are wrong in a user’s operating system – if you don’t have anti-virus software running in your environment, you’re in trouble. A completely up-to-date anti malware, anti-virus software needs to be up and running constantly. Where possible, deploy a hardware firewall and ensure that it isn’t allowing unnecessary traffic to penetrate your systems.

3. Patching Machines – Operating Systems and other software companies release patches and updates to the software. While some updates add new features, others improve the security flaws that may have existed beforehand. Therefore, it is important to keep the latest versions in check.

4. Securing Data – Do you carry your sensitive data in a USB around with you? If so, watch out. Unprotected data is a big deal. A lost USB, Hard-disk, Laptop or iPod can land you and your organisation in a messy situation. Encrypt everything portable.

5. Protect Your Wi-Fi – Despite the known vulnerabilities in open Wi-Fi Networks, some still keep it open and insecure. Some people use Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), but it has been shown that WEP can be broken into in as little as four seconds. It is recommended to use at least WPA as a bare minimum. WPA2 is a better alternative. WPA2 is a modern wireless security standard that is supported by most modern operating systems, and is a lot more difficult to break into than WEP or WPA2.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Certified Ethical Hacking: A Moral Job That Pays

Security threats have reached scary levels of sophistication. Internet crimes are becoming ever so problematic for companies all over the world. Businesses are looking for someone to prevent the malicious hackers breaching their customers’ confidential data, with the potential to steal billions of private data. That’s the job of a Certified Ethical Hacker.

Certified Ethical Hackers are IT Professionals who attempt to penetrate the company’s systems, just like a hacker would, to find the loopholes in the security systems in place. A CEH will conduct a Vulnerability Assessment (VA) to find out the shortcomings in the technology.

The average salary of a Certified Ethical Hacker in the UK is £42,750. As a CEH, job opportunities include working for private companies, or even the government. With the likes of Adidas, Sony and Nintendo’s security being compromised last year, more and more companies are taking their security very seriously, and looking for better ways to combat breaches of their data.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Get Certified To Get More in Life...

Since certifications came into recognition, there have been some who have debated whether certifications are worth pursuing or not.

Statistics have proved time and again that certs lead to promotions and raises. A survey of 700 networking professionals in tells what we already know – 60% of professionals said that their certifications led to a new job, 56% said they got raise, and about 29% said they got a promotion with their company.

Certifications from vendors such as Microsoft and Cisco have always been in demand. Recent certs which have come in recognition are the Project Management certifications like PMP and PRINCE2.