Why are public WiFi networks insecure?

Public WiFi network

If you follow tech and cybersecurity news, this is something that you see a lot: Public WiFi networks, the free wireless networks found at hotels, airports and cafes, are unsafe and can cut you some major cyberslack.

As is the case with most threats, when something is publicized a lot, people tend to become less sensible and ignore it. It becomes common belief that the danger will mostly apply to other people and not me. (This is one of the weirdest aspects of human nature, finding one’s security in the insecurity of others.) Continue reading

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The fundamental advantage of IoT

Internet Connection

By Christian Johan Smith, TrackR

I grew up in Selden, Kansas, in a family of wheat farmers. Manually harvesting wheat was an extremely tedious and laborious work, involving cutting and bundling by hand. However, this changed in the dawn of 19th century United States which saw the Industrial Revolution introduce new machines that automated tasks such as harvesting wheat. This gave farmers the opportunity to learn new skills and pursue other careers.  

Connected technologies have similarly changed the lives of people as they did a few generations ago. The way we live, work, and interact with our world has progressively modified as technologies have been integrated into all our lives. While we may be unaware of this, the number of connected devices surrounding us continually increase at an exponential rate. This layer of connected objects has been coined the “Internet of Things” (IoT). Continue reading

Artificial Intelligence has problems to fix

Artificial intelligence machine learning

While much of what you read and hear about Artificial Intelligence will turn out to be hype (that’s the case with practically every new, disruptive technology), there’s no denying that AI and machine learning will have an important role to play in how different industries and aspects of life and society around us will take shape in the coming years.

The trends and facts are certainly in favor of the AI fever. 2016 saw an explosion of funding and acquisition of AI startups. During the same year, Artificial Intelligence mastered many skills that were supposedly the exclusive domain of human intelligence, including a complicated board game, fighting (and causing) cyberthreats, and playing computer games—among others. Continue reading

Dealing with social engineering at times of uncertainty

Protest

Human failure is the single biggest contributing factor to security incidents, hacks and data breaches. Social engineers, cybercriminals that invest in human errors rather than technical vulnerabilities, are always on the lookout for exclusive opportunities to incite strong feelings in their targets and prod them to make a fatal mistake.

The anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the immigration ban in the U.S. provides the perfect climate for social engineering attacks, a fact that is largely ignored while the political aspects of the ban are being highlighted and fanned with ample frequency by the media. Continue reading

Zeltser: How to meet future cybersecurity challenges

lenny-zelster

Cybersecurity is one of the most fluid and changing fields of the tech industry. Every year, new threats and challenges emerge, outpacing past records and expectations. In this respect 2016 was no different. But as online services become more and more prominent and critical to our daily lives and businesses, being able to respond to threats before they deal their damage becomes more critical.

Case in point: The October 21 DDoS attack against Dyn cut millions of users from popular services such as Twitter and Netflix. That is something that most people can shrug off. But what happens when our cars, homes, hospitals and power grids depend on the correct functionality of our digital and online systems?

Cybersecurity expert Lenny Zeltser believes that new approaches to fighting malware can give a leg up in fighting cyberattacks and help organizations stay ahead of cybercriminals. Continue reading

This is how you encrypt your entire life

encryption

Man in the middle attacks. Social engineering. Large scale data breaches. Government surveillance. Device theft. Those are just some of the threats standing in your way as you try to carry on a safe digital life.

APTs. Three letter agencies. Script kiddies. State-sponsored hackers. Cybercrime rings. Data-hungry corporations. Jealous coworkers. Disgruntled employees.

And those are just some of the sources that those threats might come from.

The point is, as more of our lives become digitized and stored on computers and online servers, our data becomes more valuable and makes us more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Continue reading

What is Full-Disk Encryption (FDE)?

Full-Disk Encryption

If you think someone without your desktop login won’t be able to access your computer’s files, think again. Anyone with mediocre IT skills can take your your hard disk, plug it as a secondary drive to another computer, and extract your files.

So how can you protect your files from hackers?

One option would be to encrypt your sensitive files manually or avoid storing them on your computer altogether and lock them away in a safe cloud. An alternative is to use Full-Disk Encryption (FDE), a technique that scrambles everything stored on your computer and makes it only accessible to the person with the decryption key. Continue reading