The Risks and Costs of Cyber Attacks

The cost of loss due to cyber-attacks has reached millions of dollars and is continuously plaguing various businesses and platforms. A recent study entitled Cost of Cyber Crime Study in 2017 showed that organizations need to improve investments in security technologies, security intelligence systems accounting for 67 percent and advanced identity and access governance accounting for 63 percent has been found to be the most widely deployed security and safety service across a wide array of enterprises.

Major findings of the study reveal that compliance technology is essential yet business should not bet on it with everything and fully depend on it as spending on governance, risk and compliance technologies cannot in any way provide increased society.

Other investments aside from the aforementioned reveal a lack of balance. Perimeter controls have the highest percentage of spending among all the nine security technologies examined. Nevertheless, the cost savings in these technologies came only fifth with a value gap of negative four. Thus, it is important to assess the levels and intensity of spending in relation to efficiency and necessity, thus offering a chance to re-evaluate and re-allocate resources to technologies with higher-value security.

Governance, risk and compliance technologies and automated policy management proved to be the lowest in effectiveness with only 9 percent and 7 percent of cyber-crime cost reduction. Thus, compliance technology is essential but it is not an end-all-be-all solution and assessing spending can give the business a lot of opportunities to re-channel funds towards breakthrough innovations.

The study also stated that there is a necessity for an organization to grasp the essence of innovation opportunity since it has been proven multiple times that,

Studies prove that in terms of returns of investment, innovation yields the most results or returns yet ironically, investment in innovation has been recorded to be very low. “Extensive use of cyber analytics” along with “user behavior analytics” (UBA) at 32 percent and “automation, orchestration and machine learning” at 28 percent are the technologies that can be seen in the lowest ranks for enterprise-wide deployment.

Balancing the investments by implementing a shift from less effective technologies to remarkable breakthrough innovations will indeed result into a better organization with a stronger and more resilient security program in place to ward off cyber-attacks and maybe even avoid them completely.

The essence of a remarkably strong, comprehensive and efficient security program is to identify and strengthen assets with a higher value; the so-called “cream of the crop” and “crowned jewels” of the business, these are the assets that are the most essential and relevant to business operations. They also undergo the most stringent and comprehensive regulatory penalties and is the source of various trade secrets and specifics pertaining to the differentiation of the market.

It also detailed three steps that various organizations can follow in order to further improve the effects of cybersecurity features and protocols being employed.

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The first step is to build cyber-security on a very strong and reliable foundation and to invest in higher security intelligence along with a whole new level of access management paired with the orthodox necessity to think forward ahead of hackers.

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Furthermore, extreme and comprehensive pressure testing must be undertaken in order to ensure the highest level of safety and security.

Last but not the least, there is a need to invest in breakthrough innovation and take steps to balance spending and expenditure on new technologies such as artificial intelligence and analytics and consequently improve the efficiency and scale value of the program.

Moreover, it remarked that organizations have to realize as soon as possible that spending alone will not guarantee equal value in terms of efficiency. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure, thus it is essential to address the problem and insufficiencies of the security software in place in order to avoid possibly dangerous and potentially devastating cyber-attacks. This is a necessity for businesses to thrive in this digital age and effectively compete with other pioneering businesses.

An intelligent and comprehensive strategy should be in place in order to know which assets need to be protected and properly address consequences once a cyber-attack indeed happens. Protection is always the first barrier, but steps must be undertaken in order to assure that once the attack happens, the business can create a wall of protection from the inside out. Indeed, investing in security can make a huge difference in the maintenance and development of the business.

It is clear that companies can avoid loss due to cyber-attacks if they take appropriate measures to address them and the issues that it brings.

Which is The Best VPN for Businesses?

The utilization of a VPN is a necessary step especially for businesses either big or small. Businesses have assets such as private records of millions or even billions of personal information that will be very devastating and destructive if stolen by identity thefts and utilized by criminals in a wide variety of ways.

Online data breaches are very common problems and challenges that businesses encounter as they can have remarkably catastrophic consequences. With the extent of cyber-attacks in the year 2018 alone along with staggering data from the previous years, indeed, it has become imperative for a business to use VPN in order to prevent unwanted data leaks. Without the use of a VPN, all data recorded by the business will be very vulnerable to attacks from all fronts- from expert hackers to cyber-criminals, the data will never be safe.

Business VPNs greatly differ from VPNs used for personal purposes. For one, a dedicated server solely meant for your business will result in greater reliability and higher speeds ensuring the optimization and maximization of your business’ operations. A dedicated IP address will also allow employees to access the server from any part of the world, thus it provides convenience and maximum mobility for international businesses. Business VPNs also features the ability for multiple connections as multiple employee counts is a common characteristic of various businesses.

In looking for the best VPN for your business, you must consider a lot of factors and choose VPNs with unlimited bandwidth, extremely fast connections even with equally extreme data traffic, and state-of-the-art encryption. There should also be a dedicated IP server and IP address and these servers must operate in a location that is proximate to your business’ physical location in order to assure optimal results and speed.

There is a wide variety of business VPNs available in the market, each with their own features and benefits.


NordVPN is another game changer as it has multiple features such as its ability to unblock Netflix, lightning-fast speed, strict no logs policy, 24/7 customer service and military-grade encryption among others. It has over 5, 000 servers across in 62 countries all over the world and with its 24/7 technical support lead by a dedicated and hard-working account manager, users can expect optimal results. You can read some of NordVPN review from tons of sources. All of them are stating that this service has always been one of the most leading VPN providers for businesses.


PureVPN can give the best options both for small and big businesses. It even has a Christmas Special featuring the lowest price ever at only $1.32 per month on a 5-year plan. PureVPN prides itself as the world’s fastest VPN service and a trusted option with a 31-day money-back guarantee. With this world-class VPN service, users may access unrestricted and instant content such as movies, TV shows, sporting events. Security and anonymity are also assured through VPN IPs, military-grade encryption and a global network of VPN servers. With its blazing, fiery and fast speed, many remarkable feats can be achieved and used for every and any purpose. PureVPN is also very flexible and accessible despite its tight security as it allows the login of up to 5 devices simultaneously. The 24/7 technical support that its staff offers also assures the user of assistance at any time of the day especially during moments of crisis, issues, and problems. PureVPN employs more than 2000 servers all over the world and its wide global network is strategically spread to surely overcome any kind of restriction. PureVPN also features secure wi-fi connection making any public wi-fi secure for the use of data.


ExpressVPN, on the other hand, offers great benefits such as super-fast connection speeds, unblocks Netflix, Hulu, BBC and more, over 1,500 servers across 94 countries, no download or bandwidth limits, supports torrenting and P2P activities, advanced security features, excellent 24/7 support and a 30-day money-back guaranteed.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access or PIA advertises itself as one of the most popular and mind you, cheapest VPN service there is. Because of its popularity, PIA has over a thousand satisfied users all over the world. They have about 3000+ servers from 33 different countries. This service is one of the most ideal choices for businesses who have just started up. Having a lower price than the most reputable provider is one of their edge aside from providing an easy user interface for beginners and a very long list of amazing features.

The Worst Data Breach in 2018

A data breach happens when a hacker or a cybercriminal successfully invades a data source thereby accessing sensitive data and confidential information. There are various steps involved in a data breach operation. During the research stage, the cybercriminal examines loopholes in the company’s security whether through a certain system, network or even people. During the attack stage, the criminal implements the first contact using a social attack or a network. With the ensuing social or network attack, the cybercriminal uses an application, a system or an infrastructure to invade the business or the institution’s network. During the exfiltration stage, the cybercriminal has successfully entered the network, thus giving him the ability to extract sensitive data.  There probably is no one in the world who hasn’t heard about Facebook much less has a Facebook account. The world was shocked as news of Facebook security breach plagued the headlines of every news site and media platform. Facebook is probably the most famous social networking site in the world with users spanning every country. It has also been the victim of the biggest data breach this year.

It has already faced scrutiny over its data privacy measures and the reported security breach which affected about 50 million users drove people to forward a campaign to delete their Facebook accounts. Last year, Facebook has also come in hot waters due to a controversial report which revealed that 87 million profile users has been accessed without consent and has consequently affected elections and even led to several causalities in many countries.

Facebook mentioned that it had repaired all weak points and alerted law enforcement officials, according to a report by the New York Times. Facebook officials are still in the dark with regards to who or where the attackers are, how wide and how much damage has been done, or if there were any specific targets among Facebook users.

Facebook is in its early investigation of the attack. Mark Zuckerberg says that they are taking the problem seriously and are taking measures to address it. He further remarked that they are glad to have found out about the issue. This attack has been pinpointed heavily by critics as proof that there is much to improve with the security and data privacy measures of Facebook in order to take care of its customers across the world. According to an officer from the Federal Trade Commission, data breaches don’t just violate the users’ privacy, it also created various great risks to the economy and even to national security, thus it is essential to address it as soon as possible and effect changes in the security of the business to avoid these attacks significantly if not completely in the future.

Facebook has been criticized by its users all over the world for its inaction which reportedly resulted in the vulnerability of many users private and unique information. The stolen data from Facebook included personal data such as religion, gender, relationship status, birthdate, location, recent search history and was deemed as being worse than financial data exposed.

Consumer Reports remarked that due to the attack, access to data from a very big population of users has been opened and exposed to potentially dangerous cybercrimes. Though information entered into Facebook may be considered trivial, it will have drastic consequences when seen in the bigger picture. Experts even say that the data breached may be more extreme and intense than losing one’s social security card or credit card. Although most data breaches involve financial information, Facebook data is equally devastating as it can be used and misused in a variety of harmful and destructive ways. It is not only invasive to the user but it can further pose greater harm and risk to those whose data has been exposed.

Since the data from Facebook is entered by the consumers themselves, it is very accurate which makes it very valuable for criminals who want to take advantage of the data. According to the same article, the data from Facebook can be at risk of being used for blackmailing or ransomware attacks as people do a lot of personal things and send personal messages on the social media platform. Hackers and other cybercriminals may use this information in a variety of unimaginable ways.

This kind of cyber-attacks definitely affects user satisfaction even to the point of advocating and campaigning for the boycotting of various products and services.

The reason why the attack against Facebook may well be considered the biggest data breach this year is due to its impact and the campaign to boycott the social media site along with the debates it has opened on online data privacy to millions even billions around the world.

The Most Secured Types of Encryption

A secure encryption is very essential to protect online platforms. There are various kinds of encryption.

There are three fundamental encryption types with varying uses. Symmetric encryption allows for the protection of data at rest on a device or in the cloud. It is by far one of the simplest yet the strongest form of encryption which uses a symmetric key for data at rest in a computer or in the cloud. Its keys are generally 128 or 256 bits long. Symmetric encryption means that it uses the same key to encrypt the original text resulting to an unreadable cyphertext and decrypted original text.

Symmetrical encryption is limited in its use in a way that algorithms such as AES are unable to expertly share information across a network spanning various and multiple parties. During times when a big number of people need to access the same data, there has to be a way to distribute the keys without the danger or fear of it being intercepted.

Due to this limitation, there is a difficulty in using symmetric encryption when working across a big network since there is generally an absence of secure ways to transmit the key across the whole network without the presence of another layer of encryption. Furthermore, with symmetric encryption, only the user has access to the key and not the original creator of the device or the algorithm, thus when the password is accidentally forgotten, or the key is lost, then the encrypted data will most probably become undiscoverable.

Asymmetric encryption, on the other hand, protects data in motion during transmission, since symmetric encryption has limitations in sending data across the network, asymmetric data can protect data while it is in motion. It uses a pair of keys with a public key and a private key. Asymmetric encryption is used in a variety of ways, to establish a safe and secure connection along with encrypting emails.

BSA The Software explains that nonetheless, asymmetric encryption technologies also have its own limitation as it can become very vulnerable to “man-in-the-middle attacks” characterized by a bad actor giving the same public key to two recipients each thinking that the key is exclusively theirs. Thus, the bad actor has the ability to be in the middle of the conversation, effectively decrypting information from the middle before it is passed along.

These challenges can be overcome, and ways can be taken in order to ensure that the correct public key is being used and that the keys are distributed to verified and legitimate entities using a trusted software. Secure websites, for example, need to obtain a certificate from their own HTTPS server which in turn comes from a trusted certificate authority. Due to the permission is given by certificate authorities for browsers by signing keys, websites are then able to send public keys allowing the web browser to know that they can indeed trust the public key and thus effectively initiate a secure connection.

Authenticating a person, device or computer is the process of reassuring that the people on both ends of a process are legitimate. Hashing is one essential technology to protect passwords. It is a very common technique to protect passwords when a website is hacked and attacked by cybercriminals.

Specific examples of encryption include:


Triple DES is designed to replace the original Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithm since hackers eventually learned to defeat the previous one with relative ease. Triple DES is the newly recommended standard and is considered the most widely used symmetric algorithm in the industry.


RSA is considered the standard for encrypting data on transit being sent and received over the internet. RSA is considered asymmetric since it employs a pair of keys. The resulting product of an RSA encryption is very difficult to understand and comprehend for attackers.


Twofish is the successor of the older Blowfish, it was considered by the US government in finding its cryptographic standard. It is a very flexible algorithm that works really well with smaller sized computers and it comes with free licensing and copyright for all users.


Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is highly resilient against known attacks; it is used by the US government since its encryption is very useful for protecting classified information.

These kinds of encryption are indeed very important in protecting data privacy and consequently maintaining safety and security of a wide array of institutions and industries’ data, thus it will never hurt to research on these and employ the best program to enjoy all the perks and pleasures of encryption.

Protect your Data Using an Encrypted USB

Encryption is a very useful method to protect data stored on portable devices such as external hard drives and USB flash drives. These devices are very essential in storing memory and data, especially for individuals. With encryption, only the person or the owner who is in possession of the accurate encryption key can decode it. Thus, when the situation arises resulting in the loss of these devices when the user is able to encrypt data with a USB key, it cannot be accessed or used by unauthorized users.

There are many types of USB flash drive.

USB 1.1 is the earliest version which has the purpose of supporting devices at a lower speed such as mouse and keyboard. Depending on the devices, it can operate in two modes, the low-speed mode, and the full speed mode. The low-speed mode allows data transfer at 1.5 Mbps while the high-speed mode allows data transfer at 12 Mbps.

USB 2.0, on the other hand, is the newer version. It supports devices faster but the device has to be designed for USB 2.0 such as flash drives and hard disks. With the USB 2.0 data is transferred faster at 480 Mbps.

USB 3.0 is ever faster and newer, operating are super speed featuring data transfer modes that can reach up to 5 Gbps. Most devices today are eligible and ready with a system which supports USB 3.0

Using a USB Flash Drive has many advantages such as its convenience since it is extremely small and therefore can fit in the user’s pocket or purse, very convenient for transporting, it does not contain any moving parts thus it is very durable and long lasting, USB flash drives’ storage is ever increasing with its price also decreasing, it is widely supported by many computer systems and it uses considerably less power compared to external hard drives.

According to Symantec’s How Drive Encryption Works, there are various strategies when encrypting data and assuring that it’s privacy is maintained. With drive encryption, disks can be protected in cases of qualified theft or incidental loss as it encrypts the whole disk along with the system files, swap files, and hibernation files. If the encrypted disk has been lost or stolen and inserted into another computer, the encryption remains intact to assure that only the authorized owner or user can access the contents.

Nevertheless, drive encryption cannot protect the data when the user has logged in into a system during startup and has consequently left the computer unattended. During these cases, the encrypted system has been unlocked, thus unauthorized users now have the ability and capacity to access the system. File encryption is most useful in these situations as it provides an additional layer of security in cases when the drive encryption has been breached.

The steps in encrypting a USB can be done in just a few simple steps. First, the USB flash drive must be inserted, open My Computer of Windows Explorer, right click on the flash drive and select Turn on BitLocker from the menu. After the BitLocker has prepared the flash drive, the wizard will then prompt the user to choose how you want to unlock the device, passwords will allow the drive to be unlocked in any location and to be shared with certain people. The wizard will then prompt the user to store a recovery key in case the user forgets the password, the recovery key must not be saved on the flash drive you are encrypting. The user will then click on the save the recovery key to a file and in the save BitLocker recovery key as dialog, the user must then browse to a suitable location then click Save. Click next. Then click Start Encrypting. The user must not remove the USB flash drive until the encryption process is complete.

In the year 2013, the encryption algorithm has shown much development with features such as Advanced Encryption 256. AES 256 is used in order to meet the Federal Information Standard 140 which requires level 2. Encryption is continuously developing and improving throughout the years, coming out every year with new features and breakthrough innovations.

An encrypted flash drive is very essential in order to assure the protection of a USB flash drive especially if it is used to store very important and private data. Users should take steps to encrypt data with a USB key to avoid unauthorized use of information from flash drives.…