Assessing privacy in cybersecurity

Almost all businesses have some IT infrastructure and internet access, which implies that nearly all companies are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Organizations must carry out a cybersecurity risk assessment. This procedure determines which assets are most exposed to the cyber dangers the business confronts, to comprehend how significant this risk is, and to be able to manage it. Hazards like fire and floods considered in a standard risk assessment are not in scope since this risk assessment focuses only on cyber threats.

What is included in a cybersecurity risk assessment?

Determine your organization’s primary business goals and the IT resources crucial to achieving them before conducting a cybersecurity risk assessment. To fully understand the threat environment for specific business goals, it is necessary to identify cyberattacks that might negatively impact those assets, determine the probability of such attacks happening, and assess their potential effect. To lower the total risk to a level the company can tolerate, stakeholders and security teams may use this information to make educated choices about how and where to deploy security measures.

Establish the parameters of the risk assessment

Determining what is included in the evaluation is the first step in a risk assessment. It may be the whole company, but this is often a vast endeavor. Therefore, it’s more likely to be a particular department, area, or feature of the company, like payment processing or a web application.

Identify assets

The next step is to identify and compile an inventory of all physical and logical assets that fall within the purview of the risk assessment since you can’t safeguard what you don’t know about. When determining assets, it’s crucial to choose not only those that are regarded as the organization’s crown jewels—assets critical to the operation and likely to be the attackers’ primary target—but also assets that attackers might want to seize control of, like an Active Directory server, picture archive, or communications systems, to use as a springboard for a more powerful attack.

Identify threats

Threats are the strategies, tactics, and procedures used by threat actors that can damage an organization’s resources. Use a threat library, such as the MITRE ATT&CK Knowledge Base, or help from the Cyber Threat Alliance, which both offer high-quality, up-to-date cyber threat information, to identify possible dangers to each asset.

Identify potential issues

This assignment entails defining the repercussions of an identified threat attacking an asset within the scope using a vulnerability. When this information is summarized in straightforward scenarios, it is simpler for all stakeholders to understand the risks they face about essential business objectives. It also makes it easier for security teams to identify the best practices and appropriate measures to address the threat.

Assess dangers and probable effects

The possibility of the risk scenarios listed in Step 2 happening and the effect on the organization if they did are now to be determined. Risk likelihood, or the chance that a particular threat may exploit a given vulnerability, should be assessed in a cybersecurity risk assessment based on the discoverability, exploitability, and repeatability of threats and openness rather than previous events.

Identify and rank the hazards.

Each risk scenario may be categorized using a risk matrix like the one below, where the risk level is “Likelihood times Impact.” The risk level for our hypothetical situation would be “Very High” if a SQL injection attack were thought to be “Likely” or “Highly Likely.” Any scenario that exceeds the predetermined tolerance threshold should be prioritized to reduce risk to a level acceptable to the company.

Document all risks

All detected risk scenarios should be recorded in a risk register. This should be periodically reviewed and updated to guarantee that management obtains the most recent information about cybersecurity threats. To increase the organization’s future security, time and resources must be allocated to a comprehensive and continuous cybersecurity risk assessment. As new cyber threats emerge and new systems or activities are implemented, they will need to be repeated.

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Tips for Implementing Secure Mobile Solutions

Keeping the devices they are in charge of at a minimum degree of security is one of the fundamental duties of every systems administrator. There are several easy actions any systems administrator can take to keep things operating safely and securely, so they aren’t always the first, last, and only line of defense in keeping their network, cloud, and mobile operations secure.

Make a policy for mobile device security.

Establish a device use policy before giving your staff cell phones or tablets. Establish precise guidelines for what use is permissible. Include the steps that will be taken if staff members break the policy. Employees must be aware of the security risks associated with smartphone usage and the security precautions they may take to reduce those risks. Users who are knowledgeable and responsible are your first line of protection against online threats.

Maintain the Devices’ Most Recent Software and Antivirus Programs

Mobile device software updates often contain fixes for numerous security flaws that might let in mobile malware and other security risks. Therefore, installing the updates as soon as they are made available is a security best practice.

There are numerous solutions to pick from, and it may come down to taste when it comes to antivirus software for mobile devices. Some may be downloaded for free from the app store, while others cost money and often provide superior assistance.

Many apps support antivirus software and check for questionable behavior in call records, SMS texts, and MMS messages. They may employ blocklists to stop people from installing known malware on their devices.

Back-Up Device Content Frequently

Data on the mobile devices used by your firm should be periodically backed up, just like the data on your PC. You can rest easy knowing your necessary information is protected and can be recovered if a device is lost or stolen.

Employ a password manager

Since most people find passwords annoying and challenging to remember, let’s face it: they won’t be going away anytime soon. Not to mention, we regularly have to replace them, which adds to the discomfort of the procedure. Consider the password manager a “book of passwords” protected with a master key that you only know.

They save passwords and create secure, one-of-a-kind passwords that prevent you from repeatedly using the name of your kid or pet. We urge you to combine your password manager with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA, commonly known as 2FA) to safeguard your online apps and services.

Smartphones and tablet computers are commonplace in the contemporary corporate environment due to their ease. With increased use, it is crucial to take precautions against new and dated mobile threats to safeguard your company’s critical data.

See our cybersecurity advice sheet for even more suggestions on preventing would-be hackers. Last, there is never 100% assurance, even with the finest security measures. Whether a cyberattack occurs via an employee’s mobile device or your corporate server, it’s critical to safeguard your business from liability concerns.

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Understanding a Threat Actor

Any individual or group that does havoc online is referred to be a threat actor. They carry out disruptive assaults on people or organizations by exploiting loopholes in computers, networks, and other systems.

Targets of Threat Actors

Target selection is often indiscriminate by threat actors. Instead of looking for specific individuals, they search for weaknesses to exploit. In actuality, automated hackers and fraudsters that target large numbers of computers spread like an illness throughout networks.

The term “big game hunters” or “advanced persistent threats” may be used to describe some cybercriminals. They deliberately assault a limited number of valuable targets. They take the time to research their target and launch a focused assault with a higher chance of success.

Reasons to be Worried

Threat actors also develop at the same rate as cybersecurity. Despite having up-to-date malware protection software, hackers often create new attack vectors. On the other hand, threat information enables you to make quicker, more informed security choices that counteract threat actors.

Threat actors’ types

Malicious actors come in many different forms. The majority come under the general category of cybercriminals, including fraudsters, adrenaline seekers, and ideologues. However, insider threat actors and nation-state threat actors are two distinct categories.

Internal Threats

Because they originate inside the targeted network, insider attacks are challenging to detect and mitigate. An insider threat must not compromise security measures to steal data or carry out other cybercrimes. They might be a member of the board, a consultant, an employee, or any other person having special access to the system.

Threat actors from nationalities

Threat actors from nation-states operate nationally and often seek information on the nuclear, financial, or technological industries. This kind of danger often relates to the military or government intelligence services, well-trained, exceedingly quiet, and covered by their country’s legal system. States sometimes work with other groups. Outside groups sometimes lack the competence to bypass a security operations center (SOC), yet the state can disavow liability.

How to Prevent Threat Actors

The majority of threat actors enter via phishing. This takes the shape of legitimate emails asking for a password change or phony login sites that steal information. Although your workers may no longer fall for the “Nigerian prince” hoax, phishing techniques are becoming more sophisticated with time. Your business may become a target of a cyberattack as long as a human mistake is possible.

The following are the recommended strategies for avoiding threat actors:

To cut down on human error, educate staff about cybersecurity.

To keep data secure, use multifactor identification and often update your passwords.

Keep an eye on staff behavior to spot any potential insider risks.

Install cybersecurity programs to thwart destructive attackers.

Additionally, it would help if you stayed away from any phishing scams. Emails that want a prompt response should be regarded with mistrust. Any internet-enabled gadget might be a weak spot in your security, so keep them all updated and on secure networks.

Systems to Implement

VPNs and guest networks, which restrict visitor access to sensitive data and devices, are two straightforward defensive systems you may deploy to defend yourself from threat actors. Additionally, you want to have a backup strategy for when an assault does succeed.

An effective offense is the best defense. Take an active strategy by doing threat hunting rather than reacting to assaults after your system has been penetrated. Threat hunters aggressively search out, look into, and eliminate malware as soon as they see suspicious behavior using this human-powered threat-hunting method. Security staff may stop cyberattacks before they do irreversible harm.

Defend yourself from threat actors You may be the target of malicious threat actors immediately; respond quickly to them. Learn about the many risks in your environment and quickly implement effective active security measures to defend yourself from all forms of cyberattacks.

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Understanding Open Source Intelligence

It’s critical to comprehend what open-source intelligence is before examining its typical sources and uses. Open source refers especially to data that is accessible to the whole population. A piece of information cannot fairly be regarded as open source if it requires any specialized knowledge, equipment, or methods to access it.

Importantly, open-source material is not limited to what can be discovered using the top search engines. Google-able websites and other resources are unquestionably significant sources of open-source data, but they are by no means the sole ones.

First off, the main search engines are unable to index a significant percentage of the internet. The so-called “deep web” is a collection of websites, databases, files, and other content that Google, Bing, Yahoo, and any other search engine you can think of are unable to index due to a number of factors, such as the existence of login pages or paywalls. Despite this, a large portion of the deep web’s information may be regarded as open source since it is easily accessible to the general public.

Penetration testing and ethical hacking

Open-source information is used by security experts to spot possible vulnerabilities in friendly networks so that they may be fixed before threat actors take advantage of them. The common flaws are as follows:

Critical information is accidentally gets out, maybe through social media.

open ports or insecure devices with internet access.

Unpatched software, such as outdated versions of popular CMS packages on websites.

assets that have been disclosed or leaked, such as confidential code on pastebins.

Recognition of External Threats

The internet is a great resource for learning about the most important dangers facing a business, as we have already covered in great detail. Open-source information helps security professionals to prioritize their time and resources to handle the most important current threats, from determining which new vulnerabilities are currently being exploited to intercepting threat actor “chatter” about an impending assault.

To assess a threat before taking action, this sort of job often involves an analyst finding and correlating several data pieces. For instance, although a single threatening tweet would not raise any red flags, the same post would be treated differently if it were connected to a threat organization that is known to operate in a certain sector.

Techniques for Open Source Intelligence

It’s time to look at some of the methods that may be used to obtain and evaluate open-source data now that we’ve discussed the applications of open-source intelligence (both good and negative).

First, you need to have a plan in place for gathering and using open-source information. Since there is so much information accessible via open sources, it is not advised to approach open-source intelligence from the standpoint of discovering everything and everything that could be interesting or valuable. As we’ve previously established, doing so would just overwhelm you.

Passive collection and active collection are the two broad categories under which open-source intelligence is gathered.

Threat intelligence platforms (TIPs) are often used in the passive collection to integrate much threat feeds into a single, readily accessible place. The potential of information overload still exists despite the fact that this is a big improvement over manual intelligence gathering. This issue is resolved by more sophisticated threat intelligence products like Recorded Future, which automate the process of prioritizing and ignoring alarms in accordance with the unique requirements of each firm.

Similar to this, organized threat organizations often use botnets to gather crucial data using methods like traffic sniffing and keylogging. On the other hand, active collecting involves using a range of methods to look for particular information or insights. This kind of data collecting is often carried out by security specialists for one of two reasons:

A possible hazard has been indicated by a passively gathered alert, and further information is needed. An intelligence-collecting exercise, like a penetration testing exercise, has a very narrow objective.

What is Domain Hijacking?

The act of altering a domain name’s registration without the original owner’s consent or by abusing privileges on domain hosting and domain registrar systems is known as domain hijacking. The business of the original domain name owner suffers greatly from domain name hijacking, which has a variety of consequences, including:

Financial losses: Businesses that depend on their websites for sales, such as e-commerce and SaaS firms, stand to lose millions of dollars if they lose ownership of one of their most important assets, the domain. One of the biggest cybersecurity concerns facing internet organizations is domain hijacking.

Damage to reputation: Domain hijackers may take over an infected domain’s email accounts and use the name to support other cyberattacks like malware installation or social engineering assaults.

Regulatory damages: By acquiring control of a domain name, hijackers might replace the genuine web page with a copycat one intended to collect sensitive information (PII). This practice is known as phishing. The objective is to any information that might be used in identity theft or to obtain unauthorized access to consumer accounts, including account information, contact information (such as email addresses and phone numbers), social media accounts, personal data, and IP addresses.

Top Domain Hijacking Techniques

  • The most effective method is social engineering (phishing). The domain hijacker may impersonate the registrar and phone the domain owner, or he may persuade him to enter the required data on a phony login page.
  • Another technique involves the attacker claiming to be the domain owner in order to persuade a domain registrar to transfer domain control to them.
  • The hijacker may also use the registrar system’s vulnerability to their advantage.
  • Using obsolete software, especially old WordPress installations, is risky since they might be exploited for weak passwords or subject to SQL injection attacks.
  • A victim’s PC may be infected with malware by hijackers in order to get passwords.
  • Another option for domain hijackers is to wait until the domain is about to expire in the hopes that a human mistake would prevent the renewal in time.

What is the Process of Domain Hijacking?

Typically, domain hijacking happens when someone gains access to a domain name registrar without authorization or takes advantage of a vulnerability therein, via social engineering, or by accessing the domain name owner’s email address and then changing their domain name registrar password.

In order to impersonate the real domain name owner and convince the domain registrar to change the registration details or transfer the domain to another registrar under their control, it is also a frequent practice to obtain personal information about the real domain name owner. Other techniques include keyloggers stealing login passwords, email vulnerabilities, vulnerabilities at the domain registration level, and phishing assaults.

How to Get Back Stolen Domains

What your registrar can do to stop the assault will have a significant impact on your ability to reclaim a hijacked domain. Sometimes the original owner might get the registration information. When the hijacker was able to shift to another registrar, especially if that registrant is based in a foreign country, things become trickier.

Ask your registrar to use ICANN’s Registrar Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy when a stolen domain is moved to another registrar in an effort to reclaim ownership of the name. There is also the possibility of using ICANN’s Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) to try to reclaim stolen domain names, however, this approach may not be suitable in all circumstances.

In certain circumstances, this won’t work, and you’ll need to file a lawsuit to regain the domain. The genuine problem (loss of website and/or email) may take a while to resolve because of the extensive procedure involved.

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Understanding the hashing algorithm

A hashing algorithm is a function that produces a fixed-length numeric string output from a data string. In most cases, the output string is much shorter than the original data. Since hash algorithms are intended to be collision-resistant, it is very unlikely that two pieces of data would ever produce the same text.

The MD5 (Message-Digest algorithm 5) and the SHA-1 were the most used hashing algorithms. But MD5 and SHA-1 are considered no more secure hashing algorithms since it was hacked and was replaced by a secure SHA-2, which is a more secure hashtag. The SHA-256 algorithm returns hash value of 256-bits or 64 hexadecimal digits.

We would have to go through each and every item in the list if we were to search for anything in it. On the other hand, if we utilized a hashing algorithm to index a place based on the object’s key, we could instantly access its value by traveling to that specific index. Hashing expedites the process of locating an item on a list.

A hash function essentially transfers one piece of data to another. They are used to produce indices and checksums, among other things. Passwords are encrypted and signed using cryptographic hashes. Wikipedia has a well-written explanation that is probably more concise than mine.

Since hashing algorithms are intended to be collision-resistant, it is very unlikely that two pieces of data would ever produce the same text. When transferring or storing digital files, it is standard practice to verify data integrity using SHA-2.

Hash functions are utilized for three main reasons:

A value may map to a location by being hashed into a number for quick search. As a result, a value may be discovered all at once rather than having to be sought in a lengthy list. These types of data collections are referred to as dictionaries, hashmaps, hashtables, hashsets, etc.

Password storing and comparison – a server may keep the hash value rather than the password by employing a one-way hash (i.e., it cannot be reversed). The user’s password is then transformed into the hash value and submitted to the server for comparison when they log in again. As a result, the server never receives or sees the password itself; instead, some value is derivable from the password. It protects the user’s credentials against various espionage techniques.

Data integrity tests, such as CRC hashing, cause hashes to vary considerably even though the data is just slightly changed. This implies that comparing data supplied via a communication channel against a hash may detect data corruption. Most types of networks divide data into packets, each of which contains a hash that allows the recipient to verify that they got the data correctly by comparing the computed hash of the received data to the received hash.

Thus, the “issues” that hashing algorithms addressed were:

  • locating a certain item in a long list without having to hunt for it.
  • saving “passwords” and login information without ever transmitting or really keeping any such information.
  • ensuring that no damaged data is received after being transmitted.

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Implementing Public Key Infrastructure

In Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), certificates are used for authentication in place of Email ID and Password. PKI utilizes asymmetric encryption, which employs public and Private Keys, to encrypt communication. The management of certificates and keys is handled by PKI, which also generates a very secure environment that users, programs, and other devices may utilize. For both parties to trust one another and verify their validity, PKI employs X.509 certificates and public keys, where the key is used for end-to-end encrypted communication.

While the user verifies the server’s authenticity to ensure it is not a spoof, PKI is mainly utilized in TLS/SSL to secure connections between the user and the server. IoT device authentication may also be done using SSL certificates.

The purpose of Public Key Infrastructure

PKI provides a mechanism to identify users, gadgets, and applications while delivering strong encryption to ensure that both sides’ communications stay private. PKI offers digital signatures and certificates in addition to authentication and identification to let certificate holders build personalized login credentials and verify their identity.

PKI is used by TLS/SSL, which is used across the Internet. The client obtains the certificate and verifies it to guarantee its validity before communicating with the server (in this example, a web browser). Afterward, it uses asymmetric encryption to secure all communication with and from the server. The public key, signature method, issuer of the certificate, certificate holder, and other details are all included in the digital certificate.

PKI is used in software signing, digital signatures, and SSL across the internet. Smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, passports, mobile banking, and other gadgets employ PKI. Organizations use PKI in various methods to maintain security at its highest level, solve compliance difficulties, adhere to all legislation, and keep everything secure.

What encryptions are used in Public Key Infrastructure?

Symmetric and asymmetric encryption are both used by PKI to safeguard all of its resources.

In asymmetric encryption, two different keys are used for encryption and decryption, also known as public key cryptography. A public key is one of them, while a private key is the other. Although the private key cannot be produced from the public key, the public key may be used to create the private key. Only the public key may decode encryption and vice versa. This pair of keys is called a “public and private key pair.”

A public key that will start a secure conversation between two parties is connected to SSL certificates for encrypted communication between a client and a server. In comparison to symmetric encryption, asymmetric encryption is more recent and slower. A secret key is exchanged via asymmetric encryption during the first handshake between the two parties.

For subsequent communication, symmetric encryption is established using the exchanged secret key. Because symmetric encryption is quicker than asymmetric encryption, solid end-to-end security may be achieved by combining the two.

Digital certificates: what are they? What does it do?

In PKI, digital certificates are often utilized. A digital certificate is a particular form of identity for a person, thing, server, website, and other application. Digital certificates are used to authenticate and verify an entity’s legitimacy. It also enables two computers to trust and establish encrypted communication without worrying about becoming spoofs. Additionally, it aids in verification, which facilitates the growth and credibility of e-commerce in the payment industry.

The importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Cybersecurity

Artificial Intelligence (AI) assists under-resourced security operations analysts in keeping ahead of threats as cyberattacks increase in number and complexity. Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies like machine learning and natural language processing curate threat information from millions of research papers, blogs, and news articles to provide quick insights to cut through the noise of daily alerts, significantly lowering reaction times.

The world’s dangerous environment is evolving. Consumers who use the internet nowadays confront several new hazards. Massive, mainly automated botnets that infect consumer electronics are one issue. On the other hand, social engineering (or phishing) assaults aim to trick people into disclosing their cash and personal information.

Security solutions in the past were primarily reactive: researchers at cybersecurity businesses would find new malware samples, analyze them, and add them to malware lists. Although the industry continues to use this strategy, it is now operating more proactively, particularly in light of concerns from social engineering.

In this change, machine learning or AI algorithms are crucial. They are tremendously helpful for quickly automating decision-making processes and identifying patterns from incomplete or altered data, even if they are not a one-stop solution for all cybersecurity issues. These algorithms function by first learning from real-world information, such as current security risks, false positives, and the most recent dangers discovered by researchers across the globe.

AI algorithms are very effective pattern-detection tools that outperform antiquated list-based security methods. AI improves and outperforms these systems by spotting new threats with irregular patterns. This level of AI competency requires significant learning, which can only be attained with reliable data sources for each danger vector.

Systems that use machine learning are not perfect and are subject to error. However, once the algorithms have a margin of error that is sufficiently small, they become essential for online security since they make decisions quickly while minimizing user friction. This is important for scaling up cybersecurity and has a positive side effect of employing AI. It increases security and effectively addresses a wide range of threats.

Due to the nature of security threats, malware, and adversarial tactics—which often develop by building upon prior exploitations and viruses—AI algorithms can avoid specific fresh attacks. Every year, very few original surfaces; instead, most criminal actors either employ malware-as-a-service suites or modify already-existing, released dangerous code.

The ability to warn users before they reach dubious websites, especially phishing sites, is one of the most exciting and significant developments in AI cybersecurity. Using AI to stop new attacks before they surface on industry databases is crucial since social engineering attempts often do the most significant harm and cause customers to lose their privacy and money.

In the future, cloud-based AI-driven cybersecurity will also have a crucial function beyond traditional firewalls and antivirus software since it may be installed on the router to improve the security of all devices connected to a network.

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The Importance of VPN Tunnels

An encrypted connection known as a VPN tunnel ensures that neither your ISP nor the sites you visit have access to your personal information or your online activities, barring the practical impossibility of cracking the encryption. The alpha and omega of online safety, according to many VPN providers, are tunnels since they significantly increase the security of your internet connection.

In order to circumvent some of this monitoring, a VPN, or virtual private network, reroutes your connection and then encrypts it. Your connection is redirected via one of its servers rather than through your ISP to the website. This changes your IP address to the server’s, giving the impression that you are in another place. This makes it more difficult to track you and makes it easier for you to get over local limitations.

One helpful approach to picture VPN tunnels is to imagine yourself operating a vehicle. Anyone can see you while you’re driving on the open road. It becomes much more difficult as soon as you enter a tunnel. The tunnel in a VPN also includes guards on either end and some kind of anti-surveillance security within, to extend the analogy a bit further.

A VPN employs what is referred to as a protocol to encrypt your connection. A protocol is kind of agreement between two computers on how to “speak” to each other using certain rules. This establishes specifications for a VPN protocol, including the kind of encryption to be used and the ports via which traffic should be routed.

There are other encryption methods available, but AES is by far the most used. It is available in two versions: 128-bit and 256-bit, the latter of which is sometimes referred to as “military-grade encryption.” However, in terms of security, It doesn’t seem to be much of a difference in practice. Your speed is one of several variables that might be impacted by the protocol type. In general, your connection will be slower the “heavier” the encryption.

This is still a modest price to pay for greater online security and some degree of anonymity, however. A solid VPN service can shield you from monitoring and other types of intrusion, however, you’ll still need to utilize incognito mode to further cover your digital trails and take some common sense measures like avoiding opening questionable links.

Typically, when a user connects a device to a VPN, the VPN tunnel receives all of the user’s network traffic. Split tunneling enables a portion of the traffic to leave the VPN tunnel. Split tunneling essentially allows users’ devices to connect to two networks at once, one public and one private. The Safe Shell (SSH) protocol creates secure tunnels as well as encrypted communications between clients and servers. SSH works at the application layer, or layer 7, of the OSI model. The network layer is where IPsec, IP-in-IP, and GRE function in contrast.

A tunneling mechanism called IP-in-IP is used to include IP packets within other IP packets. IP-in-IP is not utilized for VPNs and does not encrypt packets. Its primary application is to create network pathways that are otherwise unavailable.

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Analogy of control types in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity layers of protection

I’ve said that adding more layers of security may make your data safer in order to clarify why we need firewalls, antivirus software, and passwords in addition to security solutions (if done right). Making a hacker clear as many hurdles as you can before they can access your sensitive data will lower your risk.

Here, locking up the royal jewels is the parallel. Then you close the lockable chest that is enclosed in the vault and place the box inside. If you want to take the comparison a step further, you might imagine everything as being contained inside a fortress that is encircled by castle walls and all of which is guarded by a moat.

Putting extra security measures in place might make it more difficult for the wrong individuals to access your sensitive data, even if a hacker manages to get past one tier of defense. Because of this, you often need to go through numerous stages, such as inputting a password to access your computer, another one to access a particular program or service, and then utilizing 2-factor authentication to confirm your identity.

Cybersecurity arms race

When it comes to cybersecurity, both sides are continually improving their weapons and defenses, much as in an arms race. You must constantly improve your security plan or you risk falling behind the pack while using a sword and shield to fend off fighter jets.

On the one hand, hackers are continuously developing new phishing tactics, making new and more deadly varieties of malware, constructing traps for victims to fall into, and looking for new weaknesses to attack.

On the other hand, in order to avoid becoming a victim of new threats, the good guys need to create safeguards against them, update security software definition files continuously, patch software and operating systems on a regular basis, be vigilant online and inform everyone in their organization about them.

Your primary email holds the keys to many other accounts

Recently, we had to explain to a computer newbie why hackers may potentially access other accounts tied to the main email account if they get access to it (banking, shopping, secondary email accounts, etc.).

The analogy we used to make everything make sense was as follows: Assume that your family members dwell in several homes, and you store the keys to each location at your principal household. If someone breaks into the main home, they may enter the other residences as well since they have access to all the keys. You must thus replace the locks at every residence if you want to be secure; otherwise, you risk another break-in.

This entails updating any account passwords that are connected to your main email address in the real world. Make sure that no one has tampered with your associated cellphone numbers, backup email addresses, and security questions across all of your accounts, since these are additional entry points the bad guys may use even if the primary passwords are changed.

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