What is Security Posture Assessment?

An organization’s cybersecurity posture is assessed to make sure it is solid.

A posture assessment is one of several procedures that must be completed in order to advance the cybersecurity maturity level.

A company must have a strong cybersecurity system in place or else its security is at danger.

Most firms are now very concerned about data breaches, cyberattacks, and online dangers, therefore they are devoting time and resources to assessing their cybersecurity posture.

However, there are several cybersecurity techniques and providers accessible, which makes it challenging and confusing for a firm to choose one.

Before moving on, let’s take a closer look at the definition of posture evaluation.

Security posture assessment flowWhat is Security Posture Assessment?

A Security Posture Assessment (SPA) is a thorough assessment of the entire security posture of an organization.

It entails examining and evaluating several facets of a company’s security procedures, policies, and practices in order to identify weaknesses, dangers, and potential areas for development.

An organization’s security controls, procedures, and tactics are evaluated in order to learn more about their efficacy and resilience.

It assists in identifying areas of vulnerability in the security infrastructure and offers suggestions for risk reduction, security measure improvement, and alignment with industry best practices and compliance standards.

Several areas may be assessed as part of a security posture assessment, including:

  • Network security include examining the organization’s firewalls, routers, and other network components for holes in their setup, possible entry points for unauthorized users, and other vulnerabilities.
  • System security is assessing the security settings and configurations of workstations, servers, operating systems, databases, and other crucial systems to spot weaknesses and possible security holes.
  • Application security is the process of evaluating the safety of software, online, and mobile apps to spot weaknesses like poor input validation, weak authentication, or unsafe coding techniques.
  •  Analyzing physical access restrictions, security guards, surveillance systems, and other physical security measures to find gaps that might permit illegal entry or other breaches.
  •  Analyzing the organization’s methods for protecting data, such as data categorization, encryption, access restrictions, steps to stop data leaking, and backup and recovery processes.
  • Reviewing the organization’s security policies, incident response plans, disaster recovery plans, and employee awareness initiatives to make sure they are thorough, current, and well stated. Security Policies and Procedures.
  • Assessing the organization’s compliance with key security laws, industry standards, and regulatory requirements can help you find any gaps and make sure you’re in compliance.
  • Evaluation of the efficiency of security awareness programs and training given to workers to make sure they have the information and abilities to adhere to secure practices.

A thorough report detailing the findings, vulnerabilities, and suggestions for enhancing the organization’s security posture is often produced after the evaluation.

The report may be used as a road map for putting security improvements into practice, for prioritizing remediation initiatives, and for boosting overall security resilience.


Security posture assessment process
What are the different security postures?

Security postures describe the overarching strategy and mentality that an organization employs in relation to security. Several typical security postures are listed below:

Permissive Posture: In a permissive posture, companies put user comfort and ease of use ahead of strict security measures.

Users should be able to do their duties with the fewest limitations possible, which often leads to laxer security precautions.

This stance may be dangerous since it might make you more susceptible to intrusions and breaches.

Defensive: Taking a defensive stance places a significant emphasis on security procedures and controls that guard against possible dangers.

Multiple layers of security measures, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, access restrictions, and encryption, must be put in place.

The emphasis is on limiting hazards and preventing illegal access.

Resilient posture: A resilient posture highlights the company’s capacity to tolerate and bounce back from security catastrophes.

It entails putting in place reliable backup and recovery systems, redundancy safeguards, and disaster recovery strategies.

The main objectives are to reduce downtime, ensure company continuity, and swiftly resume regular operations.

Agile Posture: Adopting an agile posture entails modifying security controls and procedures to keep up with quickly changing threats and technology.

It places a strong emphasis on adaptability and the capacity to act rapidly in the face of new security threats.

Continuous monitoring, threat information collection, and quick deployment of security updates and fixes are often components of this posture.

Risk-Aware Posture: Adopting a risk-aware posture is being aware of and skillfully handling security threats.

Organizations adopting this stance carry out thorough risk assessments, rank security expenditures according to risk categories, and put in place the necessary controls and mitigation techniques.

The emphasis is on striking a balance between risk management and corporate goals.

collaborative posture: A collaborative posture entails actively involving internal and external stakeholders in order to improve security.

It involves encouraging information sharing and cooperation with partners, developing a culture of security awareness, and integrating staff in security procedures and decision-making.

The goal is to instill security awareness within the company.

Organizations that value privacy rights and the protection of personal information adopt a privacy-focused stance.

This stance requires developing robust data protection safeguards, privacy policies, and consent processes in accordance  data protection legislation like GDPR, LGPD, PIPEDA, and CCPA as well as industry-specific regulations like GLBA, FISMA, CPS 234, the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation, and HIPAA,

Strategy for improving Security posture assessment

For improving the posture, you should have a tool in place which can do the following:

  • The tool you deployed must define your inventory inside the company.
  • The tool must be able to screen all the IT assets for all significant risks, including phishing, obsolete or unpatched software, malware, SQL injection, and others.
  • The tool should provide analytics from which to make references.
  • A critical level for these flaws should be established based on the degree of vulnerability it introduces into the system.
  • clearly state the security posture assessment’s goals. Identify the security infrastructure, policies, and procedures that need evaluation and improvement. To monitor progress, set quantifiable objectives and success criteria.
  • Make sure the evaluation addresses all pertinent security topics, such as network security, system security, application security, physical security, data security, and compliance needs. Gather information by using a mix of automated tools, manual testing, interviews, and documentation reviews.
  • Following a posture assessment, the system should be constantly monitored for new vulnerabilities.
  • Create a dedicated staff that will routinely maintain a security posture evaluation. If a certain crew will be looking at it, maintenance will be simple.
  • Participate important stakeholders in the evaluation process. This comprises the IT staff, the security teams, the management, the legal and compliance teams, and other pertinent departments. Their participation and cooperation will provide insightful information and aid in identifying important areas for development.
  • Utilize well-established security frameworks and standards, such as the CIS Controls, ISO 27001, or the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. These frameworks give best practices for putting security controls in place and offer a systematic method for evaluating security postures.
  • Make sure the assessment report contains concise, doable suggestions for correcting found weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Give best practices, instructions, and comprehensive processes for remediation. Adjust the advice to the organization’s unique situation, resources, and competencies.
  • Create a thorough remediation plan that specifies the procedures, deadlines, and accountable parties for carrying out the suggested security changes. Set goals, assign resources, and prioritize projects to keep track of.
  • Consider hiring outside security consultants or experts to undertake impartial analyses and provide unbiased viewpoints. The efficacy of the evaluation may be increased by the specific expertise, experience, and impartial viewpoints of outside specialists.
  • Promoting a solid security culture among the staff may go a long way toward preventing these occurrences. Employee awareness and education can help them to avoid clicking on harmful links, which will help to reduce the frequency of phishing assaults.

Planning a strategy for robust posture assessment

You should know how to have an effective strategy for making your system more robust and cyber-attack defensive.

The security posture assessment professionals have a very difficult task on their shoulders. They must establish the priorities of attacks that need to be dealt with first.

You should always know how to manage and mistake in case any cyber-security risk comes into your organization. Proper governance and having proper cyber-security programs in the organization will make sure that how planning a strategy is important.

It is always to identify the sensitive information because safeguarding them at any cost should be a part of our strategy. IT teams should regularly perform vulnerability scanning, phishing simulations, and penetration testing to minimize security thefts and increase the posture assessment level.

There are different frameworks for improving posture assessment. OCTAVE is one of the frameworks which is widely used.
It is an operational critical threat, asset and vulnerability evaluation which is useful for an organization that knows the major gaps and know how to fill these.

Another framework is FAIR which means Factor analysis of information risk. Last is the NIST RMF framework which should be implemented in case you avoid the first two frameworks due to compatibility issues. Risk assessment is a mandatory step in all the three frameworks and continuous assessments are a core part of the cyber-security level analysis.

Phases involved in Security posture assessment
Planning Phase: Validating the scope of the assessment, resource identification, stakeholders identification, developing a work-plan, etc. happens in this phase.
Documentation review: All the documents that are required to commence testing will be reviewed in this phase.
Assessment: Internet exposure, on-site audit, findings, analysis and -defining  cyber-security posture will be carried over in this phase
Reporting: All the deliverable will be listed in the report

When does your company need a cybersecurity posture assessment?

  • If you wish to know the current status of the cybersecurity
  • For implementing correct and mandatory cybersecurity measures
  • If you wish to have a detailed analysis to check on the vulnerabilities
  • Your company defensive system against cyber attacks is not up to the mark
  • if you wish to get ROI on you cybersecurity measures
  • If there is any kind of integration happening

Tips to improve your cyber-security posture

  • Have a real-time updatable inventory of the IT assets of your company
  • Continuous monitoring of IT assets and expose the system to planned cyber and see how the defensive mechanism is
  • Analyze the result and do a proper risk assessment and mark the vulnerability points
  • Once improved start from the first periodically


So, we learned how the organization used to ignore these threats and that lead to a drastic loss.

To safeguard your data and maintain cybersecurity have a robust and high-level cybersecurity posture assessment in place.

This is going to act as a barrier for your product, assets, and organizations. Start making your strategy today and make your organization risk free.

What is The Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS?

Many of you might be accustomed to HTTP:// or HTTPS://. But what do they mean? What is the Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS?

Let’s have a look at the topic HTTP vs HTTPS in detail.

What is HTTP?

  • HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. They are a set of rules which govern the transmission of any information on the World Wide Web.
  • HTTP also sets the standard rules for the servers, and web browsers to communicate with each other.
  • HTTP, built on top of TCP; is an application layer network protocol.
  • HTTP is an application layer protocol. It transfers information between networked devices.
  • HTTP works on top layers of the network protocol stack.  HTTP flow includes a client machine that sends a request to a server and gets a  response message in return.
  • HTTP is known as stateless protocol as every command is independent and executes separately. It does not require the reference of any previous command that is executed.

Sample HTTP Request

GET /index.html HTTP/1.1
Host: www.ABC.com
User-Agent: Chrome/5.0
Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html*/*
Accept-Language: en-us
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8
Connection: keep-alive
<blank line>

Sample HTTP Response

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 17:36:27 GMT
Server: Apache-Coyote/1.1
Content-Type: text/html;charset=UTF-8
Content-Length: 1846


Also Read: What does your company cyber system need vulnerability Assessment?

What is HTTPS?

  • HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure.  As the name suggests it’s a more secured and advanced version of HTTP.
  • For Data Communication HTTPS uses port no. 443. To enhance the security of all the transactions, HTTPS encrypts all the communications that are done with SSL.
  • HTTPS is a mix of HTTP and SSL/TLS protocols.
  • HTTPS works by establishing a  secure encrypted link between the browser and the server by providing provides two-way security of Data.
  • It safeguards your potentially sensitive data from various threats.

HTTPS Example

Sample HTTPS Request

request(‘https://example.com/url?a=b’, function (error, response, body) {
  if (!error && response.statusCode == 200) {

Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS

Features exclusive to HTTPS

HTTPS takes an upper hand on HTTP, and there are a few features that are exclusive to HTTPS. Some of them are:

  • GeoLocation: geolocation enables to find the user location and this feature is exclusive to HTTPS only.
  • Web push notifications: Web Push notifications are another feature that is exclusive to HTTPS only.
  • PWA – Progressive Web App: this very impressive feature allows you to convert your website into an Android mobile app. It is available only on HTTPS.
  • GetUserMedia: HTTP puts a limitation on users by not allowing them to use a camera/microphone.

What are the major differences between HTTP and HTTPS?

  1. HTTP does not have any advanced security mechanism whereas HTTPS offers higher security with SSL or TLS Digital Certificate that provides security to all your communication that takes place between server and browser.
  2. By default HTTP works on port 80 and HTTPS works on port 443.
  3. Another major difference lies in that HTTPS runs at Transport Layer whereas HTTP runs at the Application Layer.
  4. Data in HTTP is transferred as plain text and data in HTTPS is transferred as encrypted text.
  5. When talking about their speed, HTTP takes a front seat with being faster as HTTPS consumes more time in encryption.

Now let’s talk in terms of the advantages and disadvantages of HTTP and HTTPS.

First, let’s discuss the advantages of both  HTTP and HTTPS:

Advantages of HTTP

  1. HTTP has the advantage of being executed with other protocols on the networks
  2. It is not dependent on Runtime support
  3. HTTP pages are faster to access as they are directly stored on computer and internet caches and do not require any encryption.
  4. It allows cross-platform porting
  5. It can be used over Firewalls.
  6. HTTP is platform-independent
  7. Global applications are possible
  8. It is not Connection Oriented

Advantages of HTTPS

  1. Generally, all the sites running on HTTPS, redirect themselves automatically. Even if your type HTTP://, it will be redirected to HTTPS.
  2. It is used for all secured transactions that allow users like online banking.
  3. It uses SSL technology to protect users. Each SSL contains unique, authenticated information about the certificate owner.

Disadvantages/limitations of HTTP vs HTTPS

Since we have had a glimpse of the advantages of both HTTP and HTTPS, let’s have a look into their limitations.

Disadvantages of HTTP

  1. It provides less or no privacy as content is visible to everyone.
  2. It uses no encryption method and hence the content can be altered by anyone. In short, it provides no security.

Disadvantages of HTTPS

  1. Though HTTPS provides security, it cannot secure the cached pages on the browser.
  2. There is no security to the data in the browser memory.
  3. HTTPS is slower.
  4. It enhances the computational overhead.
  5. It increased the network overhead

Difference between HTTP and HTTPS.

Parameter HTTP HTTPS
Protocol It is a hypertext transfer protocol. It is a hypertext transfer protocol with security.
Security It is less secure. Anyone can read and edit content. It is more secure and used for secure transactions like banking, etc.
Port Port 80 is the default port Port 443 is the default port.
Usage HTTP URLs begin with HTTP:// HTTPS URLs begin with https://
Used in It is generally used for a website that is focused more on information purposes like blogs It is used for websites that require security like banking websites.
Encryption It does not encrypt data while transferring it. The information is transferred as it is and hence is more vulnerable to threats The data is encrypted before being transferred and is again decrypted at the receiver’s end. Since the data is in encrypted form there are fewer chances of any security threats.
Protocol It operates at the TCP/IP level. Uses HTTP for transmission, with an enhanced TLS/SSL connection for better security
Validations No validations are required It requires an SSL certificate
Data encryption No encryption Uses encryption to secure data
Search It does not have any effect on search. It does not play any role in improving search ranking. It improves the search ranking.
Speed It is faster than HTTPS, as no time is consumed in encryption and decryption It is slower than HTTP, as  time is consumed in encryption and decryption of data
Vulnerability It is very vulnerable to hackers It is less vulnerable to hackers.

Also read: Top 10 Vulnerability list released OWASP that can harm your company

What is an SSL Certificate?

Commonly called a TSL, an SSL certificate is a digitally bind-key that contains crucial information about an organization.

After installation of SSL certificates set a padlock that indicates a safe web connection with the PC and the web server connected to it.

SSL certificate helps in encrypting internet traffic and verifies the server identity.

The information included in the SSL certificate

  • The domain name for which the certificate was issued for
  • For whom was the certificate issued to
  • Digital signature of the company
  • The authority which issued this certificate
  • Issue date
  • Subdomains that are associated with the company
  • The expiration date of the certificate
  • Public key

Why do you need an SSL certificate?

  • SSL has the ability to encrypt communication happening between two internet entities so that privacy can be maintained
  • SSL ensures that information is sent to the right server. Pretenders who are waiting to exploit can be avoided because of this
  • SSL icon is a trust symbol and will drive users to access the website

Types of SSL/TLS certificate used with HTTPS

Let’s look into the different types of SSL/TLS certificates used with HTTPS

  1. Domain Validation: It validates Domain name ownership.
  2. Organization Validation: It validates the owner’s identity.
  3. Extended Validation: It validates Domain name validation, owner identity, and business registration proof.

Things to know before switching from HTTP to HTTPS


There is a mad race for switching from HTTP to HTTPS, and that is for a good. After all, HTTPS offers many benefits over HTTP.

But switching from HTTP TO HTTPS is a tricky task. Though the process might seem simple, it involves a lot of cautionary measures.

There are a few things that you should remember while switching from HTTP to HTTPS.


How to Convert HTTP to HTTPS

  • The first step is to get an SSL certificate
  • Next, you will have to install it on the website’s hosting account
  • In the next step, you have to configure the 301 redirects. To do this you will have to alter the .htaccess file that is seated in the root folder
  • The last step is updating the robots.txt file and notifying the search engines about your switch.

This process might seem very easy,  but it is not as easy and straightforward as it appears.

You can ease out your work by taking the help of Service providers to configure SSL certificates.

Though it might incur an additional cost, it might save you from a lot of hassle. Also, remember a few things before switching from HTTP to HTTPS:

  • Informing the search engines about you switching from HTTP to HTTPS
  • For any resources, you can prefer using the relative URLs
  • Make sure that your HTTPS site is reachable through robots.txt
  • Don’t forget to keep an eye on your site before and after switching from HTTP to HTTPS and keep track of the changes.

SEO Perspective of HTTPS

In recent times, website owners do everything to improve their SEO ranking as it is one of the very important features for any website to remain in the never-ending race to rank higher on search engines.

Websites strive to be listed on the first page of search engines. And one of the tactics to improve the ranking is to switch on to HTTPS, as HTTPS helps in improving SEO ranking whereas HTTP does not.

How HTTPS Helps in better search engine Ranking
Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS in SEO

Why do you need HTTPS for creating AMP pages?

HTTPS is essential for creating AMP (accelerated mobile pages). AMP is truly an innovation by google to load web content as swiftly as possible on mobile devices.

When it comes to baking good rank in SERP and gaining the trust of Google HTTPS plays a pivotal role.

HTTPS serves as an important tanking signal as well as a crucial part of cybersecurity.

How does HTTPS authenticate web servers?

Authentication verifies if a system or person is What they claim to be. HTTP does not support identity verification.

HTTP works on priority rather than security. But with increasing security risks, authentication becomes important.

The private key confirms the server ID like an ID card confirms any person’s ID.

When a user navigates through a website its key is authenticated to ensure that the server is a legitimate host. It prevents a number of attacks like:

  • On-path attacks
  • DNS hijacking
  • BGP hijacking

How to add HTTPS to your website?

SSL is basically a text file with encrypted messages in it.

You can buy it from your hosting service and install it on your server so that communications happen between your server and the entity.

Along with an SSL certificate, you also need to install an intermediate certificate  that can help in establishing trust in the SSL certificate  by tying it to the authority root certificate

In HTTPS, how does TLS/SSL encrypt HTTP requests and responses?

TLS uses public-key encryption. Via the server’s SSL certificate, the public key is shared with client devices.

When the connection is set between the client and the server, ends uses, private key and public key to reach an agreement with session keys. It is used to encrypt the communication between two devices.

The HTTP requests are encrypted using session keys, making the whole communication secure.

Which one is better when we compare HTTP vs HTTPS?

The answer is clear when it comes to HTTP vs HTTPS.

HTTPS provides added security, it is definitely an added advantage if your website includes some sensitive information as well as in SERP ranking.

What is OWASP? Top 10 OWASP Vulnerabilities

Came across the name OWASP many a time but do not know what is OWASP? Every 3-4 years, OWASP Top 10 Security Vulnerabilities release help businesses/web applications that are commonly exploited by hackers and offer recommendations for tackling these attacks.
As a security professional or a business owner, you would want to look into this list as it acts as an awareness document to better understand your current security approach and posture to become better equipped to determine and mitigate these security threats.
The latest edition of Top 10 Security Vulnerabilities by OWASP was released in 2017. Therefore, one can expect the new edition to be released sometime next year in 2021.
But what does the 2021 version hold? What security threats one can expect in the future for their web applications? Let’s discuss the top 10 security vulnerabilities of 2021.
What is OWASP? what does owasp stand for
(OWASP) The Open Web Application Security Project it’s a nonprofit organization that is in pursuit of a noble deed to protect web-related applications from cyber attacks. They have strong community support to facilitate such a tedious task. Through conferences, online newsletters, journals,  etc. they are also educating people on how to keep people their business secure.
#1 Broken Authentication
Under OWASP’s Broken Authentication category, it focuses on default or weak passwords. This has always been a major problem for all types of web applications. It is believed that weak passwords are still going to be a significant security vulnerability in 2021.
Hackers have got their hands on advanced GPU technologies, which allows them to easily break weak passwords, even if the passwords use strong ciphers. They use brute-force attacks nowadays to break passwords.
It is also found that administrators aren’t really vigilant about teaching users password best practices. Many enterprises are following the worst policies and systems for password selection. They only focus on uppercase and lowercase, special characters, and numbers, and not on password length itself.
On the other hand, users are often forced to change their passwords frequently by the administrators, which causes them to use insecure passwords. All they do in the name of changing passwords is adding a predictable number or character at the end of the previous password.
So, it is extremely important to follow good password habits in order to secure web applications in an organization.
#2 Injection
Injection flaws are another great security vulnerability that might continue in 2021. They can lead to disastrous and undesirable results. Injection flaws may include file system injections, LDAP injections, SQL injections, and many more. Some of these flaws are so severe that they can even lead to remote code execution.
Injection flaws happen when web applications take in users-supplied data in the form of a search or field query and pass it onto the server or backend database without a thorough input validation check.
Thus, it becomes easy for the hackers to craft a string in an attempt to exploit the web application. The sad part is that without sufficient input sanitization, the query is executed on the server.
Organizations need to use tried and tested remediation techniques like using a combination of output escaping, stored procedures, parameterized queries, and whitelists for server-side input validation.
Another measure they can take is to use database controls like LIMIT for preventing mass disclosure in the event of a well-executed injection attack.
#3 XML External Entities (XXE)
XML External Entities is a type of attack that takes advantage of the XML parsers in a web application that might execute and process some payload like an external reference in the XML document.
It was a new type of attack that web applications experienced and surfaced 6-7 years back. According to OWASP, XXE replaced CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery), which was present in the 2010 and 2013 editions of the report.
Over the years, it has been observed that XXE vulnerability in XML processing is steadily increasing its traction. As a result, it has become more severe for web applications.
In case if a hacker modifies or adds these external entities in an XML file, pointing them to a malicious source, it can lead to an SSRF attack or a denial of service (DoS) attack. The worst part is that these flaws can scan internal systems, extract data, and run port scans, among other malicious activities.
Pen testing cost + app testing strategies
#4 Sensitive Data Exposure
Sensitive Data Exposure is still going to be a big web application vulnerability in 2021. Sensitive data, such as user credentials, health records, and financial information, among other things, have never been safe. They are the primary target of hackers.
Thus, they should be kept hidden in visible as plaintext or should be encrypted. If not, attackers could easily gain access to confidential information by deploying man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks for stealing the data in transit.
In the last couple of years, exposure to sensitive data/information has become increasingly common. As a result, there has been a significant rise in data breaches. In the majority of cases, the information in these exposed databases was not encrypted.
This is a big worry for organizations because finding exposed databases is not a big deal for professional web application vulnerability scanners. According to security experts, one way to tackle this issue in the future is to enforce encryption and use standard algorithms and proper key management.
#5 Security Misconfiguration
This type of security vulnerability applies to all security risk factors that are not triggered by a programming error but a configuration error. Under Security Misconfiguration, there lies a wide range of potential security issues, such as outdated software and lack of operating system hardening. The worst part is that these issues extend to the webserver.
While security misconfigurations can be easily spotted using a web application vulnerability scanner, dealing with it can be a lot tougher. Using default configurations, neglecting to upgrade or patch systems, overlooking verbose error messages leaking confidential data, and misconfiguring security headers can all increase the risk of this vulnerability.
According to experts, security misconfiguration can also be a part of network security. So, it can pose a major threat to web applications in 2021 if overlooked. Thus, it is important that organizations update configurations, review all permissions, and install patches.
Also Read: How Much Does Penetration testing cost?
#6 Broken Access Control
Under OWASP’s Broken Access Control category, it covers situations leading to issues like insecure direct object references and forced browsing. The sad news is this type of vulnerability cannot be identified by any kind of automated tool. Therefore, this could be one of the biggest security vulnerabilities of 2021.
An automated tool can detect the lack of proper authorization; however, one cannot guess whether certain unauthorized functionality is made available to the user or whether the account of a specific user should have access to certain resources. This is because the vulnerabilities can only be judged by a human.
These vulnerabilities can go unnoticed until manual penetration tests are performed. Thus, organizations need to re-use and implement access control checks throughout their web applications.
#7 Insecure Deserialization
Insecure Deserialization was only added to OWASP Top Security Vulnerabilities in the 2017 edition. So, this is relatively a new type of security threat that organizations are still getting accustomed to.
Insecure deserialization occurs in specific cases and refers to the conversion of serialized information back into objects usable by the web application. It is a type of attack on web applications where the data objects are tampered with, causing serious consequences like a remote code execution or a denial of service (DoS).
The best way to prevent this issue is to stop accepting serialized objects from malicious or untrusted sources.
#8 Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
Cross-Site Scripting or XSS is one of the most common vulnerabilities affecting web applications. It works in a way that the hacker injects a script into the page output of a web application. This tricks the web browser into believing that it is part of the page and ultimately runs the script.
The attacker executes this attack by sending an email to the user with a malicious link, making it seem like the email is coming from a trusted source. Once the user clicks to open the link, the script is executed in the user’s web browser. This way, the attacker can easily steal confidential data, including user credentials, session cookies, and even deliver malware.
The best way to counter this issue is by using frameworks like the latest Ruby on Rails that helps in filtering out XSS by design.

#9 Insufficient Logging and Monitoring
Organizations fail to log events that are of interest to them regarding their web applications. This leads to data breaches. Insufficient logging and monitoring is a security vulnerability because it gives hackers plenty of time to wreak havoc on your web applications.
For organizations, it is important that they ensure all suspicious activities like input validation failures, access control failures, failed logins, etc., are addressed and logged to determine malicious accounts.
#10 Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities
This is a type of vulnerability that OWASP defines as putting too much trust in 3rd-party codes. The libraries of that code can be rigged, causing serious issues in your web application.
Thus, organizations need to constantly scrutinize sources like CVE in the components. Also, it is important to monitor patches and version updates for both server and client-side components along with their dependencies.
Final Words
These vulnerabilities have always been there. It is up to the organization how they deal with such issues to protect their web applications. Knowing these flaws ahead can give you an opportunity to prevent any severe disaster.

What is a Vulnerability Assessment? A Detailed guide

The definition of the term vulnerability assessment from a security perspective is to deeply evaluate, define, classify and prioritize vulnerabilities so that They can be corrected. The process is carried out by vulnerability scanners such as Nikto2, Netsparker, OpenVAS, W3AF, etc.
To know in detail, we have incorporated all the necessary details that you need to know about vulnerability assessment, along with its implementation. So you won’t put your company’s IT system at risk.
Let’s get started!
how to do vulnerability assessment
What Is a Vulnerability Assessment?
An organization’s system consists of various components, such as end-points, applications, and network infrastructures.
All of these provide equal opportunities for hackers to enter into the IT system.
The role of vulnerability assessment here is to check all these elements for vulnerabilities that may be present at any level.
Hence, ensuring proper protection of the system against unauthorized accesses.
A few key points that also get covered under vulnerability assessment are:

  • Defining the vulnerabilities
  • Identifying the vulnerabilities
  • Classification of vulnerabilities
  • Prioritization of vulnerabilities
  • Laying out knowledge about vulnerabilities
  • Providing suitable solutions to the available threats and vulnerabilities

vulnerability assessment methodology
In simple terms, it can also be stated that vulnerability assessments are done in every organization to find and prioritize the available vulnerabilities. This way, the system’s loopholes can be fixed, and all the breaches can be avoided.
These vulnerabilities can be divided into two categories:

  • Code Bugs: Sometimes, developers leave bugs/flaws in the code. It becomes a vulnerable point because confidential information can get leaked through it.
  • Security Gaps: While all enterprises ensure their system’s complete security, they may leave a gap in their internal processes. It can provide space for intruders to enter their environment and get access to whichever information they want.

What is a Vulnerability Assessment?
5 Crucial Steps in Vulnerability Assessment

  • Identify the potential hazards
  • Determine the risks
  • Evaluate the defense system
  • Record the findings
  • Periodical review

Top 15 Vulnerability assessment tools 

  1. Netsparker
  2. OpenVAS
  3. W3AF
  4. Arachni
  5. Acunetix
  6. Nmap
  7. OpenSCAP
  8. GoLismero
  9. Burp Suite
  10. Comodo HackerProof
  11. Intruder
  12. Retina CS Community
  13. Crashtest Security
  14. GamaScan
  15. Nexpose

Why Is Vulnerability Assessment Crucial?
Vulnerability assessment has now become a vital part of every organization.
It is essential because it provides the enterprises with proper knowledge and understanding of security weaknesses in their environment.
Moreover, the process offers awareness of accessing the present vulnerabilities and the risks associated with them.
Therefore, helping the organizations to avoid any security breaches that can put their business in jeopardy.
Other benefits of vulnerability assessment include:
Pen testing cost
Defining Risk Levels
Whether you believe it or not, your organization’s security is always under threat.
While this risk is inevitable, you can certainly identify the underlying vulnerabilities with proper assessment. It will help in resolving the dangers and make your system more secure.
Avoid Automated Attacks
Intruders have become smart nowadays. They don’t leave any chance of creating trouble for you. That is why they use automated attacks to check the availability of vulnerabilities in your system and take advantage of it.
Where this makes their work more convenient, it brings more significant risk for your organization. Under vulnerability assessment, experts use the same tools as these hackers. So they can avoid these automated attacks.

Also Read:  Best vulnerability assessment tools used for security audit

Prioritizing Risks
Even if you are aware of all the available risks to your organization’s IT system, you may still end up making a mistake. Most people’s standard error here is that they focus more on unnecessary vulnerabilities while leaving behind the significant ones.
But this mistake won’t happen with the help of vulnerability assessment.
The process won’t only identify the threats, but it will also help prioritize them based on their severity.
Therefore, you can ensure that the more significant vulnerabilities get resolved first, and the less severe ones get assessed only after that.
Time And Money Savings
A data breach doesn’t only waste time and money on security restructuring. If your enterprise goes through an attack, you also have to deal with some legal formalities.
Moreover, you will have to invest effort and money in PR to maintain your company’s image.
On the other hand, a vulnerability assessment can easily help you avoid all this hassle by securing the system from known threats.
Hence, you will then be able to focus on more crucial tasks while remaining carefree about the security of your system.

What Are The Types Of Vulnerability Assessment?
Vulnerability assessment is further divided into various types, depending on the area of the IT environment that is being checked. Here are some of the common kinds:

  • Network-Based: As the name suggests, this method is opted to find out the vulnerabilities in the organization’s wired and wireless networks.
  • Host-Based: This includes a proper examination of network hosts through ports and services. It works on hosts like servers and workstations.
  • Web Application: Web applications are an easy point for hackers to enter into the system. This method helps identify the loopholes in the app architecture that can lead to breaches.
  • Database: Attacks like SQL injection can lead to severe data losses in an enterprise. Database methods include scanning the entire database for any available vulnerabilities to avoid these attacks.

Other kinds of end-point or network scan can be done to find the risk against any available threats to the organization’s IT system, such as phishing assessment and penetration testing.
Difference between vulnerability assessment and vulnerability management

Vulnerability assessment Vulnerability Management
Vulnerability assessment has a fixed time period for its occurrence It’s an ongoing process
The process used to find the severity of vulnerabilities Used to manage Vulnerability assessment or pen testing
Performed with the help of automation tools It’s a collective process
Vulnerability assessment is just a part of the cybersecurity program It’s a detailed process that can handle all the security-related issues

Vulnerability Assessment vs Penetration testing. What’s the difference between vulnerability assessment and penetration testing

Vulnerability Assessment Penetration Testing
Used to assess vulnerabilities with the help of a tool that’s capable of doing the scan in an automated fashion It’s a manual process where each module of software is tested for vulnerabilities individually
Usually done  through automation Performed by combining automated as well as the manual process
Performed often Performed once in a year mostly
Comprehensive list of vulnerabilities which may include false positives Serves as a call to action document about vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited
Can be performed by in-house security staff Can only be performed by a third party company who has required resources at the disposal

Vulnerability Assessment vs Penetration Testing


Also Read: How much will it cost for penetration testing?

The vulnerability assessment process differs for every enterprise due to its distinct infrastructures.
However, we can still build a basic 5-step procedure that works for most organizations. So it will provide you with an overview of how things get done in this process.
Step 1: Initial Planning
The first step includes proper analysis of the infrastructure to decide all the systems and networks to be checked.
You also need to identify the critical systems and data that have to be protected at any cost.
For example, the databases that hold essential information about your enterprise have to be scanned appropriately.
Remember that each of the professionals working on the process should expect the same output of vulnerability assessment.
It will help in proceeding further suitably. Plus, there should be proper communication throughout the planning so that any errors can be avoided.
Step 2: Scanning
Once you receive a complete list of systems and networks that have to be checked, the next step is to scan them.
Here, you will have to find all the available vulnerabilities in them. The information found on this step won’t be refined.
Therefore, you need not get overwhelmed with the long record of risks and vulnerabilities because several of them can be false positives.
Step 3: Analysis
It isn’t possible to resolve all the received vulnerabilities as some of them can be wrong.
That is why a proper analysis has to be done to find the underlying cause of these vulnerabilities.
Thus, they can get sorted based on their integrity. However, this isn’t the only objective covered in this step.
Along with the viability test, the associated risks, potential impact, and solutions of each vulnerability also get checked here.
After that, the threats are prioritized based on their severity. This helps resolve the more impactful vulnerabilities first and leave the rest for later assessment to cause no significant harm to the enterprise.
A report of the discovered vulnerabilities also gets prepared here, and it includes the following points:

  • Vulnerability definition
  • Scanning date
  • A complete description of the vulnerability
  • Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Scores
  • Systems and networks affected by the vulnerability, with their details.
  • Available remediation techniques for the vulnerability
  • Vulnerability PoC (Proof of Concept)

Step 4: Remediation
The ultimate aim of a vulnerability assessment is to eliminate all the available vulnerabilities and make the system secure against the risks.
So if you don’t resolve the found security gaps, there won’t be any use of the previously done steps.
That is why this step includes remediation of the vulnerability found in the earlier procedure.
It can involve a simple code update or a more thorough understanding of what is wrong in the system.
You may need to install new applications, implement the latest security patches, or use other tools for the purpose.
The resolving of vulnerabilities will begin with the high priority vulnerabilities, and then you will have to move to less significant ones.
Experts may recommend leaving some of the no-impact vulnerabilities that aren’t worth the time and effort required to resolve them.
Step 5: Repetition
Vulnerability assessment isn’t a one-time process. Rather, it is a regular activity that must be done under expert guidance to ensure that the organization’s system remains secure from any threat.
That is why the final step here is to create a cycle of this procedure according to your enterprise’s needs.
The importance of a vulnerability assessment increases when you have introduced a new prominent feature, application, or network into the infrastructure.
Therefore, you must make sure that the process gets repeated every once in a while, and the entire IT system remains secure.
And in these five steps, the entire process gets done. You can adjust the steps and include a more thorough study of the vulnerabilities in it based on your enterprise’s requirements.
In case you aren’t sure about something, you can also opt for a service provider.
As they deal with different organizations every day, they will be able to offer you the most reliable solution for your individual needs.
Vulnerability assessment process
Using Tools For Vulnerability Assessment
Earlier, the process of vulnerability assessment was conducted by the security professionals who knew about the latest threats in the market.
So they conveniently checked the entire IT system against these risks and implemented the required security measures.
This was time-consuming and inefficient, as various unknown threats got left out from the inspection.
Then came the use of automated vulnerability assessment tools. These tools usually opt for the same methods that are used by professional intruders.
Hence, they are able to catch all the vulnerabilities that may give the system’s access to hackers.
The top vulnerability assessment tools include:

  • Netsparker
  • Intruder
  • Aircrack
  • OpenVAS
  • Nikto
  • Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer
  • Acunetix
  • AppTrana
  • SolarWinds Network Vulnerability Detection
  • Nexpose Community
  • Tripwire IP360
  • Retina CS Community
  • Wireshark
  • Nessus Professional
  • Secunia Personal Software Inspector

How To Choose The Vulnerability Assessment Tools?
Just like it is crucial to conduct a vulnerability assessment, it is also vital to pick the correct tool for the purpose.
Your choice should majorly depend on your enterprise’s requirements. The factors that you must consider before opting for a specific vulnerability assessment tool are:
The first aspect you need to check in your chosen tool is whether or not it is compatible with your organization’s systems and networks.
In case it misses out on even one of these components, it will be of no use for you.
Only a compatible tool will be able to provide you with accurate information on the available vulnerabilities, prioritization, and remediation.
Therefore, you must ensure that your selected product fulfills all the requirements.
Testing Repetition
The final step of a vulnerability assessment is to repeat the process in a pre-determined duration to make certain that the overall system remains secure at any point in time.
Now, the tool you pick for this purpose depends on the intervals you choose for vulnerability assessment.
Usually, this factor can be categorized into two types:

  • Continuous: These tools work round the clock. Thus, you need not worry about the security aspect anytime, as the tool will take care of that. It is mostly preferred in places where the risks of data breaches are exceptionally high.
  • Intermittent: Another category of tools are the ones that work on some intervals. While it ensures proper security, it won’t check the systems round the clock. Most organizations prefer this type of tool, as it provides them with the desired results without much hassle.

You can pick either of them based on how much your enterprise is under risk of security breaches.
Cloud Support
Clouds have become a crucial part of every organization because they are easy to maintain, provide access from any point, and don’t cost much.
Along with their extensive benefits, these cloud platforms can also become a bane for your enterprise if you don’t ensure its security.
That is why your chosen vulnerability assessment tool should support the scanning of cloud-based platforms.
Remember to opt for this feature even if you don’t use any clouds currently.
This way, you won’t have to worry about switching your vulnerability assessment tool whenever you decide to move to cloud platforms.
Vulerability assessment protection
Update Quality and Speed
Quality and speed are the two most essential factors in the modern world. They make certain that the delivered product or service is reliable and efficient.
That is why they need to be checked in your vulnerability assessment tool as well.
The vendor must provide quality updates within the best possible time. For example, the time gap between a new threat being discovered and the vendor updating the tool for detecting the same should be as small as possible.
Prioritization is the most crucial step of the entire vulnerability assessment process.
This step alone makes sure that more significant threats get handled first so that no complication occurs later.
That is why you need to check the selected tool’s prioritization procedure.
Every vulnerability assessment tool uses an algorithm to prioritize the detected vulnerabilities.
Depending on the vendor, various factors may be incorporated into this algorithm to produce a more refined priority list of risks.
You have to go through these aspects and ensure they work properly according to your enterprise requirements.
Industry Standards
The tool selected by you must obey all the industry standards in which your enterprise works. For example, the pharma sector requires vulnerability checks for its supply chain and mobile workforce.
On the other hand, the banking industry needs to ensure that their systems are updated and secured. So whichever domain you work in, the tool should fulfill its basic requirements and standards.
By checking all these essential factors, you will make certain that your chosen vulnerability assessment tool doesn’t fall short in any aspect. Hence, it will provide you with the best results.
No matter how secure and protected you keep your enterprise’s environment, intruders always find a way to get through the layers.
You can still ensure that your system’s weak points don’t create a more severe problem. For this, you can opt for a vulnerability assessment.

What is Ethical Hacking? How does it help?

What is ethical hacking? before we get to it, let’s see how the name was coined. In the 1960s, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology coined the term ‘hacker.’ This word referred to experts who leveraged their skills to re-develop the mainframe systems, optimize their efficiency, and facilitate multi-tasking.
Today, this term is popularly used to describe skilled programmers who acquire unauthorized access systems by using bugs or exploiting weaknesses. With the massive internet penetration and growth in e-commerce, malicious or unethical hacking has witnessed a significant rise.
But not all hacking is bad, which brings us to another form of hacking – Ethical Hacking.
In this, skilled hackers are hired by companies to assess the vulnerabilities of the networks and systems and develop a relevant solution to prevent data exploitation. In this detailed article, we are sharing everything you need to know about ethical hacking.
What is Ethical Hacking
It is essentially an authorized practice of getting into the system security in order to determine potential threats to the network and data breaches. The company hires ethical hackers to perform such activities to test the defensiveness of the system.
Contrary to unethical practices, the process of ethical hacking is planned, organized, approved, and above all, legal.
The main objective of ethical hackers is to investigate the network or systems for the weak point where malicious hackers can enter and exploit.
Furthermore, they gather and analyze information in order to come up with effective ways to reinforce the security of the applications, systems, or networks.

What Are The 7 Types of Hackers?
There are different types of hackers based on the activities. Some of the important types of hackers include:

  1. Whitehat Hackers

These are individuals who perform ethical hacking to assist organizations. These hackers believe that companies should inspect the network in the same way as criminal hackers in order to better understand the vulnerabilities.
White hackers perform these activities without any criminal intent. These professions test how safe a system, network, or application is and point out the vulnerabilities. Moreover, they leverage their skills and expertise to treat the weak points.

  1. Black Hat Hackers

These hackers are also known as dark side hackers or crackers. They leverage their skills and exploit systems, networks, or applications with criminal intent.
They gain unauthorized access to computer systems to violate privacy rights, transfer funds from various bank accounts, steal sensitive corporate information.

  1. Gray Hat Hackers

These hackers are an amalgamation between whitehat and blackhat hackers. While they adhere to the law, at times, they also take up illegal practices. It is quite risky to appoint gray hat hackers to execute the security duties as you can never tell where they actually stand.

  1. Script Kiddies

It is a term used for system intruders with little to no skills. These are individuals who simply follow the direction or use other people’s shellcodes to perform hacking. They do not necessarily understand the steps involved in the process.

  1. Green Hat Hackers

These hackers are well-versed in hacking codes, programs, and they are amidst the process of learning more. The primary objective is to become an expert in this field. But whether they will be using their skills for ethical practices or unethical practices is yet to be determined.

  1. Purple Hat Hacker

Purple hat hackers are the experts who test themselves on their own systems. They hack into their own systems or applications to identify how good they are at cyber hacking and security.

  1. Blue Hat Hackers

These are junior hackers similar to green hat hackers and script kiddies but with a significant difference. These hackers use their skills to take revenge against an individual or organization.

Also Read: How to escape from a data breach?

What is the Use of Ethical Hacking?
There are multiple ways ethical hackers assist organizations that include:

  1. Determining Vulnerabilities

Ethical hackers help organizations identify which of their security measures are effective, which contain vulnerabilities and are outdated, and can be exploited. Once they have finished the evaluation process, they report their findings back to the organization.
The managers can leverage this data to further make informed decisions about how to improve their security to protect their environment from cyber attacks.

  1. Helping Companies to Determine Cybercriminals’ Pathway

Ethical Hacking practices indicate the hacking techniques that malicious hackers use to attack systems and put the company in danger. However, when companies have a thorough knowledge of the methods selected by the attackers to break into the systems, it is better prepared for their vital resources from being exposed and exploited.

  1. Strengthening the Defense

Cyberattacks can be detrimental for companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses. But even with the kind of impact these attacks have, most of the organizations continue to be unprepared for them. Ethical hackers know how threat actors work and what information and technique they will use to attack the systems.
When security professionals who work together with ethical hackers are better prepared for future attacks, they can respond to threats’ changing nature.
Is Ethical Hacking Legal?
When ethical hacking practices are used with the right intent, it can prove to be highly valuable. Ethical hackers help an organization strengthen its defense against cyberattacks. However, there are some circumstances where ethical hacking can also become illegal. And we have mentioned some of these situations.

  1. The Hacker has Altered, Misused, or Destroyed the Company Data

While assessing the company’s system, these hackers get direct access to vital information. And when they end up altering or destroying the company’s data. Making changes in the data might compromise the integrity, and the company can file a lawsuit against the hacker. Genuine ethical hackers always document their work to ascertain their authenticity to the company.

  1. Exposure of Confidential Company Data

When companies provide hackers with access to their networks and systems, they come across some confidential and sensitive information. The company staff may not be knowledgeable enough to understand what the hacker is doing or what he or she has come across.
And, if the hackers expose the information to any third party for their personal gain, then it is an evidently illegal practice, and the companies can file lawsuits for breaking the confidentiality agreement.

  1. The Hacker Left the Doors Open for Future Access

Creating backdoors that are only known to the hackers that can only be accessed by them is clearly illegal. The core job of an ethical hacker is to identify the vulnerable areas and fix them.
Are Hackers Rich? What’s the salary of an ethical hacker?
Certified ethical hackers are mainly certified through the CEH certificate by EC-Council. Some colleges, universities, and digital schools also provide degrees and courses that work in collaboration with the EC-Council CEH curriculum. These hackers may work with the government IT sector or corporate sector.
The average annual income of certified ethical hackers stands at $99,000 as per indeed.com. According to EC-Council, a certified ethical hacker earns an average salary of $95000.
On the whole, an ethical hacker’s salary depends on a lot of factors that include certification, experience, and company.
Is Hacking Easy? What Do Hackers Study?
Being a professional hacker is all about imbibing the right knowledge and skills, and in this section, we tell you how you can start your journey as a professional hacker.
Must-Have Skills
Getting deep into the system requires you to have extensive knowledge of different technical domains and coding skills. So the first step is to master the following skills:

  • Networking concepts
  • Computer appliances
  • Understanding of operating systems
  • Knowledge of software development lifecycle (SDLC)
  • Efficiency in penetration testing tools and techniques
  • Understanding of cybersecurity fundamentals
  • Strong knowledge of coding
  • Efficient verbal and written communication skills

Along with these above skills, hackers should always be up for learning new technologies at different stages of their careers. Vulnerabilities continue to evolve, and so do technologies. Therefore, in order to be relevant, professional hackers have to stay updated with the latest technologies and methodologies.
Programming Languages Used by Ethical Hackers
A strong understanding of programming languages is a must for ethical hackers. Following are some of the important programming languages an ethical hacker needs to know:

  • HTML: It is the bedrock of the internet, and professional hackers must learn it to understand comprehensive web action, structure, responsiveness, and logic. HyperText Markup Language is one of the easiest and common programming languages.
  • SQL: It stands for Structured Query Language and is basically a comprehensive database programming language that is harnessed to query and gather information from different databases.

All websites and web applications irrespective of their sizes use databases to secure data like login credentials, investors, etc. Therefore, ethical hackers need to learn SQL to connect with databases and generate effective hacking programming on SQL injection.

  • Perl: Considering many old systems use Perl, it has become an important language for ethical hackers to understand. It is also a commonly used language for inactive web pages as well as system administration. Perl is considered the best language for manipulating text files based on the Unix system and the implementation of web-databases.
  • PHP: It is undoubtedly one of the most dynamic programming languages. It is popularly used in websites built on CMS.

Therefore, an understanding of PHP will help hackers discover vulnerabilities in such websites. Professional hackers use this language to develop server hacking programs as it is a server-side scripting language.

  • JavaScript: It is among the most popularly used languages for web development, making it a prominent language. Hackers leverage this language for creating cross-site scripting hacking programs. Understanding JavaScript helps hackers to identify flaws in web-apps. It is also the most effective language to manipulate front-end as well as back-end web elements.
  • Python: Contrary to other programming languages, Python is easier to learn. It is also the most used language to write automation scripts. This is because it comes with pre-built libraries featuring robust functionality.

Some other important languages include:

  • C
  • C++
  • Ruby
  • Lisp
  • Java

Certification for Becoming Professional Hacker: Certified Ethical Hacker
In order to become a professional hacker, it is imperative to get C|EH credentials. Recruiters, especially from big companies, are looking for ethical hackers with C|EH certification.
It extends a practical approach to learning along with a chance to acquire practical learning experience. You get to access a plethora of tools and cyber labs to build proficiency in the field. The C|EH generates trust among the employers with respect to your skills and knowledge.
What Software Do Hackers Use?
Following are some of the prominent tools that hackers use to execute various processes:
It is a security and port scanner and network exploration tool. Considering that it is open-source, hackers have free access to it. It also comes with cross-platform support. Nmap is generally used for managing service upgrade schedules, network inventory, monitoring uptime, etc.
Moreover, you also get a binary package for Windows, Mach OS X, and Linux. Its powerful scanning abilities and ease of use have made it highly popular in the hacking community.
It is an automated web application ethical hacking and security testing tool. It is leveraged to audit web applications by determining vulnerabilities such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and other similar weak points.
In simpler terms, the tool scans any web application or website built on HTTP/HTTPS protocol and can be accessed through a web browser.
Acunetix provides a unique and strong solution for interpreting custom web applications. The software integrates an advanced crawler that can identify any file.
It is a popular vulnerability scanning tool. Kiuwan determines vulnerability in source code through comprehensive security standards that include HIPAA, SANS 25, OWASP, CWE, etc.
Additionally, it is integrated with the IDE for prompt feedback during the process of development. The software is compatible with all major programming languages and supports integration with the latest DevOps tools.
It is one of the most accurate and powerful ethical hacking tools. It is capable of mimicking moves of the hackers to determine vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting, SQL injection, etc.
Moreover, the tool distinctively authenticates vulnerabilities to prove that they are real. So security teams do not need to waste their time verifying the authenticity of vulnerabilities manually.
It is an open-source pen-testing framework written in Ruby. Metasploit works as a public resource, facilitating research for security vulnerabilities and code development. This enables a network administrator to get into the system to determine the security risks and report which vulnerabilities must be addressed.
This hacking tool is mostly used by hackers at the beginning stage to practice their skills. Metasploit allows you to mimic websites for various social engineering purposes.
It is free, open-source software that enables you to interpret real-time network traffic. It harnesses sniffing technology, which allows the software to identify security issues in any network.
Moreover, Wireshark can effectively solve networking problems as well. During the sniffing phase, the results are presented in a readable format, making it easier to detect potential issues, vulnerabilities, and threats.
It is a completely automated scanner that identifies weaknesses or cybersecurity in the digital environment and illustrates the risk and assists in remedying the same. It is the perfect tool to include in the collection of ethical hacking tools.
Intruders offer more than 9000 security checks, making this software useful to enterprises of all scales and sizes. The security check includes identification, misconfiguration, common issues with a web application, SQL injection inefficiencies, cross-site scripting, and missing patches.
John the Ripper
This is one of the most powerful password crackers out there. It is used in testing the password strength in the operating system for auditing a password remotely. The tool holds the potential to identify the encryption type used in any password and alter the password test algorithm accordingly.
Why Businesses Need Ethical Hacking?
With growing cybersecurity scams, ethical hacking has emerged as the need of the hour. Below we are sharing some of the reasons businesses should consider hiring an ethical hacker:
Hacker’s Mindset
Today, data has become a more important part of the business more than ever. Every business collects a huge amount of data, and this has increased their vulnerability to cyber-attacks.
In order to catch cybercriminals, you need experts who can think like them, which is the basis of ethical hacking. Ethical hackers, with your consent, get deep into your system, identify weak points, and implement remediations.
Penetration Testing
Penetration testing is also known as PEN testing and is used to discover vulnerabilities of the system that malicious hackers can target. There are different methods to conduct penetration testing, and its usage depends on the requirements. Some of the testing methods include –

  • External testing penetrates systems that are externally exposed like DNS, web servers, etc.
  • Internal testing identifies vulnerabilities that internal users are exposed to via access privileges.
  • Blind testing encourages real attacks from malicious hackers.
  • Targeted testing centers on the people within the organization and the hacker. It is about making the staff aware of the hacking being executed.

Testers are provided with limited data with regards to the target, and they have to perform reconnaissance before the attack. Penetration testing is one of the biggest reasons to hire ethical hackers.
Assistance in Secure Cloud Transition
Organizations are moving towards the cloud to leverage efficient IT outsourcing and virtualization. This transition has also increased the threat level and the need for ethical hackers. Security has been the main concern for cloud computing.
If you want to harness cloud and digitalization potentials without risking your security, you need ethical hackers. The hacking tactics are constantly evolving, and only experts can help in overcoming the issue.
Assurance Development and Quality
When proper security testing is overlooked, it exposes software to threats and attacks. Ethical hackers are trained to execute such testings. They work together with the teams and help them perform extensive security testing. Ethical hackers also assist security teams in imbibing effective security practices to maintain the integrity of the system.
These professionals use powerful tools to eliminate vulnerabilities. The process makes it easier for developers to learn more about coding errors and avoid them in the future.

A Guide to Hiring an Ethical Hacker
Hiring ethical hackers is an effective way to ascertain security. These experts offer an ideal combination of technologies and processes that caters to the organization. But how to hire a skilled, ethical hacker? Read on to find the answer to your question.
Who Are You Looking For in hiring an ethical hacker?
When hiring an ethical hacker, there should be no compromise on the quality. Commitment, personal drive, and formal training should be the main considerations.
However, you also have to ensure that there is no conflict of interest with the hacker you hire. Steer clear from professionals who are all about promoting their products and more focused on the competitor business.
Basically, you have to focus on hiring hackers who have put your company and security needs at the forefront.
The Term of Engagement
The terms related to engagement encompasses non-compete arrangements, communication protocols, termination policies, non-disclosure agreements, etc.
When performing testing of the systems, ethical hackers may come across sensitive information. And the main objective of term engagement is to protect the company’s sensitive information from being leaked.
Skills Portfolio
Based on the business’s requirements, you will need an ethical hacker who has the right skills to cater to the same and also predict future needs. Consider hiring experts who have comprehensive experience in the field of IT security.
Consider Your Budget
The process of hiring an ethical hacker depends a lot on your budget. While the scale of the IT environment and the level of penetration testing are vital factors, willingness to spend is an equally important factor.
If you lack the budget, then consider hiring an initial penetration tester. It is a great way to spend less and these professionals offer you the roadmap of the next steps to be taken.

Also Read: Top 10 Devastating cyber attacks happened in India

Final Thoughts
There you have it, everything that you need to know about ethical hacking. Ethical hackers are in great demand due to the rise in cybercrimes in every industry.
Hiring a credible and experienced ethical hacker can prove invaluable to the organizations. By covering the vulnerable spots of the systems, businesses can leverage reinforced security and avoid detrimental implications of cyberattacks.

What is a Data Breach? Types of data breach? How to stop one?

People, hold on to your hats! We’re entering the tumultuous world of data breaches, where businesses quake like alarmed squirrels and chaos erupts at every turn.

This is not something to take lightly, I assure you. Imagine sensitive information about your company being made public, resulting in chaos and mayhem beyond anything you could have imagined. Yikes!

So, you ask, what precisely is a data breach? It resembles a cunning cat burglar breaking into the digital fortress of your company, stealing priceless information, and causing havoc in its wake.

There is more to this story, so hold on tight. We’ll examine the different types of breaches, including hacking, insider threats, and even actual physical intrusions on the order of a Hollywood heist. Wondering how these cunning attacks take place?

Here is all about data breaches in detail.

What is a Data Breach?

In simple terms, a data breach means the personal and confidential data of a person or an organization is made available in an untrusted environment by unauthorized people without the consent of the person or organization concerned. This is sometimes also called a data or information leak.
Data Breach Stats 2021
Data breaches can have legal consequences and hence closing the loopholes is becoming a big priority for all organizations.

It is important to understand that it is not external elements that are trying to access your data but there can be several other intentional and unintentional things happening within your company that can lead to a data breach.

Some of the major data breach stats for 2023

  • 84% of code bases had at least one open source vulnerability, according to Synopsys researchers.
  • Over six million data records were exposed globally during the first quarter of 2023 due to data breaches. Since the first quarter of 2020, the fourth quarter of 2020 saw the highest number of exposed data records, or nearly 125 million data sets.
  • Cybercrime peaked up to 600% than the previous years in the covid pandemic time
  • Small businesses are the target of 43% of cyberattacks, but only 14% of them are equipped to defend themselves, according to Accenture’s Cost of Cybercrime Study.
  • Malware attack is the most common type and 92% of the attack is delivered through email
  • By 2023, it is expected that the average cost of a ransomware attack will be $1.85 million per incident.
  • The company Lookout claims that in 2022, when half of all mobile phone owners worldwide were exposed to phishing attacks every three months, the highest rate of mobile phishing ever recorded was seen.
  • Concerningly, 45% of respondents admit that their security measures fall short of effectively containing attacks, and a startling 66% of respondents say they have recently been the victim of a cyberattack. Furthermore, a sizeable majority of 69% think that the nature of cyberattacks is changing and becoming more targeted. These figures demonstrate the urgent need for improved security protocols and preventative measures to deal with the growing danger of cyberattacks.
  • 43% of  c-suite business leaders reported data breaches on 2020
  • So far, in 2021 phishing attacks climbed to 36% compared to  22% in 2020

Types of Data Breach

Based on how and where the data breach happens it can be classified into several types. Let us investigate these types now.

  1. Unintentional or internal errors by the Employees

Data breach owing to Human error
Employees are the biggest asset of any company. This asset can be the strongest and weakest link in the security chain. Sometimes they tend intentionally or unintendedly help in data breaches. Incidents like sending a bulk email with all the people in CC instead of BCC, or responding to phishing emails and compromising sensitive information, exposing sensitive information during screen sharing sessions with the people inside or outside the organization contribute to the data leakage to authorized people or environment.
Sometimes employees can be indirectly contributing to the data breach by not following the right security standards. Like not installing the proper system updates, using weak passwords or not securing the database with a password could make it easy for people from outside to access the company data.

  1. Cyber Attack

Cyber Attacks have become common these days. We frequently hear the militant groups defaced the govt websites. A more common word for it would be hacking. To put it in words a cyber attack means attacking a computer, network, or server with the intention of stealing information, alter and delete data causing intentional damage to the other organization.

The most common form of cyberattacks is using malware which captures the user’s sensitive information and uses this information to cause damage to him or his assets. Like at an individual level it can be used to gather a person’s bank login credentials and then used from transferring his money to other accounts. Some malware can help you get complete control over the other system, such that it can perform tasks under your command.

  1. Social Engineering

Social Engineering Attack
This is one of the most common forms of attack. Here the criminals and hackers pose as legitimate and authorized personnel and try to gather sensitive information from the company employees. One of the common methods used is phishing. This includes emails that look very real and people are tempted to open them or click links in them that will compromise the security.
This includes emails like password expiry with reset link or mandatory training list with a link to the training, courier received, and many more. The employees need to be vigilant and should report these kinds of emails to their security team to avoid further damage to the company and its data.

  1. Unauthorize Access

Unauthorized Entry attack
Inside the office premises, there are likely to be several important documents containing sensitive information. It is important thus for the organization to implement proper access controls. The rooms should be made accessible only to people who are authorized. The same goes for internal applications.

Read also: How to Secure Your Website From Hackers

For e.g. the personal data of the employee which would include his salary. This needs to be accessible only to HR, his manager, and himself. If another person can access this data, then that will also be called a data breach even though the information may not be transmitted outside the organization.

  1. Ransomware

This is one of the fastest-growing cybersecurity threats across the globe. This type of malware will encrypt all the files in your system. Without the decryption key, you could end up losing all your data. At this point, the attacker can blackmail the organizations for huge amounts for sharing the decryption key.
This is a very serious threat for almost all organizations because even with all the network security in place this malware can easily make its way into your systems through phishing emails, attachments, etc.
The only way out is to take a frequent backup of your system and as soon the malware is detected you should clean your system and restore it with the last backup data.

  1. Intentional Damage

Employees can cause maximum damage to the organization since they have access to the data and information. In several cases, the employees would intentionally leak the data to unauthorized people outside the organization for monetary gains or take revenge.
There is no way no control these kinds of data breaches apart from educating the employees against doing it and setting up a structure where other employees can anonymously report any suspicious activity by the others.

  1. Theft

The systems in an organization contain a lot of information. Physical theft is another contributor to a data breach. This includes the computers, hard disks, and even the hard copy of documents that are not shredded after use.
Theft not necessarily means someone breaking into the office it could also occur outside the organization. Like an employee in a coffee shop with his laptop unattended, or an important document left in the dustbin without shredding can make its way to landfills and fall into unscrupulous hands while disposing of laptops and other digital media if data is not completely erased it can also lead to a data breach.

Read also: What is a DDoS attack? How to Stop DDoS Attacks?

These data breaches are prevalent across all sectors. Banking and Healthcare are the most critical among them. When it comes to healthcare the picture is sad. The medical data, reports, and billing details are sold in black.
This data is then used to manipulate the patients into buying more costly medicines, higher premiums for insurance, and many other shady activities. It is a big business. Make sure when you visit a hospital or medical center, they have proper data protection measures in place to avoid such situations.

How does Data Breach Occur?

A data breach is so easy to carry out at this juncture of time. But what are the reasons that make data breach too easy to carry out or how does data breach occur?

  • Weak and stolen credentials
  • Applications that are built based on poorly written code
  • Poorly designed network
  • Malicious link and software
  • Over permissions
  • Companies inside the companies
  • Improper configuration

How does data breach occur?

How to Prevent a Data Breach?

Now that we have seen how a data breach can happen and what can be the consequences, let us try to fix the damage. While it may not be possible to make the system 100% foolproof, below are some of the ways in which each organization can try to minimize the occurrences of these data breaches.

#1) Keep only what you need

Extra data and information storage can become cumbersome to manage and maintain. The best way is to store only the necessary information both as hard copy and soft copy. Another way is to educate the employees about the retention period of different categories of documents as per the business needs. It is also important where you keep your data. Always make sure not to store important data in multiple places. 1 backup should be enough.

#2) Secure Your Data

As simple as it may sound, having proper safety controls in place is very important for Data Loss Prevention (DLP). Ensure the rooms have limited and restricted access. Ensure not to provide temporary access to anyone for these rooms. Also, regularly revisit the access controls to ensure that only required people have access and ensure to remove access for people who no longer need it

#3) Educate the employees

Employees are your best bet against a data breach. It is advisable to create extensive security policies to avoid data breaches and educate them about it as well. They should be told to follow the policies and security standards mentioned. The onus is on the company to make sure the employees are aware of these policies and standards to be followed.

#4) Destroy before disposing

Companies tend to dispose of unused and expired electronic data, including laptops and pen drives. It is important that the data in these electronic devices is destroyed before it is disposed of. This would help avoid the threat of data getting into the wrong hands after disposal.

#6) Update your policies

With new means of a data breach and information leak being identified, one must make sure that the security policy of the company is updated regularly to counter such attacks. The employees should be notified and made to understand the policy updates made from time to time to make sure they are vigilant against phishing attacks and potential data breaches.

#7) Enhance digital security

Digital security needs to be enhanced with the use of strong passwords containing mixed alphabets and numerals, the encryption and decryption keys need to be changed regularly, and the digital data transfers need to be monitored especially the information shared outside the intranet.

#8) Keep software and system updated

Keeping the system and software updated is always your best bet against malicious malware attacks. While hackers are trying new ways to break through into your system, the security and anti-virus companies are always trying to block these attempts. It is thus important to make sure that all systems install these important updates.

#9) Password Guessing

Password Guessing is one of the most common ways to get unauthorized access into any system. Announcing your password in public and writing it randomly on a slip or a whiteboard can reveal your password to a large number of people apart from the people you want to get access to it. Hence leading unwanted people to get access to your system.

Another very common flaw is keeping the password weak or guessable. Many people keep their passwords on their birthdays, street names, pet names, etc. that are easily guessable by other people. This can also lead to hackers getting access to your system and exploiting it.

Your password is like a key to your home, if it reaches the wrong hands, your valuables can be stolen. Similarly, if you lose your password to the wrong people, you have a chance of getting your sensitive information stolen.

Always keep a strong password and ensure it’s secrecy.

#10)  Recording Key Strokes

Recording Key Strokes can be done easily through malware called keyloggers. These keyloggers can record everything that is typed on your system. Everything including your emails, passwords, messages, credit card information, etc. This information can be then used by hackers to exploit your security.

#11) Insider threat

Sometimes your own employees can be a threat to you. They have your insider information, which they can reveal to your opponents. This again can be a blow to your data security.

Always be sure which information is to be passed to which employee and train them properly and get the proper documents signed to keep your security information safe.

#12)  Eavesdrop Attack
An eavesdropping attack as a name suggests is like eavesdropping into someone’s private conversation. In digital words, in eavesdropping attacks, the hacker mimics themselves as a trusted server. This attack can be either

  • An active attack
  • A passive attack

In an active attack, the hacker who is mimicking as trusted serves sends queries to the victim and gets all the details from the victim, faking himself as a trusted source.
In a passive attack, the hacker listens or eavesdrops on the information being transferred on the network.

#13)  Data Backup and Recovery

Data recovery and backup are essential for reducing the effects of a data breach. Having reliable data backup and recovery mechanisms in place can help organizations recover their compromised data and minimize the damage in the event of a breach, where unauthorized access or data loss occurs.

Organizations can guarantee that they have a secure copy of their data stored apart from the production environment by routinely backing up important data and systems.

This enables them to fix the underlying security problems before restoring the data to its pre-breach state or a known clean state. Additionally, data backup makes it easier for forensic investigations to determine the reason for and scope of the breach, supporting incident response efforts.

Data recovery from backups also lessens the chance that ransomware attacks will be successful because businesses can restore data without having to pay the ransom. A company’s resilience is increased by the implementation of effective data backup and recovery procedures, which guarantee that crucial data is accessible even in the event of a data breach.

Risk Mitigation Strategy

  • Create an incident response plan that is clearly defined and frequently updated to serve as a roadmap for action when a breach occurs.
  • Conduct frequent risk assessments to find any potential holes or flaws in your systems, networks, and data handling procedures.
  •  Assign data a level of sensitivity and put the right security measures in place to protect high-risk data first.
  • Apply the least privilege principle to make sure that people only have access to the information and systems they need to carry out their specific roles.
  • Put in place reliable monitoring techniques to spot irregular behavior or potential security breaches and act quickly.
  • Evaluate the security procedures followed by partners and third-party vendors who handle sensitive data, and establish strong legal contracts to guard against data breaches.
  • Educate staff members on security best practices and how to spot and report security threats by conducting regular security awareness training sessions.
  • Use encryption methods to protect sensitive data while it is in storage or being transferred, lowering the possibility of unauthorized access in the event of a breach.
  • Applying security patches on a regular basis will address known flaws in software, systems, and equipment.
  • Network segmentation limits an attacker’s ability to move laterally in the event of a breach, potentially reducing damage.
  • Implement thorough logging and monitoring systems to record and examine security events, assisting with breach detection and investigation.
  • Conduct periodic security audits to evaluate the efficacy of security controls, spot any gaps, and make the necessary corrections.
  • Consider purchasing cyber insurance coverage to lessen financial losses and legal obligations brought on by data breaches.

Some of the Biggest Data Breach Incidents

Even with the policies and procedures in place, companies do fail to protect their data and personal information. These data breaches can have far-reaching consequences if not found and plugged at the right time. In this section, let us see some major and most talked about data breach instances across the globe.

  1. Facebook

facebook data breach
In September 2018, the hackers were able to manipulate the code for “view as” to get access to the user security token. With this token, it was possible to hack into the person’s Facebook profile. This exposed the personal data of 50 million users. To counter this Facebook had to forcefully log out 90 million users and had to reset the access tokens as well.

  1. British Airways

In a major data breach that happened in 2018, the hackers were able to access the British Airways customer database and get the personal and financial details of more than 3,80,000 customers who made or changed any of their bookings over a 2-week period. The compromised data included name, address, email ID, credit card details including the expiry, and some security codes as well. Even before they could fix the damage, another 1,85,000 customers’ data were compromised through the reward bookings vulnerability.

  1. American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA)

American Medical Collection Agency
AMCA is a billing service agency in the US. Their medical data was breached for about 8 months from Aug 2018 to Mar 2019 before coming to light. Though the investigations are still, a rough estimate indicates that personal, medical and financial data of more than 25 million people was compromised. The extent of the impact is still under investigation and the company has recently filed for bankruptcy.

  1. Equifax

Equifax data breach
One of the US’ biggest credit reporting companies faced the wrath of hackers in 2017 jeopardizing the data of more than 143 million users who had used their services for generating a credit report. The breach took about 2 months to find and fix and the hackers were able to get the SSN, DOB, names, address, and even driving license details. As a precautionary measure, the clients were asked to freeze their credit cards or at least enable a fraud alert. The exact extent of the impact is still unknown.

  1. Oregon Department of Human Services

This was a result of a massive phishing email campaign to which around 9 employees responded by providing their user IDs and password. With this information, the hackers were able to gain full access to the medical data and records of about 6,45,000 patients. This included their personal record, financial data, medical history, and SSN details as well. The officials were detected the data breach 3 weeks later when most of the damage was already done.

  1. eBay

ebay data breach
In one of the biggest corporate data breaches in history, the hackers were able to access and compromise around 145 million customer data including the username and password. The company for initially reluctant to believe a data breach in its high-security system. But later, they found that the hackers had used the corporate accounts of three employees to access the customer data. The customers were then asked to reset and update their passwords to avoid any unforeseen issues.

  1. Community Health Systems

Community Health Systems
Around 206 hospitals in the US come under the umbrella of the Community Health System. In a major data breach in 2014, the hackers were able to access to more than 4.5 million patient records belonging to these 206 hospitals.

Read also: Top 10 Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks

This indicated a very high risk of identity theft of the patients belonging to Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi where they have most centers. They were later able to find out that the data breach was carried out through sophisticated malware by hackers from China.

Ways to improve Data Breach Mitigation

  1. Companies have deployed an incident response team to respond timely when there is an attack so that days required data breach cycle can be reduced.
  2. The incident response team should be tested using a mock drill to ensure its reliability.
  3. The latest technologies must be implemented to detect the breach at an early stage.
  4. For better insights and to stabilize the security seek the help of threat intelligence
  5. Have an effective business continuity plan and proper backup
    Seek expert advice rather than listening to half-witted one

How Much Does Data Breach Mitigation Cost

The average cost of data breaches globally according to a study in 2019 is $3.92 million. What makes such attacks devastating is that the time is taken to find the attack and stop it.
One data breach cycle is 279 days and often companies find it hard to contain the attack before it. However, there are companies that have managed to put an end to the cycle before 200 days managed to reduce to the loss of $1.2 million less than the usual.
The most devastating attacks were caused by malicious attackers and it took longer than the usual average to detect such attacks. For example, you have the case of Wiper Ransomware attacks in front of you.


While data breaches have become common and even the biggest companies are not spared by them, we must make sure we take all precautions to keep our data safe and secure.

It is important to understand that with greater connectivity all data is at stake both for individuals and for companies. This means that even as an individual you need to understand the importance and of your personal information and you need to safeguard it against misuse.



Major Cyber Attacks on India (Exclusive News) (Updated)

Cyber Attacks on India or any other part of this world are an attempt to destroy or infect computer networks in order to extract or extort money or for other malicious intentions such as procuring necessary information.
Cyber attacks alter computer code, data, or logic via malicious code resulting in troublesome consequences that can compromise the information or data of the organizations to make it available to cybercriminals.
A serious threat lurking around, Cyber attacks on India
Around 1.6 million attacks were reported in the year 2020. The world was moving to remote corners of the world and security was under serious threat owing to work from home.
Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has alerted over 700 organizations to be alert about cyber attacks and suggested improving their cyber security measures to keep risks at a minimum.
Wish to know which are the Cyber Attacks in India? Read below

Major and Minor cyber attacks on India { Till 2021]

SIM Swap Fraud

In August 2018, two men from Navi Mumbai were arrested for cybercrime. They were involved in fraudulent activities concerning money transfers from the bank accounts of numerous individuals by getting their SIM card information through illegal means.
cyber attacks
These fraudsters were getting the details of people and were later blocking their SIM Cards with the help of fake documents post which they were carrying out transactions through online banking.
They were accused of transferring 4 crore Indian Rupees effectively from various accounts. They even dared to hack the accounts of a couple of companies.
Prevention: The information required for such a scheme is gathered via various public domains and is misused later. Sharing personal information with unknown applications and domains can help in minimizing the risk of having your personal information reaching people with malicious content.
Fraudsters use the victim’s information in various scams and trick them into fraudulent activities. It is advisable therefore that the site where n individual is entering his banking or other details should be verified for authenticity, as scammer uses the fake site to get the information directly from prospective victims

Cyber Attack on Cosmos Bank

 A daring cyber attack was carried in August 2018 on Cosmos Bank’s Pune branch which saw nearly 94 Crores rupees being siphoned off.
Hackers wiped out money and transferred it to a Hong Kong-situated bank by hacking the server of Cosmos Bank. A case was filed by Cosmos bank with Pune cyber cell for the cyber attack. Hackers hacked into the ATM server of the bank and stole the details of many visa and rupee debit card owners.
The attack was not on a centralized banking solution of Cosmos bank. The balances and total accounts statistics remained unchanged and there was no effect on the bank account of holders. The switching system which acts as an interacting module between the payment gateways and the bank’s centralized banking solution was attacked.
cyber attacks
The Malware attack on the switching system raised numerous wrong messages confirming various demands of payment of visa and rupee debit card internationally. The total transactions were 14,000 in numbers with over 450 cards across 28 countries.

Also Know: Cyber Security New Year’s Resolutions For 2020

On the national level, it has been done through 400 cards and the transactions involved were 2,800. This was the first malware attack in India against the switching system which broke the communication between the payment gateway and the bank.
Prevention: Hardening of the security systems by limiting their functions and performance only to authorized people can be the way forward.
Any unauthorized access to the network should immediately set an alarm to block all access to the bank’s network. Also, to minimize risk, enabling a two-factor authentication might help.
Through testing, potential vulnerabilities can be fished out and can make the entire digital part of the banking system safe.

ATM System Hacked in Kolkata

In July 2018 fraudsters hacked into Canara bank ATM servers and wiped off almost 20 lakh rupees from different bank accounts. The number of victims was over 50 and it was believed that they were holding the account details of more than 300 ATM users across India.
The hackers used skimming devices on ATMs to steal the information of debit cardholders and made a minimum transaction of INR 10,000 and a maximum of INR 40,000 per account.

Also Know: What is a DDoS attack? How to Stop DDoS Attacks?

On 5 August 2018, two men were arrested in New Delhi who were working with an international gang that uses skimming activities to extract the details of the bank account.
Prevention: Enhancement of the security features in ATM and ATM monitoring systems can prevent any misuse of data.
Another way to prevent fraudulent activity is to minimize the risk of skimming by using lockbox services to receive and transfer money safely.
This uses an encrypted code that is safer than any other payment.
Websites Hacked: Over 22,000 websites were hacked between the months of April 2017 and January 2018. As per the information presented by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, over 493 websites were affected by malware propagation including 114 websites run by the government. The attacks were intended to gather information about the services and details of the users in their network.
Prevention: Using a more secure firewall for networks and servers which can block any unauthorized access from outside the network is perhaps the best idea.
Personal information of individuals is critical for users and cannot be allowed to be taped into by criminals. Thus, monitoring and introducing a proper network including a firewall and security system may help in minimizing the risk of getting hacked.

Phishing Attack on Wipro

cyber attacks
There were reports about an attack on the Wipro system by major online news portals.  Attack as per reported was a phishing attack and was done by a group through gift card fraud.
Even though the attack was not a massive one, many employees and client accounts were compromised. And the attack became notorious for one of the major Cyber Attacks on India
How to avoid Phishing attacks?

  • Always think before you click. Phishing links can impersonate as authentic links with some minor changes that might not be visible at a single glance. Make sure that you have read the complete link before clicking it
  • Install measures that can effectively prevent such attacks
  • Make sure that the websites you are accessing are secure. Usually, a secure website will have a security certificate to safeguard all the customer information. Make sure that that website begins with HTTPS and has a lock symbol on the extreme left of the address bar.
  • Check your online account on a regular basis and make sure that there are no suspicious activities. Change the password frequently.
  • Update your browsers regularly as updates often will have security patches for existing loopholes.
  • Keep your personal details secret
Bib B Amitabh Bachchan ‘s Twitter Account Hacked!

There can be a question that social media profiles are subjected to hacking all the time. But with Amitabh Bachan’s statitude the hack became controversial and was announced as one  of the Cyber Attacks on India
Lately, Amitabh Bachchan’s Twitter handle got hacked and the perpetrators posted hateful messages putting everybody in shock.
This can happen to big companies also. However, if the news gets out this can be a huge blow to the credibility of any company.
How to prevent Social Media Profile Hacking?

  • Social media is infested with third-party applications. Make sure that you are using legitimate authorized applications
  • Use strong credentials and change them often
  • Install proper antivirus
  • Enable two-factor authentication

Exposed Health Care Data
Be it any government-related data; it has to be kept in utmost secrecy. What if it’s exposed? That’s what happened lately when healthcare data of India was left exposed without enough security measures.
This mistake was found out by Bob Diachenko during a regular security audit. He found out that India based IP contained a data pack that’s been left exposed without any security measures.
How to Prevent Database Hacking?

  • Make sure that proper web application firewall is installed
  • Strengthen network security by login expiration, changing passwords,
  • Make sure that the admin level of your website is not exposed with a simple password
  • Change the database prefix from wp6 to something random which can’t be guessed
  • Stay updated regarding the latest hacking threats

How to prevent Database Hacking?

  • Make sure that a proper web application firewall is installed
  • Strengthen network security by login expiration, changing passwords,
  • Make sure that the admin level of your website is not exposed with a simple password
  • Change the database prefix from wp6 to something random which can’t be guessed
  • Stay updated regarding the latest hacking threats
Personal Data Exposed from JustDial Database

An unprotected API end was the issue in this incident. Justdial one of India’s leading local search platforms let a loose end that exposed all of their user data who accessed their services through the web, mobile, and their phone number.
Leaked data includes name, email, number, address gender, etc. the shocking part according to reports is that since 2015 the API has been exposed like this.
How to make your API secure?

  • Validate all the incoming data
  • Use the essential method for authentication verification
  • Monitor and manage using automated scripts
  • Encrypt data

UIDAIAdhaar Hacked!
Everyone knows that the Adhaar card is the most important and powerful identification document in India. More than a billion of information stored in the government database is ready to be processed under high security and regulations.
However,  in 2018 there was a major flaw that risked the huge data pool. According to reports published by major news portals, a small software patch has actually compromised the data security. There was a threat to national security since Adhaar was emerging to be the most powerful.
Talking about the patch it was an inexpensive one but was capable enough to jeopardize the system security. What made the whole situation frightening was that the Adhaar card was linked to the bank account, pan card, mobile number, and much personal information of an Indian citizen.
However, The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) who is in charge of the data has denied such allegations. But series of news and proofs that came out might beg to differ.
Adhaar hack news
How to keep sensitive data secure?

  • Periodical cybersecurity posture assessment
  • Educate the employees on secure network practices
  • Adopt a strict BYOD (Bring your own device) policy
  • Do heavy encryption on the data that needs to be protected
  • Deploy a system that can monitor frequently

SIM Swap Scam 
Another big cyber campaign took place in August 2018, when two Hackers from Navi Mumbai transferred 4 crore rupees from multiple bank accounts. They used the SIM Swap system, illegally gaining access to various individuals’ SIM cards and illegally stealing their bank details. They used this private information to get into their bank accounts and transfer their money to their bank account. Hackers blocked individuals’ SIM cards and transacted money through online banking. Not even the individuals tried to hack the details of some of their targeted customers.
Cyberattack on Union Bank of India
Another shocking cyberattack that made everyone alert was done in July 2017. The attack was on one of India’s biggest banks; the Union Bank of India. The attack was initiated when an employee opened an email attachment. This email attachment had a malware code. It allowed the hackers to get inside the bank’s system and steal the bank’s data. The email attachment forged a central bank email. The employee overlooked the details and trusted the email, which initiated a malware attack and allowed the hackers to get inside the bank’s data and steal Union Bank’s access codes for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). SWIFT is used for international transactions. The hacker used these codes and transferred  $170 million to a Union Bank account at Citigroup Inc in New York.
Malware attack on Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP)
Authorities on October 20, 2019, confirmed that the nuclear power station in Kudankulam faced a cyber attack.  The attack was initiated by the North Korean hacker group- Lazarus. This attack was done to get information on thorium-based reactors, an alternative to uranium. Initially, National Power Corporation of India (NPCI) denied the hacking attack news but later they accepted that the hackers had hacked one of their systems. They used a malware named ‘Dtrack’ to get inside the company’s system through a couple of loopholes that persisted in their security systems. 
Indian journalists, activists spied on by Israeli spyware Pegasus
2019 saw another big cyber attack when Israeli spyware Pegasus was used to spy on academicians, lawyers, activists, and journalists in India.
WhatsApp confirmed that NSO Group used Israeli spyware, called Pegasus to get access to the passwords, text messages on messaging apps like WhatsApp.  Pegasus took advantage of loopholes in the servers. It allowed the government spies to hack the details of about 1,400 users. Pegasus allowed to hack and get access to everything on the phones of the user (victims) remotely. Even, WhatsApp announced renovating its security features.
Facebook database leak data of 419 million users
Another very prominent attack was on Facebook and Twitter user data. The personal information of around 419 million users was broken to third parties. The Insecure database allowed the hackers to access the phone numbers, user’s name, gender, and location of around 419 million users that were linked to their Facebook accounts. Though the attack took place around the geographies, it also included the data of many Indian users. 
Cyber-attack on Air India
One of the biggest cyber-attacks India has seen in 2021 is on India’s biggest airline Air India. The Security of Indian Airlines data was compromised when the confidential information of its passengers like ticket information, passport details, and credit card information of more than 4.5 million customers was stolen by the hackers. Though the airlines tried to convince their passengers that their credit card information was safe, they insisted they change their password.
LinkedIn Phishing Scam
Another big attack of 2021 was a phishing scam attack on the social networking site LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of the biggest social networks where people connect with people of their related job profiles. This networking site accounts for 756 million members across 200 countries worldwide. The company was perturbed when the data of 500 million LinkedIn users were under a security breach. The data of these account holders were sold online. The attackers had sent these users fake job offering mail which forced them to click the link and instilling malicious software on their systems.
Attacks on India’s CoWIN app
Amidst the pandemic, CoWIN app emerged as a ray of light for the people of India, by helping them and streamlining the complete vaccination process of the huge country. But this app appeared to be an enticing bait to hackers to lure their victims. Hackers used the CoWin app to misguided users into downloading fake apps. In January many incidents came up in light of fake Aarogya Setu apps created by hackers. It was used to implant malware into end user’s systems. The fake CoWIN app lured many users to download this fake app in an urge to get vaccinated.
Security Testing and its Significance
Hackers and criminals are getting smarter every day. The countermeasure is to predict their attack and block it in the most effective way possible before any unfortunate events.
In Testing, mostly 4 major types of testing ate performed

  • Network security
  • System software security
  • Client-side application security
  • Server-side application security

For these tests to happen in the most efficient way possible it’s better to have a dedicated testing wing along with software development or hire services from an agency. 
Stopping cyberattacks on India to a full extent might not be possible. But measures can be taken to avoid imminent ones and save a lot of money.

11 Best Vulnerability Assessment Scanning Tools

Computer systems, applications, software, and other network interfaces are vulnerable to a lot of threats. These threats need to be identified by experts as potential risks. Further, these threats are classified into different types. Then these vulnerabilities are prioritized, and the issue is resolved for the safety of the system. There are tools in existence that can fish out the issues impeccably. They are called Vulnerability assessment tools.
Before we get to that let’s have a look at the term vulnerability assessment and how it’s classified.
Table of Contents

What is Vulnerability Assessment?
The term vulnerability assessment is self-descriptive. Assessing the vulnerabilities in a system or application is called vulnerability assessment. These vulnerabilities are very risky for big IT techs or huge enterprises. These entities need to undertake proper vulnerability assessment and act on the recommendations immediately to cancel out any potential threats to the system.
Vulnerability Assessment
These threats can give access to hackers to enter the security system of any giant company and exploit it to their advantage cause huge losses to the company. Hence, it becomes necessary to address these issues through a vulnerability assessment.
To carry out this assessment efficiently, one needs to use some already available tools like the task cannot be done manually with complete perfection. These tools include some scanners which scan the whole system for any possible threat and generate an assessment report for the user to go through and act upon it accordingly.
There are a lot of types of vulnerability assessment that can be carried out in a system, such as: –

  1. Network-based: Detects possible threats and vulnerabilities on wired and wireless networks.
  2. Host-based: This scans ports and networks related to hosting like servers and workstations. It is like a network-based scan but provides a better and detailed scan of hosts.
  3. Application scans: This scans the websites in order to figure out possible threats and vulnerabilities in software.
  4. Database scans Scans databases to find out possible vulnerabilities in them.
  5. Wireless network scans: Scans the company’s Wi-Fi networks to find out possible leaks and threats.

The whole process of identifying threats, scanning systems, and applications, prioritizing threats, creating patches and applying them is a long process and doing it manually is not a very efficient choice. For the purpose of identification and prioritizing, vulnerability assessment tools are available which are basically software and applications that scan your system and create an assessment report. Some vulnerability assessment scanning tools go to the extent of fixing some potential threats and patching for you.
These vulnerability scanning tools reduce your work to a great extent, and you are mostly left with the job of fixing or checking the reports. These scans can be either carried out internally after logging in as an authorized user or externally to look for threats from the point of view of a hacker. The sole cause of vulnerability scanners is to keep the system secure and safe while resolving any leaks or security vulnerabilities in the system.

Top Vulnerability Assessment Tools
There are many paid tools available for the purpose, but if you do not want to spend money on vulnerability assessment tools, there are some tools that are available as open-source and you can use them for the required task without paying anything. Here are some of the best vulnerability assessment tools that are available for you:
1. Qualys Vulnerability Management
This tool can seem a little expensive to many, but the truth is that great things come at a cost. Although Qualys Vulnerability Management is expensive than most other vulnerability management tools, it provides extensive protection from possible malicious attacks.

  • Qualys has the capability of working under extreme internal complex networks and works behind the firewall to look for vulnerabilities.
  • It can also scan the cloud storage system for security purposes. Further, Qualys Vulnerability Management can also scan the shared networks geographically, which is really commendable.
  • It claims that its accuracy goes up to 99% making it an almost perfect tool that figures out most of the vulnerabilities and presents them to you for fixing and patching.

2. Nessus Professional
Nessus Professional is one of the best tools available for vulnerability assessment scans. It checks the system for compliance. It also searches the Internet protocol addresses and the websites for any potential risks that can attack the system later on.

  • Nessus scans all the sensitive data to protect it from hackers and malicious attackers.
  • The best part about Nessus Professional is that it is easy to use a scanner that comes with a user-friendly interface to enable the users to enjoy an easy experience.
  • Nessus professionals can also detect an SQL injection attack which is hard to detect.
  • It provides a detailed and unlimited assessment of the system.
  • It comes with an advanced detection technology which gives an additional and upgraded assessment of the system.
  • Nessus Professional is the kind of vulnerability scanning tools that gives deep insight into the vulnerabilities of the system and exposes all network threats.

3. Skybox
Skybox has great user reviews for its capability to protect the system from alarming threats and system dangers. Skybox is unique because it provides the assessment of the vulnerabilities of the system without using any scanning procedures.

  • Skybox provides you with the benefit of prioritizing the threats which helps you to look at the threat, which is most dangerous at the present moment.
  • The prioritization helps you to decide about which threat is supposed to be fixed first.
  • Well, that is not all! Skybox also provides special features to secure the system.
  • Skybox is great at looking for blind spots. It uses third party scanners to look for threats and then uses its own intelligence to prioritize them.
  • After making the report of the threats, it provides the benefit of controlling vulnerability which makes it very efficient at what it does.
  • It is better to use Skybox in medium to large-sized organizations.

4. Intruder
Intruder works just like its name. Its scanning abilities are based on the cloud. The software tool looks for any security breaches in the entire computer system that would give out a way for the malicious attackers to intrude in the system and exploit the security of the user.

  • For a simple vulnerability scan, Intruder offers around tens of thousands of checks to ensure the security of the system.
  • Intruder comes with a notification offer. You can be emailed the notification after it completes scanning the whole system for any breaches.
  • Even the reports of the scan of a month can be aggregated in a PDF format, and you can choose to receive it through email every month.
  • It is a friendly software and can even be coupled with other software to give better results to protect the system.

Read also: Top 10 Software Testing Tools For 2020

5. Tripwire IP360
Tripwire IP360 can secure the system from many vulnerability threats. It can work on critical systems and generate reports about such systems so that the user can protect the important files. It also offers management of the cloud environment. Tripwire has many other features like protection from vulnerabilities, security controls, security management, and many other benefits.

  • The structure of Tripwire IP360 is modernized and updated with the present time needs.
  • It can classify the high priority risks and low priority ones.
  • It has the capability to fulfill all needs that one can have from a vulnerability management tool.
  • Tripwire IP360 is an integrated system of many other tools that you would require separately to secure your system.
  • Tripwire IP360 provides you with the benefits of all such tools by bringing them in one place for your integrated use.
  • It looks through the assets of the company to protect them securely.

6. Wireshark
This vulnerability assessment tool keeps its notice over the networks of the system. The report generated by this tool can be viewed in the TTY mode. Another way of viewing its results of the assessment is through using a graphical user interface that presents you with the whole assessment report.

  • Wireshark captures the details of threats, securities in the live-action and saves it for later.
  • When the system is offline, it analyses the data collected and generates an analysis report for the organization.
  • It can read many files of varying formats that work to the additional benefit of the user.
  • It can run on various operating systems which includes Windows and Linux.
  • The analysis report can be converted into simple and plain text for the user to understand it easily without diving deep into the computer science terms.
  • It supports decryption too for some selective protocols.

7. BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust is perfect for someone who does not want to spend some bucks on vulnerability assessment tools. BeyondTrust is an open-source and absolutely free application for anyone to use and assess their systems. BeyondTrust is available online and easily accessible to anyone who wants to use it.

  • BeyondTrust searches the network systems, virtual environment, and operating system.
  • It also scans the devices and computers to look for vulnerabilities. Along with vulnerability identification, BeyondTrust offers its management with the help of some patch fixes.
  • The tool is designed to increase the ease of use and does so brilliantly with its user-friendly interface.
  • It also aims at risk management and prioritizes the threats.
  • The vulnerability assessment tool can be paired up with other software and can be used to scan the virtual environment.
  • Further, it also supports the scanning of virtual images. Having so many features for free software is truly commendable.

8. Paessler
Paessler, a vulnerability assessment scanning tool, comes with higher and advanced technology. It provides advanced infrastructure management to the concerned system. Paessler uses technologies like simple network management protocol, windows management instrumentation, representational state transfer, application program interface, structured query language, and many others. By using so many technologies, Paessler provides an advanced management system.

  • Paessler can monitor over a vast range of systems which includes internet protocols, firewalls, Wi-Fi, LAN, SLA, and many others.
  • The result report is available via emails. Any potential risk triggering items are scanned and tested, and the user is informed if any malicious behavior is noticed.
  • Paessler supports the web interface for multiple users at a time.
  • It provides the facility for monitoring the network connections through a map that is visually convenient.
  • Apart from monitoring the data carefully, Paessler gives you the data, demographics, graphs and all the numerical data related to the data which is supposed to be monitored.

Read also: 10 Major Bug Tracking Software For 2020

9. OpenVAS
OpenVAS provides with the high-level scanning technology. It can test both authenticated and unauthenticated protocols. It also scans the industrial protocols. The industrial protocol can be of both high level and low level. Along with all this, it also scans the Internet protocols that may range from high level to low level.

  • The vulnerability tests that are carried out are extremely detailed, bringing up all the history.
  • The vulnerability assessment scans are updated regularly to keep up with the malicious intents of hackers.
  • It contains more than fifty thousand tests for vulnerability assessment, which means that it looks through the entire system in extreme detail.
  • Now, if you are still not satisfied with the kind of performance that it delivers, then you can work on the internal programming code that it provides. With Open VAS you can perform any kind of vulnerability tests you want to.

10. Aircrack
The technology of Aircrack is aimed at securing Wi-Fi networks with the utmost security possible. It consists of Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) key along with Wi-Fi protected access and Wi-Fi protected Access 2 encryption keys. These encryption keys provide the means to resolve issues generated due to Wi-Fi networks.

  • Aircrack is a kind of universal assessment tool as it supports all kinds of the operating system along with all types of platforms.
  • Fragmentation attack is another raising issue in terms of network attacks. Aircrack provides safety from fragmentation attacks.
  • The tracking speed is improved in the case of Aircrack. It also supports protocols required to provide security from Wired Equivalent Privacy attacks.
  • It also supports multiple numbers of cards and drivers. With Aircrack, the Wi-Fi network system is secured.
  • The connection problems are resolved, and you can be free from issues in the Wi-Fi.

11. Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA)
Powered by Microsoft, Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) looks for any security configurations that are missing from the system. It also looks for configuration issues in the systems that are common in computer systems.

  • The unique feature of Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer is that it provides it download in a variety of languages that includes German, French, Japanese and English.
  • This makes it easier for users to use the services of Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer universally.
  • The Microsoft Windows system is scanned carefully with the local or remote scan available.
  • The vulnerability assessment tool supports two of the common interfaces, i.e., the command-line interface for high-level skilled programmers and graphical user interface for lesser-skilled programmers.
  • Any error or missing security settings is reported to the user, and a patch for fixing the issue is expected.

There are various vulnerability assessment tools that are available both for free and some basic cost. It is very necessary to secure the system from potential cyber threats and malicious attacks so that your organization or company stays free of the danger of the outside world.
The main motive of these assessment scanning tools is to secure the leaks and patches before any malicious intent intruder can figure it out to exploit the system.
So select the one which meets your requirements and take a firm step towards securing your system from vulnerabilities.

Cyber Security New Year’s Resolutions For 2020

Regardless of whether your New Year’s goals incorporate well being related objectives, the way of life changes, or different responsibilities, there’s one territory we as a whole should concentrate on in 2020:  that’s cybersecurity. There have to be Cybersecurity New Years resolutions for better cyberspace.
In view of far-reaching appraisals of the danger scene, we suggest that organizations center around the accompanying security points in 2020:
Before that, you must go through some of the major attacks that happened last year to get a clear picture of the necessity of the implementation of strict procedures.
Cyber Security New Year's Resolutions
Why you need Cybersecurity New Years resolutions?
The answer is, Worst attacks that happened in 2019!
• Capital one was hacked and around 100 million customer data was stolen
• State Farm an insurance company has revealed that they were under attack lately
• Thousands of Disney fans accounts were hacked once they logged onto a new streaming service
• A cryptocurrency exchange was ransacked in South Korea and $48. Million was stolen
• 1 Million user data of BioStar 2 was stolen
• More than half a million data of DHS Target was exposed through a phishing attack
• There is a suspicion that data breach has happened in Citrix
1. Practices to avoid Crime-As-A-Service (CaaS)
Crime-As-A-Service (CaaS) is the point at which an expert criminal, or group of culprits, create a prompt gadget, “instruments” and other bundled administrations, which are then made available to be purchased or leased to different criminals who are typically less experienced.
This is powerfully affecting the universe of wrongdoing – and cybercrime specifically – in light of the fact that it brings down the bar for unpracticed on-screen characters to dispatch advanced digital assaults and tricks.
In 2017, Europol discharged another investigation that hailed CaaS as a noteworthy facilitator of genuine online crimes, and additionally customary violations like unlawful weapons deals.
Crime-As-A-Service will build the dangers of money related misrepresentation; digital blackmail and information robbery for a wide range of organizations, yet small and medium-sized organizations are at the most serious hazard.
Hence, it is basic for entrepreneurs to make a “safeguard top to bottom” approach that centers similarly to preventive security and post-attack regulation. By preparing for a system theft, the organization can limit the harm.
2. Expand Tools and Services
Digital security dangers are expanding in seriousness and recurrence, which is stressing the IT-associations in numerous organizations.
To help these organizations in their voyage to better digital security, many tools have extended their administrations portfolio with down to earth digital security administrations.
The administrations incorporate Cybersecurity well-being check for evaluating the present condition of the digital security in the organization, incident reaction for handling a progressing cyber attack and Defense working for enhancing the digital security on the functional side.
Moreover, IT-bolster as an administration is offered to give persistent help.
3. Controlling the menace of the Internet of Things (IoT)
By interfacing a more noteworthy decent variety of gadgets to systems, this carries with it the related dangers. To place this into viewpoint, there are in excess of three billion cell phones right now being used universally and eight billion IoT gadgets.
The scale is considerable and it is just developing. The Gartner report predicts more than 20 billion associated things by 2020, all of which speak to entry to the system, which can be hacked or traded off.

Read also : Top 10 Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks

To secure associations against this multiplying hazard isn’t simple, however, should be possible. The security of every hub in the system is important to bestow security all in all.
Endpoint approval is essential to security, as is controlled system associations. For instance, a representative associating his Fitbit to the work PC can result in an unintended trade-off of the system.
4. Risk management in the supply chain
Supply chains are an essential segment of each association’s worldwide business tasks and the foundation of the present worldwide economy.

Be that as it may, security managers are worried about the fact that they are so open to a wealth of hazard factors. A scope of significant and touchy data is frequently imparted to providers and, when that data is shared, coordinate control is lost.
This prompts an expanded danger of its secrecy, uprightness or accessibility being imperiled. In the coming year, associations must concentrate on the weakest spots in their supply chains.
Few out of every odd security trade-off can be anticipated, yet being proactive currently implies that you—and your providers—will be better ready to respond rapidly and insightfully when something happens.

Read also : What is a DDoS attack? How to Stop DDoS Attacks?

To address data change in the inventory network, associations ought to embrace solid, adaptable and repeatable procedures — acquiring affirmation proportionate to the hazard confronted.
Store network data chance administration ought to be installed inside the existing acquisition and the executive’s forms.
This status may decide aggressiveness, monetary well-being, share the cost, or even business survival in the consequence of a break.
5. Embrace the Cloud Storage Services
Distributed storage administrations are extremely popular now and for valid justifications. The best of them offer end-to-end encryption of your information to guard it, alongside some free storage room and sensible expenses for extra space.
Cloud storage services are available and easily retrievable by PCs and mobile phones wherever you are.
There are a lot of other distributed storage administrations—mega backup, Next cloud, Box, Spideroak One, and iDrive, to give some examples. Avoid administrations that are new.
You wouldn’t have any desire to sign on one day and discover that the startup you use to store your information has left the business.
6. Enable multi-factor authentication
To avoid identity theft and other malpractices it’s always better to confirm the user’s identity to add that extra layer of protection. Usually, it’s done by either through the mobile number or email ID of the user. Last year, the poor authentication process leads to a loss in millions. So obviously user authentication has to be done.
7. Block suspicious websites
Clear guidelines must be given to employees not to access any unknown website. Apart from the necessary, other websites must be blocked. Those who are not aware of how to distinguish a malicious site from a good one must be taught immediately.
8. Make sure that the board of directors and CISO are in one page:
Unrealistic goals are the main villains when it comes to attaining effective cyber threat protection for many companies. People at the top are not aware of the fact that fully secure cyberspace is a myth for any company.
What has to be done here is with the help of technology effective strategies must be devised to make sure that nothing happens. To make it happen, time is necessary and both CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) should have a proper idea about the strategies, technologies and time required.
9. Regular update of technologies 
When it comes to cybersecurity, software plays a major share in protecting user data or saving any company from cyber-attacks. Bots, viruses, and attacks are evolving as we speak. So regular updates of the technologies used in protecting your company must also be updated regularly.
10. User strict filer for emails
Spam mails are a regular thing for anyone who is using corporate email. A major share of them is advertisement but certain e-mails can breach the spam filter and reach you as a potential lead or an important mail. Once you click it, its true color will be revealed. Jeopardizing company data is a big no under any circumstances so make sure that strict filters are used in every computer in your company.
Regardless of what’s on your New Year’s goals list, cybersecurity is basic at present. Occurrences will happen as it is difficult to stay away from each breach.
However, you can focus on building a developed, practical, expansive based, and community-oriented way to deal with digital security and flexibility.
Developing your organization’s capacity to identify interruptions rapidly and react speedily will be of the most noteworthy significance in 2020 and the upcoming future.

What is a DDoS attack? How to Prevent DDoS Attacks?

In a world dominated by the digital world, everything seems to be just a click away. Our dependence on digital media has grown manifolds in the past couple of decades. But this dependency has also given birth to many notorious activities, and one of such activity is DDos attack.
Overview of DDoS Attacks:

  1. What is a DDoS attack?
  2. Why DDoS Attack?
  3. Duration of DDoS Attack
  4. DDoS attack Symptoms
  5. Types of DDoS attack
  6. DDoS attack Tools
  7. How to Protect Your Website From DDoS Attacks?
  8. What’s DDoS threat intelligence map and what’s it used for?
  9. The Crime and Punishment of DDoS attacks
  10. How to identify DDoS attacks?
  11. DDos attack process
  12. Reasons for DDOS attack

In this article, we will learn more about DDoS attacks.
What is a DDoS attack?
DDoS attack or distributed denial of service attack is making it impossible to deliver the service to its end customers. In this kind of attack access to almost everything including s devices, servers, applications, services, networks, etc. is prevented.
The difference between DoS attack and DDoS attack is that in DoS attack malicious data or requests are sent from one system whereas in a DDoS attack it can be sent from multiple systems.
DDoS attack
Multiple requests for data are masked to the system to initiate this attack. It could be done by either extensive request to the webserver to serve a page so that it ultimately crashes because of high demand. The other way is to a large number of queries are hit to the database to slow it down and ultimately crash it.
It could result in minor breakdown or disruption in services or the complete breakdown of websites, applications, or taking the complete business offline.
Why DDoS Attack?
DDoS attacks are initiated to crash the website. The main aim behind such attacks is to make the digital services of the businesses unavailable to its customers.
Duration of DDoS Attack
Duration of DDoS Attack
The duration of the DDoS attack depends on whether the attack is on the network layer or application layer. Network layer attacks can extend up to 48 to 49 hours whereas Application layer attacks can be effective for 60 to 70 days.
DDoS attack Symptoms
DDoS attack Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of DDoS are:

  • Downed server or system
  • Too many legitimate requests from legitimate users
  • A cut cable.

It might require traffic analysis for precise analysis.
Types of DDoS attack
Types of DDoS attackThere is a rise in DDoS attacks in the past few years. and even the attacks are now getting stronger and more harmful. In such a scenario it becomes important to take mitigate these attacks to avoid any future security risks.
To avoid these attacks you should be aware of various types of DDoS attacks so that you can protect yourself from them.

Also Read : Why Python is Used For Cyber Security?

Here are some common types of DDoS attacks:
1. UDP Flood: UDP flood or User Datagram Protocol is a common DDoS attack method where random ports on the target machine are flooded with packets.
UDP Flood
2. SYN Flood: In SYN flood attack repetitive hoaxed requests are sent to a target server from various sources.
SYN Flood
3. Ping of Death: Ping of death (”POD”) sends packets exceeding allowed byte size to manipulates IP protocol.
Ping of Death
4. Reflected Attack: A reflected attack is initiated by sending forged packets to multiple computers.
Reflected Attack
5. Peer-to-Peer Attacks: Peer-to-Peer uses a peer-to-peer server to divert traffic to the target website.
Peer-to-Peer Attacks
6. Degradation of Service Attacks: Degradation of Service Attacks only slows down the server response times instead of taking the website or server offline.
7. Unintentional DDoS: Unintended distributed denial of service refers to congestion in web traffic that causes website/server breakdown.
Unintentional DDoS
8. Application Level Attacks: Application-level attacks focus on attacking one – or a few – applications.
Application Level Attacks
9. Multi-Vector Attacks: In multi-vector attacks, a group of tools and strategies are used to bring websites and servers offline.
Multi-Vector Attacks
10. Zero-Day DDoS: A “Zero Day” based attack to date has no patches.
Zero Day DDoS
We have seen various DDoS attacks, and all of these can adversely affect your website’s performance.
DDoS attack Tools
Various tools are available that can initiate a DDoS attack, some of the common ones are:

  1. HULK: HTTP Unbearable Load King or HULK is created for research purpose is to initiate attacks on the webserver.
  2. Tor’s Hammer: Created for testing purposes, it helps initiate slow post-attack.
  3. Slowloris Tool: It helps to make the server down.
  4. LOIC: Low Orbit Ion Cannon is a free and popular tool that is easy to use.
  5. Xoic: it is a DDoS tool for small websites.
  6. DDOSIM: DDoS Simulator simulates the real DDoS attack on the website and network.
  7. RUDY: R-U-Dead-Yet is a long-form field submission DDoS that initiates the attack through POST method

How to Protect Your Website From DDoS Attacks?
How to Protect Your Website From DDoS Attacks
DDoS attacks have become very common in the past few years. India is Among Top 10 Sources for DDoS Attacks in Q2 2015: Akamai
Even the biggest brand has been under the most exceptional cyber-attacks in the history of the internet.
1. Create an Action Plan in Advance
Precaution is always better than cure; prepare an action plan that helps mitigate the DDoS attack risk to a large extent. Though it cannot guarantee 100% security for the risk but can help protect your website to a great extent.
2. Monitor Traffic Levels
Monitoring your traffic levels is another efficient way to protect your website from DDoS attacks. An unexpected and unusual traffic level should raise an alert.
3. Pay Attention to Connected Devices
Connected devices are an easy gateway for hackers to initiate a DDoS attack on your website/server. Keep keen attention to these devices. And for more protection keep changing their passwords regularly and switch them off, when not in use.
4. Ensure You Have Extra Bandwidth
Have an extra bandwidth, it will give a scope to accommodate extra traffic and will give you time to fight the attack.
5. Train Your Customers On Security
Educate your customers to take care of their security. Ask them to follow cyber-security best practices to avoid any such risks.
6. Set up Secured VPS Hosting
Just to save a few bucks, don’t go for the lowest price hosting plans. Set up a secured VPS hosting that will provide you with DDoS protection and will reduce the chances of the attack.

7. Drop Packets from Obvious Sources of Attack
Ensure that you have proper arrangements to stop traffic from false sources. Instruct router to drop packets obvious attack source IPS.
8. Purchase a Dedicated Server
Have your own dedicated hosting server to have more bandwidth, control over security, and countless resources.
9. Block Spoofed IP Addresses
Blocking spoofed IP addresses is another way to prevent DDoS attacks.
10. Install Patches and Updates Frequently
Installing updates lessens the DDoS attack risk.
11. Use Proxy Protection
Use of proxy can give you extra protection from DDoS attacks; hence consider it as one of your rescuers.
12. Set up RST Cookies
RST cookies are a good way to protect your website from DDoS attacks.
What’s DDoS threat intelligence map and what’s it used for?
None can predict the timing of DDoS attacks. All you can do in this kind of situation is to trace the locations where the weaponry is stored in. By knowing so, you can build a defense system that’s more effective than anything. The map should have millions of entries that can be changed dynamically to make the map proactive.
The Crime and Punishment of DDoS attacks
Who are behind this devastating attack? Statistics state that most teenagers are behind d such hideous attacks and they are raking millions of dollars as we speak.
What’s the punishment for a person who’s doing the DDoS attack? First, you need to trace the DDoS attack to put the person who is behind the heinous crime behind bars.
There is another concept behind the attack. Most of the times DDoS attack acts as a mask to perform Phishing and pharming, the most lucrative forms of attack.

Know about : Major Cyber Attacks on India (Alarming News)

DDoS attacks usually happen by flooding and it’s performed by botnets, thousands of them at a time. Owing to the same it’s hard to trace such attacks.
However, Just like any other computer and internet-related offenses, performing DDoS attacks with bad intentions punishable under the law of respective countries.
DDoS Attack Frequency by Industry
DDoS attacks are indeed devastating. But wich industry is prone to frequent DDoS attacks?
Have a look
DDoS Attack Frequency by Industry
How to identify DDoS attacks?
the worst part about this kind of attack is that there won’t be any prior warning before the attack. Since the attack is mainly performed as a masking mechanism to perform another type of attack, unpredictability is the key behind such attacks.
usually what happens is that a website will be bombarded with traffic to an extent where the website will be down for hours or even days.
However, there are certain things you need to monitor that can reveal the attack

For instance,

  • An IP address that makes a huge volume of requests at a time
  • 503 error
  • TTL (time to live) on a ping request
  • Slowness issues
  • Huge spike in traffic

Explaining the DDoS attack process
DDos attacks might seem simple, but initiating a DDoS attack is not that simple. Though the outcome is just depriving the users of the services, but behind the scene there goes a lot of planning and efforts.
DDoS attacks works on the different layers of the network connection. These attacks focus on a certain layer.
To name a few:

  • ICMP Floods, Smurf Attacks, and IP/ICMP Fragmentation focuses on layer 3 that is the Network layer.
  • UDP Floods, SYN Floods, and TCP Connection Exhaustion focused on Layer 4 that is the Transport layer
  • HTTP-encrypted attacks Focuses on layer 7, the Application layer.

The most common method of initiating a DDoS attack is through bots or what we commonly known as “zombie computers”. A network of such bots , which is referred to as a botnet is used to send huge amount of data to the targeted websites, servers, and networks which they cannot accommodate.
Botnets are a network of  thousands to millions of computers managed by cybercriminals. They hack the computers and these computers unknowingly become the part of DDoS attack; yours could be the one.
What are the reasons for DDoS attacks?
DDoS attacks are very prevalent and are becoming hugely common in past few years.
Some of the common reasons why hackers activate these attacks are:

  • Ideology : Many times if hackers does not agree with some ideology they find DDoS attacks as an easy way out to disgrace the website.
  • Business feuds – Business rivalries are another common reason for attackers to activate a DDoS attack on the business rivals site. Mostly it is done to stop them from attending a particular event.
  • Boredom – Another weird factor is boredom, hackers just initiate a DDoS attack because they want to have fun and to kill their boredom. It gives them peace.
  • Extortion – extortion can be another reason where hackers initiate DDoS attacks to blackmail the victims and ask for money in return.
  • Cyber warfare – it has been seen that sometimes countries authorized such attacks to cripple component countries infrastructure.

Cyber attacks are a big threat to the digital world. There are various types of cyberattacks that possess a threat to the security of individuals /businesses to present online. One such type of attack is DDoS. It overburdens the website /server and makes it impossible for businesses to deliver their services through digital mediums to their customers.