Category Archives: Networks

Computer networks are not as secure as you might think. There are always security vulnerabilities and this always makes ink in current issues.

Remote computer network management

We all agree that the coronavirus pandemic has somehow affected the security of IT infrastructure around the world.

Not just security, the organization of IT services as a whole. Indeed, in order to adapt to pandemic requirements such as population containment, most companies have had to migrate to telework. This led to the immediate effect of opening up computer networks to outside access. On the employee side, private and professional life have unfortunately mixed up. A system that has in a fairly practical way put a strain on all the it systems and digital infrastructures of companies.

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Covid-19 was also one of the causes for mass migration to the cloud.

"The Health Crisis linked to CoVid-19 has a significant impact on business IT. Indeed, IT teams must adapt to a new normal that mixes hybrid (present and distance) ways of working, reducing as a skin of sorrow the boundary between work and personal life (office life, but at home) putting a strain on the networks/infrastructures and the "objects" it counts within it. This is to ensure a good user experience, but also continuity of service. Thus, the network of companies and their dedicated team had to quickly manage the changes induced by the hybridization of work (massive use of the cloud, telework, implementation of new computer tools on the network, shadow IT). explains André Schindler, EMEA Managing Director at NinjaRMM.

"Corporate networks support high-value operations that store private data, provide communication channels, and support all aspects of the organization. IT professionals must maintain high levels of network service, enhanced security and constant visibility of IT infrastructure. Thanks to the widespread digital transformation, the modern business network has become increasingly difficult for IT services to manage. he adds. In this case, the use of remote monitoring and management methods that before the health crisis was very important becomes literally necessary.

To some extent in the face of the obligations of information system managers, it can be clearly said that a set of means must be put in place to facilitate the management and monitoring of the computer network: for this, André Schindler proposes 4 good practices to the subject:

1- Always keep an eye on the network: in other words, the head of the it system must ensure that he has a clear and clear view of all devices connected to the computer network. It must also observe all the data flows and quickly resolve problems, of course, knowing how to anticipate them before they occur in most cases.

2- Opt for the optimization of computer and human networks: regardless of the IT strategy, one should ensure that we have enough manpower for network monitoring and if that the quality of the equipment sufficient for a much more efficient job. In other words, investment should be optimal in human resources and it equipment resources.

3- Be considerate: it is important to anticipate the evolution as well as the needs that may be announced in the future. Indeed, today's IT requirements cannot be the same as time goes on. Of course, we have to find a way to adapt all of this.

4- Protecting yourself from the computer threat: today the question of protection is more than a given. Indeed, it is well known that the computer threat is growing more and more. You have to prepare and equip yourself accordingly.

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Are we protecting against hacking with a VPN?

According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Consumer Affairs during the month of July 2020, almost all of Internet users have been victims of cyber-malleneence at least once.

With the coronavirus pandemic, it must be recognized that this situation has not improved at all.

As a result, to best combat growing cybercrime, some tools have begun to become much more popular, as have VPNs.

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Among the acts of cyber malice that have been most observed, we will count the ever-present phishing.An ancient technique that simply involves taking advantage of the naivety of the Internet user to direct him to a platform where his data will be stolen. The technique has been known for a very long time but still continues to hurt as much. This is despite the constant warnings.

According to the study published by the National Institute of Consumer Affairs, 70% of respondents said they had to do phishing at least once in their lives. As mentioned above, hackers use it to steal data regardless of nature.

The most popular times for cyber criminals to develop this practice are usually the times when online activities are most optimized. These include Black Friday or the massive use of digital services due to containment. The cyber-malveillance platform. Gouv.fr detected an increase in phishing attacks during the Black Friday period. The companies whose identity has been most often usurped in France are: La Poste, Chronopost, DPD, UPS or Colissimo.

"This type of message announces that a package must be delivered, but that it still has to pay a sum of money to get it to its destination, often with a mention that it should not be delayed in making the payment. To make this payment, the victim is invited to click on a link in the message that redirects them to a fraudulent website," explains the cybermalveillance.gouv.fr platform. She also points out that there were e-mails announcing deliveries while those same emails contained corrupted attachments.

Now what about VPN?

The private virtual network that encrypts the user's connection. It creates a tunnel through which the user's connection will pass through so as to make him anonymous in a certain way. This means using free WiFi, for example.

"A VPN prevents hackers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from viewing your instant messages, browsing history, credit card information, downloads or anything you send on a network. The connection is private and confidential. As a result, your Internet traffic and data become invulnerable to various cyber threats and you can work safely. explains the cyber-malveillance platform. Gouv.fr.

VPN-type tools can be installed on both computers and mobile devices such as tablets all smartphones. However, there is something very important. They cannot protect the user when the user downloads malware on his own and installs it on his device.

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Hacking and 5G

If we all know the benefits that 5G promises, that is, more connectivity power, we should also remember that that says connectivity says vulnerability.

Connected objects are known for their weakness in terms of computer security.However, the advent of 5G is shaping up to be the important point of deployment of many more such objects. Simply put, the risks have multiplied. And of course cyber criminals aren't going to let that go.

This article will also interest you: 5G and its risks

In this context, organizations then ally themselves with so-called ethical hackers. Hackers who test computer systems for security vulnerabilities.

The group of ethical hackers has been involved in the life of computer security and for years now. They are organized around several classes including amateurs and of course experts. In the practice of their profession, they can accumulate millions of euros when discovering the vulnerabilities they are responsible for finding.

With the advent of connected objects and the Internet of Things, the activity of these experts is becoming more and more general.

"Six or eight years ago, it was considered a Silicon Valley thing," says Keren Elazari, a cybersecurity expert and otherwise "ethical hacker." "Today, bug bonus programs are offered by multiple organizations, including the Pentagon, banks, airlines and other technology giants, as well as thousands of smaller companies," she added at a conference in Finland hosted by Nokia.

Today there are companies that organize these ethical hacking activities. The largest company in this sector is undoubtedly the American HackerOne. It is a platform with nearly 800,000 members. In 2020 alone, its activities generated revenues of more than $44 million, or 38.2 million euros, as a reward for the discovery of vulnerability by its members. Which is downright a record in the middle. "When a single IT engineer in London costs you 80,000 euros a year," said Prash Somaiya, an architect of IT security solutions at HackerOne.

In a context where computing is no longer limited to conventional terminals, computers and mobile phones, we are overwhelmed with a set of new and more connected tools, namely cars, thermostats or children's toys. Such a situation and of course likely to fan the flame of hackers who will want to take advantage of the situation to make money. This is, of course, likely to increase the scope of ethical hackers.

"We already know from what has happened over the past five years that criminals are finding very smart ways to use digital devices," says Elazari.

In terms of the increase in cyber-malveillance and the aggravation of their consequences, there are many examples. For example, in 2016, 300,000 unsecured computer devices were infected with the Mirai malware, in part webcams and printers, allowing cyber criminals to collect enough data to bring down media companies or governments. Nokia announced in October that malware intrusions had been 100% good in just one year for connected objects. To avoid disaster, especially with the advent of 5G, ethical hackers are encouraged to work even harder. "Financial incentive is of course an important factor, but there is also a breaker mentality, which allows us to understand how things are built so that they can be destroyed and tossed," says Prash Somaiya.

The reward that hackers receive can be truly profitable. On average, we're talking about more than $100,000 in rewards for each of HackerOne's top 200 security vulnerabilities. 9 of the ethical hackers working for the American company have already passed the million dollar mark in terms of bonuses.

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Telework and COMPUTER security: protecting its home network and remote collaboration

Every year, there is an increase in security incidents.

The it's been a complete change in the computer landscape. Cyber criminals are on the rise and the current situation clearly favours the spread and relevance of their cyber-malleting actions. In 2020, it is clear that computer security, which used to be very important, has leveled up. On the other hand, there has been some increase in awareness campaigns. Especially in a context organizations and individuals find themselves increasingly exposed to cyber malice. This is because of the massive adoption of telework as a preferred mode of collaboration as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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"While cyber security awareness campaigns are becoming more normal every year, 2020 is probably the year when their need has been least challenged. The adverse effects of containment and forced telework, the exponential increase in cyber attacks continues to worry IT professionals, businesses and individuals. Gigamon notes in a recent blog post.

The organizations through, the network of large companies and French public administrations, the Cigref, has in some way challenged the French government in an open letter to the Prime Minister, Jean Castex. In particular, these organizations point to the acceleration and increase of accidents that are cyber malice. Thus endangering not only economic activities, but also, user data, privacy, and the confidentiality of exchanges.

In this context, it describes 2020 as the year of computer vulnerability.

Yet, when asked, whether we have the tools to truly protect ourselves, it is clear that the answer will be no.

A recent gigamon study of IT security professionals found that vulnerabilities have multiplied with regard to the adoption of remote work. In other words, organizations are much more exposed, cyber-malware actors through ransomware and phishing

Do we have the right tools to counter phishing?

In a context where computer threats continue to grow, all users of digital solutions should be asked about the importance of adopting the necessary best practices.

"Malicious actors have become more and more skilled in their attack plans. It's no longer just about foreign princes held captive, winning a contest you've never been in, or paying off a debt you've never heard of. Today's scams are designed to catch you off guard. Gigamon notes. In other words, unlike traditional scam practices, hackers develop much faster and stealthy styles. And that seems to be working, a study by InfoSec specialists on the Zero Trust, 44% of specialists confirm the increase in phishing attacks in 2020. It is therefore important to ensure that electronic correspondence, especially e-mail, is used and processed. We will also have to pay attention to suspicious messages and the connection to the social network. Because all this is the preferred route of hackers.

In addition, there will be a need to focus on home network security updates. As we know, updates are very important to fill the security vulnerabilities hackers to reach us. Especially on the home network where there is enough largesse on the part of ordinary users.

"With an almost constant stream of cyberattack ads from large companies or networks, it's easy to think about security in terms of protecting a major entity. But individuals are just as vulnerable on their home networks. This is especially true for those who think that their equipment is safe from the start when in reality it is not. The firm explains. Especially when you consider that 3% of information system security managers have recognized that remote work makes all devices much less secure. Therefore, security updates present themselves as essential. Much more important, in neglect can literally cost.

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The danger of social networks to businesses

Computer security today is an important aspect of corporate organization.

Cyber criminals are proliferating. They are doing more and more harm around them. Computer attacks are also proliferating. And nothing seems to be able to stop them. On average, it only takes 1 hour for a hacker to encrypt access to a computer only. When it has 24 hours, it is almost a company with all the computers it composes, which can then be attacked as it wishes. We are talking about a hundred computers.

The adoption of telework in general because of the health crisis paved the way for a new era of professional collaboration. It has also created a reduction in the links between personal and professional life. This is in practice an advantageous fact for cybercrime. Indeed, everyone's personal life is marked by a breach of the basic rules of computer security. Cyber criminals will certainly want to take advantage of it. In fact, they're already taking advantage of it.

This article will also interest you: Cybercriminals and social networks: A combination not to be overlooked for business security

One of the most attractive aspects in remote work for cyber-malveillance is the use of social networks by employees. Indeed, the containment adopted by most countries has resulted in an increase in the use of online social services. The social networks used for various reasons whether professional or simply playful, did not fail to present its share of drawbacks. Who says ten social networks phishing, and this is clearly verified. Phishing campaigns are mostly initiated through social networks because of the ease of being able to share a message with one click. And precisely, computer security specialists have not failed to notice a significant increase in cyber-malveillance acts, during confinement, through acts of phishing. Social networks have been for many things.

Phishing is a technique used by hackers to extract personal information from users by making them believe they are on a legitimate platform they are used to visiting. To train the visitor on the platform to control by them, they will simply send him a message asking him to click on a link. Message that is often awakened via social networks, by text or by email.

"Since March, phishing has doubled on the planet. Hackers are also confined so they must be a little bored," notes Eric Dupuis, the director of Orange Cyber Defence Greater West. "Pirates who are well helped by the banishment of the boundaries between work and private life. Telework obliges. ».

In telework mode, the employee use useful tools for his work and his collaboration remotely, the fact remains that next door, he will open a browser with connection to social networks. Connections that are not secure for the most part see are not secure at all. "Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin are used as a vector for phishing. In less than an hour, an attacker can manage to encrypt the majority of a position. And in 24 hours, a company with a hundred positions can be affected. So we have to move quickly. explains Éric Dupuis

"Social networks are a major potential security breach," adds Pierre Jacobs, Orange's first head in the West. The latter highlights a statistic that gives an idea of the magnitude of the phenomenon. 86% of companies admitted to having faced computer attacks that have drawn their source from social networks.

If before hackers were trying to penetrate directly the servers of companies, they realized that it is much easier to penetrate through social networks. Especially when employees are so careless. A way to easily access the workstation. "Today, a company is going to go into the cloud. This perimeter of the server no longer makes sense. Now, what makes sense for a striker is the workstation," says Éric Dupuis.

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