Tuesday, 30 March 2021

What Are the Types of Incident Security and How Can You Mitigate Such Risks?

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Detecting incident security events as soon as they occur is one of the most important aspects of network security for most organizations. Having said that, no organization can coordinate defenses and take down a threat without having a full-spectrum view of all the cyber activities on its network.

Fortunately, your organization can implement incident security management plans to handle different types of security events. By detecting potential incidents through an incident security management plan, you can ensure that your business operations are running as usual. In this article, we will discuss incident security management, different types of incident security, and how you can mitigate these incidents.

What Is Incident Security Management?

Incident security management deals with identifying, managing, recording, and analyzing security threats in real time, thus offering an organization with a robust and comprehensive view of any security issues arising within the IT infrastructure.

The cybersecurity incident management risk generally begins with an alert that the incident has occurred, prompting the organization to deploy its incident response plan to investigate and analyze the incident to determine the scope, assess damages, and develop a plan for mitigating the risk.

Once the incident response methodology is in place, the incident security management plan helps in guiding the incident response team to detect different security incidents and provide a response to deal with the problems.

Types of Incident Security

Several incident security types can result in an intrusion on the organizational network. The following list shines a light on a few and explains how you can mitigate them.

1. Unauthorized attempts to access data or a system

In this type of incident security, the attacker tries to gain unauthorized access to a specific system or organizational data. To prevent this from happening, you can implement two-factor authentication. This usually requires users to provide a second piece of information along with the password. You can also encrypt sensitive data so attackers won’t be able to access confidential information.

2. Insider Threats

An insider threat is another type of incident security that the security incident response team has to deal with. It is a malicious threat to the organizational data or system from employees, former employees, contractors, or temporary workers.

To prevent and detect such insider threats at an early stage, the incident response plan must include the implementation of antivirus programs, scanning programs, firewalls, and rigorous data backup. In addition to this, incident security training should also be provided to employees to create awareness among them before they are allowed to access the organizational network. This will reduce the risk of data breaches considerably from an organizational point of view.

3. Phishing Attacks

In a phishing attack, malicious actors masquerade as a reputable entity in an email or other communication channels. They distribute malicious links and attachments to infect systems & files and gain access to the login credentials of the victim. If you are looking for protection against phishing attacks, you must start by educating employees regarding such security incidents. Again, organizations must provide employees with incident security training to ensure such attacks do not take place within the organization.

4. Man-in-the-Middle Attack

In this type of incident security, the attacker tries to secretly intercept and alter the messages between two parties who under the assumption that they are directly communicating with each other. The attacker manipulates both parties to get access to the data.

While such incident security events are hard to detect and prevent, organizations can implement an encryption protocol that offers authentication, data integrity, and privacy between two communicating computer applications. In addition to this, organizations should also educate their employees and make them aware of such security incidents.

Source: eccouncil.org

Saturday, 27 March 2021

5 Tips to Select the Best Ethical Hacking Tools

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Ethical hacking has become a popular career choice these days. While there are many factors contributing to its growth, one major reason is the wide availability of hacking tools that make the job easier to manage. You can easily start your career as a junior ethical hacker if you understand the basic use of these hacking tools. The software also makes it possible to report security incidents. An ethical hacker who has taken a comprehensive online hacking course can suggest relevant ethical hacking tools and practices which organizations can apply to prevent cyberattacks.  

Let’s understand ethical hacking tools and important tips you should know before selecting the right ones for yourself or your organization.

Why Do We Need Ethical Hacking Tools? 

When you hear the words “ethical hacking tools,” you probably think about ominous computer infection ruses, where malicious hackers break into weak systems to hijack valuable information. While this is not too far–fetched, there is more to hacking tools than just that.  

Hacking tools help organizations pinpoint potential flaws in internet security and avoid data breaches.  

Ethical hackers utilize hacking tools and software to penetrate networks & systems and identify weaknesses before cyberattackers can exploit them. All these are performed ethically, with the client’s consent, since the hacking is done for the client’s benefit. Hacking software helps make an organization’s applications and systems more secure.   

Qualities of Good Ethical Hacking Tools

You should always use certain tools and software that will improve the efficiency of your daily tasks as an ethical hacker. The right tools and proper knowledge will take you a long way in your career. But choosing hacking software is not an easy task. The wrong choice will not only put you in trouble in the long run but will also ruin your reputation.  

Essential qualities of ethical hacking tools include: 


Accurate vulnerability identification is vital to efficiency and scalability since most security teams don’t have the information, time, and resources to manually authenticate all the security weaknesses highlighted by ethical hacking software.  

So, if you want to conduct tests like physical security assessments or even social engineering tests, you may unintentionally overlook vulnerabilities because the security testing tool you’re using isn’t extremely “smart.” Always ensure you choose tools with proof-based scanning technology. This quality is useful for confirming that the identified vulnerabilities are real and not just false positives and negatives. 


Ethical hacking tools use the same practices deployed by professionals. During an online hacking course, you will learn about the new technologies, threats, and methodologies being used by hackers. Considering this, the tool of your choice should be updated to the latest version with all the new threats, testing criteria, and preferences in its feed. 


Your data inevitably increases with an increase in workload. More business means that certain inputs and outputs become higher in volume. The same applies to ethical hacking tools. So as an ethical hacker, you should always choose software that can keep up with this rapid pace. Any hacking tool that cannot scale up to meet your demands isn’t worth your consideration.  

Scalability is important for determining how much load a tool can handle. The ability to perform optimally even with a higher volume of data exchange, users, and customers increases an ethical hacking tool’s market value. 

Ease of Use and Efficiency

Not all ethical hackers are seasoned professionals. Some are freshers who are hired as juniors. The tool that you select should be usable by everyone.  

There are many basic hacking tools for beginners that are easy to use and provide results with the same efficiency. Usability testing is significant because it confirms the ease of use of software applications across multiple boundaries.  

Single Focus

No single tool can test everything. Most hacking tools focus on specific tasks. You may need multiple tools to get what you want, but each feature should be well suited for the purpose you need it for.  

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Ensure that you are using the right tool for each activity. For example, you need tools such as pwdump3 to crack passwords. It would be best if you also had tools like Acunetix for web application security testing. You should always research to figure out which tool you should be using.  

During the initial stage of your career, it is important to make sure that your course has a special focus on these tools. An online hacking course like Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) will let you explore different aspects of manual and automated processes and many other tools of the trade. 

Source: eccouncil.org

Thursday, 25 March 2021

How to Create a Successful Incident Response Plan

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The threat landscape is evolving every day. Either your organization can adapt to tackle this evolving threat landscape or die. Having said that, preparing for the onslaught of attacks occurring on a daily basis is fundamental to that adaptation. Developing a well-thought-out cybersecurity incident response plan allows your organization to counter new methodologies in the hands of attackers.

In this article, we will discuss why your organization needs an incident response plan and how you can create an incident response plan.

Why Your Organization Needs an Incident Response Plan

It is imperative for every organization to have an incident response plan so that when it is under the pressure of a security breach, correct decisions can be made to bring the situation back under control.

Security incidents can be very daunting if the incident response is not conducted in a systematic manner. The security breach can result in severe damages to the organization and can even harm the brand’s reputation. Therefore, to deal with data breaches effectively, your organization needs to have a dedicated incident response team that specializes in incident response.

Of course, your organization also needs to have an incident response policy in place. However, simply having an incident response plan is not enough. The incident response team must have the experience and skills to deal with potentially high-risk situations. Otherwise, the organization can face huge losses, both in terms of revenue and reputation.

How to Develop an Incident Response Plan

1. Determine important components of the organizational network

For protecting data and networks from major damage, it is crucial that organizations back up the data in a remote location. However, because these networks are complex, it is important to determine which data and systems should be backed up. This will help you recover quickly after a data breach.

2. Identify points of failure and address them

Similar to backing up data, organizations should have another plan for every critical component. This includes software, hardware, and employees as well. A single point of failure can expose your organization as and when the incident takes place. Address these points of failure and ensure that you have a backup for everything.

3. Create a continuity plan

Even when a data breach takes place within your organization, it is imperative to ensure that your organization is still functioning seamlessly. Therefore, build the IT infrastructure in such a way that it provides employees the required technologies to ensure the full functioning of business operations.

4. Create an incident response plan

Produce a formal incident response plan and ensure that everyone within the organization at different levels of the company is aware of their roles and responsibilities. Every member of the incident response team must know the different incident response steps they have to take to ensure business continuity. The incident response plan must include a business continuity plan, roles and responsibilities of incident response team members, a list of critical networks, and communications (both internal and external).

5. Offer training to employees

Once you have created the incident response plan, all employees within the organization must understand the different incident response phases. When organizations have the cooperation of their employees, it can reduce the length of disruptions significantly. It can also reduce the occurrences of security breaches significantly.

Different Incident Response Phases

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It is imperative that the incident response plan addresses the security breach in a series of phases. In each of the different incident response phases, the organization must consider specific areas to deal with the data breach. The following are the six different incident response phases.

1. Preparation

2. Identification

3. Containment

4. Eradication

5. Recovery

6. Lessons Learned

Source: eccouncil.org

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

What Is Incident Management? How Does It Help?

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Imagine a scenario where internet connectivity is lost for a day due to a denial of service attack. Will your employees be able to work at the same pace they used to every day? No! Their productivity will drastically drop because most of their work is done online. In fact, if you calculate it, your employees would most likely have to work overtime for an entire month or more to recover the losses from that day. This is where incident management comes into the picture, as it is an essential process to avoid these situations. An incident management team is the key to a successful business that doesn’t suffer losses due to unpredictable incidents.

More Info: 312-50: Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

If you are curious about what incident management is and its benefits, then you have come to the right place. This blog will equip you with knowledge about incident management and help you decide whether you should invest in building your own incident response team.

Incident Management Defined

Incident management is the management of incidents that have occurred during the working hours of an organization. Incident management allows organizations to get back to their normal routine as soon as possible without disrupting their systems.

Cybersecurity incidents can cause great harm to an organization on a large scale. Examples of a cybersecurity incident include a computer system breach, unauthorized access, use of sensitive data without authority, and theft/loss of equipment that is storing data.

What Is the Purpose of Incident Management?

Incident management is used widely throughout the world to avoid disruptive incidents and their harmful outcomes. During the process, the incident is analyzed and logged in, and the response team finds out who is responsible for the incident and what steps should be followed to resolve it.

An incident response policy is not limited to solving small issues faced by the organization. These small issues, when resolved, help avoid major incidents. The faster the issue is resolved, the lesser the impact on the organization. Without a proper incident response, companies might lose valuable data and produce less work, which will eventually lead to lower profits. This will impact the life of the organization and the lives of employees.

Types of Incidents

A single incident response cannot be applied to every incident that occurs during work, as each case is different. For easier classification, incidents can be divided into four types:

Small incidents: Small incidents do not harm the organization too much if they are resolved quickly. Of course, these small incidents can turn into major incidents if organizations do not take them seriously and quickly do something to resolve them.

Major incidents: Incident security causes disruption in companies. Organizations do not face major incidents very often, but when they do it shakes the company to its core. Companies need to be prepared for such incidents. When a major issue occurs, employees often find it hard to tackle the issue because they are not prepared for it. It leaves them in a confused state.

Repetitive incidents: Repetitive incidents can occur often if the previous issues have yet to be resolved. These issues happen when the IT team is not able to identify the cause of the issue.

Complex incidents: Complex incidents are large and repetitive and must be avoided at all costs. The incident response team should be able to maintain a smooth workflow without running into any more issues while working on complex issues.

Incident Management Process

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Roles and Responsibilities of an Incident Management Team

An incident management team needs to restore services to their normal state without affecting the services in a negative manner.

◉ An incident response team has to reduce the number of incidents faced by the organization.

◉ An incident response team has to identify the underlying issues that cause repetitive incidents.

◉ An incident response team needs to come up with a plan after every incident which will allow them to resolve the next incident quickly.

Incident Management Tools

The most important tool for an incident response policy is the known error database (KEDB). It is maintained by problem management and contains past incidents and their solutions. Another tool is the incident model. Since new incidents are similar to old ones, the team can apply past solutions to new incidents to resolve them quickly.

Source: eccouncil.org

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Network Security Tools: Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a VPN

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Imagine falling victim to a stalker who is hell-bent on tracking you everywhere you go. When you don’t wish to fall into a situation like this in real life, why should your online life be any different? Cyber criminals don’t always directly attack your system and steal data. Sometimes they track you and keep an eye on your activities for long-term gains. In real life, you’d install security cameras or burglar alarms to counter such problems. But in cyberspace, you will have to get effective network security tools to counter these problems.

Learn More: 312-38: Certified Network Defender

VPNs have been popular network security tools for almost half a decade. Their advantages make them effective in households as well as in organizations. But are VPNs actually effective in hiding your tracks online? The answer may surprise you. While the tool does have its advantages, it has its fair share of disadvantages as well. Here is everything you need to know if you are considering buying a VPN.

What Is a VPN?

A VPN or virtual private network is an encrypted connection between two machines. It affords you the security to connect with the desired network. You can use it to bypass geo-restricted content, protect your data from malicious hackers by hiding your personal IP address, and encrypt online traffic.

VPNs are good for organizations that need more than network security monitoring tools. They play an important role in establishing a secure remote office environment. They make sure that your remote workforce can log on to your office network from wherever they are and access company data. In the U.S. itself, the number of remote work employees has increased from 17% to 44% after the pandemic hit. In an environment like this, conventional network security tools will not prove highly effective. As a solution, VPNs are being recommended among remote work employees.

Use of VPN in Network Security

VPNs are online services that rely on a VPN client and VPN server to offer you a secure connection. Basically, when you install a VPN on your smart device or PC, it connects to another computer (server). The connection requests are encrypted before they are sent to the server.

Your PC or smart device will then use the server’s information to traverse the internet instead of its original network information. Thus, any site tracking user data would see the VPN server’s information instead of your own device’s information, making it one of the simplest but most convenient network security monitoring tools.

However, there is a misconception that VPNs are always safe and effective. The tool comes with certain pros and cons that you should weigh before getting one for yourself.

Advantages of a VPN

There are many advantages to using a secure private network.

Access Region-Specific Content

A VPN allows you to bypass geo-locked content. Most websites use the geolocation feature to acquire the actual location of a user. This information allows them to use geo-locking features to restrict site access only to people from certain countries. However, a VPN would make it look like your connection is coming from the location where the content is available, thus allowing you to access the content of these websites.

Secure Remote Office Connections

With COVID-19 necessitating the adoption of remote work culture, organizations have been saddled with strengthening their network security measures. Valuable consumer information and other sensitive information is more at risk with employees working from home. Unregulated access to an organizations’ documents and consumer data can be destructive to a business. Nevertheless, when you connect to business-related networks through a VPN, it ensures that your sensitive information is concealed behind the bogus information offered through the VPN.

Cost-Effective Network Security

New network security monitoring tools are being released almost daily. However, the latest software can be costly for businesses and may even trigger more issues. Organizations can use VPN services to prevent steep licensing fees and other expensive monthly charges. Although VPNs may not block intruders and scan for viruses, it avoids the need for those features by making you better protected online.

Disadvantages of a VPN

A VPN is not without its disadvantages, and although the pros overshadow the cons, there’s no harm in knowing about some important facts.

Most VPNs Allow Limited Sharing

While VPNs are cost-effective for an individual or small business, it often proves costly to set up in a big workplace. Most VPNs cost between $80 to $200 for a one-year subscription. If the organization exceeds more than 30-50 staff, costs will quickly add up as most software allow sharing between 5-8 devices at most.

Data Transfers Slow Down Connection Speeds

A VPN slows down connection speeds since the connection is virtual and occurs inside a physical network. Routing web traffic from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to your VPN and vice versa will slow down your connection.

Multiple Limitations for Gamers

If you are a gamer, you’d understand the pain of slow connection and lagging speed while playing a multiplayer mission. Using a VPN during gaming sessions can be frustrating because of the slow connections. Apart from that, many gaming platforms don’t allow VPNs, and if you are using a cheaper software, then your account may get banned permanently.

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VPNs are easy to install and execute. It is a versatile network security tool. But irrespective of these advantages, you should never install a VPN without an expert who has received network security certification training and knows about using the admin tool to secure your wireless network. His/her assistance will help you understand different VPNs, the best connectivity options, and the most advantageous way to distribute them among your employees.

Get Network Security Training with EC-Council

EC-Council offers beginner-level, intermediate-level, and advanced-level network security certification and training programs for professionals and those who desire to enter this field. The modules cover VPNs along with other network security tools in great detail. The program brings out the smallest aspects that may play an important role in strengthening computer network security.

EC-Council’s Certified Network Defender (CND v2) program is designed by cybersecurity experts to prepare the cybersecurity experts of the future. The program takes an elaborate approach to help an aspiring network security officer understand everything required to counter network security threats in this new era. The lab-intensive training covers different concepts through which you can prevent an attack, as well as predict and thwart one in advance.

Source: eccouncil.org

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Top 8 Challenges for SOC Teams in 2021

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Data protection is a major challenge for organizations working online and protecting their computer networks against threats. Hackers, on the other hand, are finding new ways to attack networks to gain personal data access and putting the organization at risk. This is where a Security Operations Centre (SOC) comes in the picture, as it helps organizations identify, mitigate, and report threats to prevent future attacks.

More Info: 312-38: Certified Network Defender (CND)

All too often, the SOC team is stuck working on systems that don’t give them proper knowledge and data to make informed decisions. As a result, they waste time that could be utilized to correctly analyze and solve threats.

If you are looking to set up a SOC team within your organization or want to join one, this article will give you an idea of a few common challenges that hinder SOCs and how you can utilize analytical technologies to address these challenges.

What Is a SOC?

A Security Operations Centre will continuously monitor, prevent, detect, investigate and respond to cyberattacks. The SOC team is responsible for tracking and maintaining assets such as staff records, business systems, and personnel data.

The SOC team includes a manager, security analyst, and engineers in charge of propelling the organization’s overall cybersecurity policy into action, and acts as a primary point in protecting the organization from attacks.

The SOC aims to use technologies and processes to identify events and respond to cyberattacks. The SOC team collaborate with the incident response team to ensure that they react as quickly as possible. The tools used include firewalls, event management systems, and information systems that collect, identify, and monitor data at various platforms and endpoints.

Benefits of a SOC

◉ 24/7 Protection

Incidents do not happen at a particular time, nor do they happen only during work hours. They may occur at any point in time, so a SOC or a security command centre constantly monitors the network and provides security to the organization.

◉ Reduces Response Time

SOCs cut down on the time required to identify threats or vulnerabilities as the team can detect threats with threat monitoring and detection capabilities before a threat occurs. The possibility of a network compromise is significantly reduced with a fast response time.

◉ Cost Reduction

Achieving complete protection and visibility against threats can be expensive for any business. With an SOC, the cost is reduced as the platforms and licenses are shared within the organization.

◉ Keeps the Organization Up to Date on Potential Threats

One of the main goals of a SOC is to stay alert in monitoring and communicating with the organization to be aware of risks. By providing a streamlined compliance report, SOCs can help organizations better measure financial risk from cyberattacks.

◉ Better Collaboration

SOCs bring together all the security staff and tools into a centralized team to collaborate and coordinate more effectively. This close working encourages teamwork and makes it easier to conduct 24/7 monitoring and formulate a quick response to security incidents.

Common Challenges Faced by a Security Operations Center

◉ Shortage in Knowledge

Knowledge shortage is nothing but a lack of skill. Even experienced candidates in system management can fail if they do not know about protecting the system environment. It may result in non-successful attempts or inappropriate responses to non-existent problems. By obtaining such results, SOC teams waste their time by tracking them down, which leads to a diversion when facing a real attack.

◉ Lack of Adequate Tools

For data uplift and transfer from a data centre to a cloud environment, SOC teams need new security tools. Lack of proper detection and management tools is an all-too-frequent result of rapid shifts in the systems environment being monitored. Applications needs protection developed and deployed in systems, but the SOC has no means of accessing such systems or steps in the environment.

◉ Lack of Training

For the issues mentioned above, SOC analysts and threat hunters can be given sufficient time off, focusing on their self-improvement, away from dealing with alerts. The SOC analyst should have:

- High-level quality training with a focus on the latest trends.

- Time for practicing their skills in a lab environment.

SOC analysts and threat hunters need to have high edge training because their mission is to match their adversary’s skills.

◉ Insufficient Authority of the SOC

For the proper functioning of the SOC, it requires an authority within the organization. For instance, what if the SOC team is unable to make a rapid response to an incident and stop an ongoing intrusion? This could happen if they do not have any authority over other teams, preventing them from quickly isolating an activity compromised system. Things become complicated in such situations, and resulting in unnecessary hold ups.

◉ Staffing Shortage

Staffing shortage is the struggle to find trained, experienced personnel. The quick shift to new operating modes, cloud infrastructures, and cloud-native application architectures has worsened the issue as vacancies pile up.

◉ Inadequate Information about the Infrastructure

It is quite evident that SOC teams have to deal with incomplete information about their monitoring environment. Clients sometimes do not share all the details about their infrastructure with the SOC. Things such as an updated list of essential assets within the network, correct naming scheme for devices and assets, current up-to-date network diagrams, stable list of firewall rules, a list of important personnel, etc. Failing to provide updated information to the SOC team causes their already challenging job to be even harder.

◉ Reactive Defence Mechanism

An SOC’s most important role is to monitor, observe, and respond passively. Though there is an element of threat hunting that is quite proactive, most SOCs function mainly as a passive and reactive defence component triggered based on an alert of suspicious or anomalous activity. All organizations need to conduct penetration tests, red teaming, and other offensive security exercises as it is said that the best defence is an offense. Conducting tests regularly helps strengthen the infrastructure’s overall security posture, and hence it should be the first line of defence.

◉ Increasing Volumes of Security Alerts

More security alerts are chiming in nowadays thanks to advanced technology, and time is being consumed sorting through these alerts. Analysts waste time performing similar tasks and finding out the alerts’ integrity, resulting in alerts being missed or more damaging consequences slipping through the net as they are overlooked. As we can see, an analysts’ time would be better off working on the more sophisticated alerts that need human intervention and proactively threat hunting to reduce the time from breach discovery to resolution.

How to Address and Overcome the Challenges

There are measures that an organization can take to boost its SOC results to reduce the burden on security personnel. An organization should firstly develop tools for automating SOC workflow. Strongly integrated security orders provide a total view in the IT environment, which allows the SOC team to deal with threats.

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◉ Use software that can recognize emerging threats and provide machine learning capabilities.

◉ To fill the SOC team gaps, the organization should consider upskilling employees who can hold the fort if any position is vacant, allowing for continuous monitoring without a break.

◉ Use behavioral analytics software to ensure that the SOC team identifies the most unusual warnings. This will also help enhance their rules and threat detection solutions.

◉ To minimize manual analysis, the SOC can rely on automated tools for analyzing, sorting, and correlating information.

◉ To avoid an information overload, an SOC team should shift their attention to collecting data from well-known and trustworthy sources as it reduces volume and excess data. They then have to take data that is relevant to their specific environment to prioritize and address.

◉ Automation can provide continuous monitoring, allowing even the most minor teams to operate effectively and profitably.

Due to a lack of integration among security tools, many organizations have difficulty obtaining a complete view of their security posture. SOC analysts are the front lines of defense in their organization. With the right training, they can protect their organization with proper procedures and tools and quickly and effectively respond to threats.

Source: eccouncil.org

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Why CPENT Is the Most Comprehensive Penetration Testing Certification Program

If there is one practice that businesses have started following religiously in 2020, it’s cybersecurity. 2020 gave many reasons to make internal and external security a top priority, and a lot has changed in a world that is slowly recovering from the wrath of COVID-19. More and more companies started hiring individuals with penetration testing certification or similar relevant training to counter the rise in online threats.

For instance, fake phishing webinar emails became a common social engineering tactic and caused great damage. By the end of 2020, damages due to cybersecurity hit $1 trillion [2]. Organizations have woken up to the fact that beating cybercriminals without ethical hackers and penetration testers is an impossible task.

Penetration testing or pen testing is the most important resource an organization can possess to effectively counter cyberattacks before they happen. If you hold a penetration testing certification, your employability and industry expertise will automatically increase.

There are many platforms from where you can complete a penetration testing course. But the kind of importance that CPENT or Certified Penetration Testing Professional by EC-Council receives from top employers is unmatched. In this blog, we will find out what elevates the status of this certification.

What Is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is much like ethical hacking, where testers attempt to break into a system to find exploitable vulnerabilities before malicious actors can use them. Vulnerabilities can include design flaws, configuration errors, or software bugs. All organizations, regardless of their scope or nature, can greatly benefit from penetration testing.

More Info: 312-49: Computer Hacking Forensic Investigation

A penetration tester should have training in ethical hacking.

Unlike ethical hacking, which aims to encompass various attacks through different hacking techniques to find security flaws, penetration testing focuses on the security of the specific area defined for testing.

You need a certain set of skills for penetration testing, such as:

◉ Pen testers should know how to find vulnerabilities within the target environment.

◉ It focuses on the security of a specific part of an IT infrastructure.

◉ Penetration testers should possess the knowledge of properly executing different hacking methodologies along with the right time and process to execute them.

◉ Security professionals who work as pen testers have to develop skills to think like malicious hackers, through which they anticipate how the system could be compromised.

Apart from this, a penetration testing professional should also stay updated with the latest technologies that use the internet and can be targeted by hackers. This is where EC-Council’s CPENT takes the lead from its counterparts.

What Makes CPENT a Versatile Penetration Testing Certification Program?

Let’s consider that you are either in a certain stage of your IT professional career or an ethical hacker planning a transition. Certified Penetration Testing Professional or CPENT is designed to fulfill your needs in both scenarios. It is the most advanced and elaborate training program that will open new career opportunities for you. Here are a few reasons that make this penetration testing training course one of a kind:

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IoT Security

CPENT is the first penetration testing certification program to include IoT security in its syllabus. IoT devices are vulnerable to cyberattacks and pose a great danger to your security as a result. CPENT teaches you to gain access to the network by locating IoT devices. A penetration tester gains access to identify the IoT device’s firmware, and extract and reverse engineer the cyberattack.

Advanced Binary Exploitation

Under advanced binary exploitation, CPENT includes 32- and 64-bit code challenges. Some of the codes are compiled with basic protections of non-executable stacks. The candidates seeking penetration testing training must write a driver program to exploit these binaries to discover a method to escalate privileges. IT professionals who complete CPENT gain expertise in finding flawed binaries, which they can reverse engineer to write exploits and take control of the program execution.

Module Dedicated to ICS SCADA Networks

ICS (Industrial Control System) are command and control networks designed to support industrial processes. SCADA refers to Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems, the largest subgroup of ICS. Pen testers are required to secure the systems because of the nature and scale of the operations. The CPENT range contains a zone dedicated to ICS SCADA networks. During the certification program, you are taught to penetrate it from the IT network side and gain access to the OT network.

Pivoting and Double Pivoting

During pivoting, you will have to identify the filtering rules to penetrate the direct network. After this, you’ll have to use single pivoting methods through a filter to perform pivots into hidden networks.

While pivoting is popular among seasoned pen testers, double pivot was introduced into the mainstream by EC-Council. It is a manual process that increases the success rate of penetration tests.

Apart from these factors, CPENT also covers topics including:

◉ Advanced windows attacks

◉ Advanced binary exploitation

◉ Bypassing a filtered network

◉ Pen testing operational technology

◉ Privilege escalation, and more

This certification program will elevate your IT professional career and promote you to the upper echelons of industry experts. A CPENT certified pen tester will also join an elite club of security professionals around the world.

Eligibility for Certified Penetration Testing Professional Certification

Eligible candidates for CPENT are listed below.

◉ Network Security Officers

◉ Self-Trained Hackers

◉ Network Server Administrators

◉ Security Testers

◉ Firewall Administrators

◉ System Administrators

◉ Risk Assessment Professionals

Elevate Your Career with CPENT

It is no secret that careers in tech are a fantastic path that evolve into a successful job trajectory and secure income. According to PayScale, an entry-level penetration tester with at least one year of work experience can earn an average total compensation of USD 67,840. Those in the later stage of their career can go on to earn an average cumulative compensation of USD 125,903.

A Certified Penetration Tester typically follows a career path similar to other IT professionals. You may initially begin in general IT and later specialize in penetration testing through a Certified Penetration Testing (CEH) certification. Afterwards, you can work towards becoming a junior ethical hacker or penetration tester.

CPENT maps to the following job roles:

◉ Penetration Tester

◉ Mid-Level Penetration Tester

◉ Security Engineer

◉ Cyber Security Assurance Engineer

◉ Cyber Security Engineer

◉ Technical Operations Network Engineer

◉ Information Security Engineer

◉ Application Security Analyst II

◉ Cyber Security Forensic Analyst

◉ Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst

◉ Junior Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst

◉ Cyber Threat Analyst Tier 2

◉ Information Security Analyst

◉ Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst

◉ Senior Information Assurance/Security Specialist

◉ Security Systems Analyst

◉ Network Security Information Analyst

◉ IT Security Analyst III

◉ IT Security Administrator

Source: eccouncil.org

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

What Is Compliance Training? Does It Really Matter?

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How often have you heard the term compliance training and thought of it as something that only the legal team should worry about? We are here to bust that myth!

As we slowly start to engage in a post-COVID world, company leaders are moving their focus to sustainability, which is where compliance comes in. Corporate compliance training programs are designed to help companies steer clear from unethical practices that might result in financial loss or reputational harm. Such types of compliance certifications equip employees and stakeholders with the skills and knowledge they need to ensure that corporate behavior and culture is maintained.

Read More: EC-Council Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO)

This article will talk about what compliance training for employees is, why it’s important, and how to ensure that it’s implemented in your organization.

Compliance Training Defined

Compliance training is the process of educating and creating awareness among employees about the rules and regulations, company norms, and policies that one needs to abide by in their day-to-day responsibilities.

Purpose of Compliance Training

The main purpose of training employees about compliance is to make them aware of the laws and regulations applicable to their job function or industry.

Compliance training ensures that the employees are on the right side of the law. As an organization, it enables a well-respected reputation in public, prevents poor conduct, and ensures proper governance. This helps minimize risk and provides a better environment for employees to work.

How Does Corporate Compliance Differ from Regulatory Compliance?

Regulatory compliance means abiding by the law, legal mandates, and legislation laid down by governing bodies.

Corporate compliance, on the other hand, refers to the company’s own compliance structure, which it ensures is followed by every employee in the organization.

How Does Compliance Training Help?

The benefits of conducting compliance training are:

1. Understanding employee engagement by creating employee awareness: Employees who understand and are well-informed about the organization’s compliance are the most trustworthy and reliable. In the long run, they become leaders in the organization.

2. Helps define organizational policies & goals: All organization needs to have set goals and policies for its success.

3. Risk of non-compliance reduces: When compliances are set by the organization and all employees are trained on it, the chances of non-compliance reduce. Employees are aware of how a task or a job is to be done.

4. Safer working environment: A good compliance system nurtures a positive culture in establishing organizational values. They must be simple, effective, and well communicated so that employees feel aligned with those organizational values.

Why Is Compliance Training Important?

Compliance training, both online or at the workplace, is important for protecting the company over the long term. They are the best practices for an organization to follow. As compliance update requirements change with time, businesses ensure that they are compliant with regulations before they come into effect.

Good content in compliance training creates awareness among employees and encourages a positive work culture.

Essential Elements of Compliance Training

The four main elements of compliance training are:

1. A well-informed and trained leadership team is an essential requirement before implementing compliance training. A good leader who has complete knowledge of all company policies and laws can train their team members in it. This will also reduce risk and create a positive reputation.

2. It provides correct and complete information. Compliance training should provide not only the regulations within the organization but also as per law. These should be up to date with time as per changes in the regulations.

3. There should be a proper handbook or online content which anyone can easily access when required.

4. It is very important to monitor and analyze the training material. There should be a mechanism to measure the performance and adaptation of the employees.

8 Types of Compliance Training

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Get Trained in Compliance Today

Many leading security professionals have got certified under EC-Council’s Certified CISO (CCISO) Program. The CCISO program was designed by present CISOs for aspiring CISOs. It provides a training and certification program for top-level information security executives.

The program doesn’t just focus on technical knowledge but also on the implementation of information security management principles. It covers governance and risk management, information security controls, compliance and audit management, security program management and operations, information security core competencies, strategic planning, finance, procurement, and vendor management.

Source: eccouncil.org

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Cloud Incident Response and Best Practices

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Most businesses have started moving their services to the cloud in the last few years. As a result, the focus of cyber attackers has also shifted towards cloud infrastructure. They are coming up with more sophisticated techniques and methods that are specifically designed to compromise cloud infrastructure. Thus, it becomes imperative for businesses to have a cloud incident response team that understands the risks associated with the cloud.

Read More: 312-76: EC-Council Disaster Recovery Professional (EDRP v3)

In this article, we will discuss the basics of cloud incident response along with the best practices to build a cloud incident response plan.

Cloud Incident Response Overview

An incident is an unexpected interruption in IT services. In a fast-paced business environment, where downtime can be very costly, businesses must invest in a strong incident response methodology.

Having said that, because incidents affect the performance of the overall business and result in downtime, it is imperative that the cybersecurity incident response team respond to problems quickly and accurately. But traditional IT systems are just not capable of addressing incident security quickly.

On the other hand, DevOps relies on collaboration, speed, and transparency for seamless deployment, so cloud incident response makes it possible for the incident response team to tackle threats, allowing for efficient incident response procedures by bringing all these functions in one place. Therefore, cloud incident response teams are much more capable of tracking processes, collaborating, and automating key security tasks.

Best Practices to Build an Incident Response Plan

The following are the best practices to follow for building an incident response plan for your organization.

1. Have a Process in Place

No one can predict every other type of incident that the organization might encounter in the future. But one can keep themselves prepared for all types of incidents. Therefore, make sure you have a process in place for responding to incidents as and when they occur.

This will help the incident response team to resolve incidents faster, reduce revenue losses, improve internal and external communication, and promote continuous improvement. Moreover, having a response plan ensures that the team is ready to address incidents more confidently and quickly.

2. Assess Impact and Prioritize Risks

It is imperative to make a quick decision when you detect any incident. You should also be able to assess the impact very quickly and prioritize risks.

Ensure that you have a clear line of communication with your team members and each one of them is aware of their responsibility during the crisis. Once you have prioritized the risks, make sure you take the necessary actions.

3. Invest in the Right Tools

Cloud infrastructure is complex and large; it consists of many parts to monitor and track. Therefore, it is crucial to invest in the right tools to help support your incident management.

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Use these tools to automate tasks wherever possible. It can include anything that is repetitive and takes up your valuable time unnecessarily. You can use automation to remove additional noise and thus help everyone to focus on the more important tasks at hand.

4. Use Diagrams

Cloud infrastructure is complex. Therefore, security incidents can often go undetected as teams are working in silos, making it difficult to identify top priority issues.

By using diagrams and mapping the cloud architecture, you are keeping everyone on the same page, thus ensuring that the incident is not going undetected. It also makes it easy to share recommendations with shareholders.

5. Communicate

Communication is key when it comes to an effective incident response plan. Therefore, communicate as much as possible. Every individual in the incident response team must know his/her duties and responsibilities in case of any security incident.

If you are to communicate with a large group, you can even create a status page for tracking updates on the incident. With so many moving parts, communication is something that can help resolve the security incident as quickly as possible.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

How to Hack Your Next Coding Interview

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Generally, technical interviews in numerous top software companies have a specific format and you need to prepare for it. Even when you are technically strong, you may still need to get used to this format. Furthermore, in numerous coding interviews, you may need to write code on a white board. However, the time allotted to solve and code a problem is usually limited.

Learn More: EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA v10)

Although some people are better at thinking on the spot than others, you may still need a guide to help you ace your coding interview. This blog is the perfect guide for you if you want to pass your next coding interview. We are going to highlight everything you need to know about your next coding interview, from what you can wear to how to prepare yourself for the interview.

What Is a Technical Interview?

Technical interviews are not like other types of interviews as they involve assignments and challenges. They can be regarded as an exam instead of the usual question and answer interview. Furthermore, in a technical interview, you need to prove that you have the required skills needed for the job instead of just telling the interviewer that you do.

Generally, the major goal of a coding interview is not to trick you with brain teasers or impossible questions but to test how you can tackle real-world problems that you may face on the job.

What to Wear to Your Tech Interview?

This is among the most common questions that people ask during the preparation process for a job interview. It is best if you dress smartly for an interview even though most tech companies have a casual workplace. Generally, it is best to dress a level above the company’s dress code.

You can learn more about a company’s dress code by searching for the organization on social media platforms like Facebook, asking the recruiter, or checking its careers page.

Things to Bring to Your Coding Interview

There are no special materials that you need to bring to a technical interview. Just bring the essentials like a normal interview, such as:

◉ Notepad

◉ Pen

◉ Printed copies of your resume

Note: You don’t need to bring your laptop or coding samples unless the interviewer requests you to do so.

What Interviewers Are Looking For

Here are some things that interviewers look for during a coding interview.

◉ Problem-solving skills

◉ Coding skills

◉ Technical knowledge

◉ Experience

◉ Whether you fit into their culture

Common Mistakes You Can Make During a Coding Interview

Here are some mistakes you can make during a coding interview:

Not Clarifying the Question First

Although a question may not be clear to you, this does not mean that it is confusing or tricky. Once you receive the question, avoid assuming anything, because asking questions will prove to the interviewer that you are a careful person.

Starting the Coding Immediately

A common mistake made by many candidates is that they start coding immediately before they have a solution. However, you need to interact with the interviewer about the codes that you want to write so you can help create an effective solution. Without much communication, you can easily misunderstand the question or use a not-so-reasonable approach to solve the problem.

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This is why you should discuss your plan with the interviewer and explain your methods out loud to help the interviewer work with you to choose the best route, especially if he/she notices that you are heading towards a dead end.

Not Analyzing Time and Space Complexity

The only unit that is used by IT experts to compare algorithms is complexity. Furthermore, it is important not only for interviews but also to work on real projects. Analyzing time and space complexity is a good way to compare and convince interviewers of the functions of a solution that is better than the other.

Moreover, there are times when you have to deal with two trade-offs: one solution is faster while the other uses less space.

Not Reviewing Your Code with Your Own Test Cases

When you still have time to check your code, you should avoid ending the coding interview immediately. The best thing you can do is create your own test cases. This is because it is best if you find your own bugs instead of the interviewer discovering them.

Not Asking for Help Whenever You Need It

You should not be afraid to ask for a hint whenever you are stuck. When the interviewer gives you a hint, you can then develop your idea based on the hint. Furthermore, you should always discuss anything that you are thinking about with your interviewer. You will be surprised to find that almost all interviewers are ready to help you out.

Hack Your Next Coding Interview

Nowadays, coding interviews are getting harder. Furthermore, there are several resources available out there that can create confusion for students who are preparing for a coding interview. However, one course that can give you all the latest tips and tricks that you need to help you crack your coding interview is the “Hack Your Next Coding Interview Course” by EC-Council CodeRed (coming soon).

In this course, there are more than 50 example problems to help you come up with a list of patterns that you need to crack any coding interview. Furthermore, the techniques that are used in this course will help you to land your dream jobs at big technology companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, etc.

Source: eccouncil.org

Thursday, 11 March 2021

9 Security Risks That Web Application Penetration Testing Can Fix

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Website penetration testing is the most secure method of detecting flaws within your web application. Vulnerabilities in web applications can occur in various areas like SaaS applications, DBA tools (e.g., phpMyAdmin), or content management systems (e.g., WordPress).

Also Read: EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA v10)

As web applications have become a central aspect of business operations, their security is now considered of utmost importance. Vulnerable web applications are easy targets among hackers. Website security issues can lead to broken client relations, revoked licenses, and other legal actions. Vectors like a backdoor attack, SQL injection (SQLi), and Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) are exploited to pilfer data or interrupt functions of web applications.

If you are here, then it is safe to assume that you know the basics of hacking and penetration testing. It is time to learn all about website penetration testing and how it will help you and your business.

What Is Website Penetration Testing?

Website penetration testing includes testing the security reliability of an organization’s browser-centered applications. Penetration testers assess the attack surface of every possibly vulnerable web-centered service, such as APIs and web interfaces.

Web applications are the key systems of several networks as they process, store, and transfer data. However, they are susceptible to cyberattacks, and this weakness can be exploited. Web penetration testing is used for discovering vulnerabilities before attackers can exploit them.

The aim of website penetration testing is to:

◉ Protect a website against a cyberattack.

◉ Identify user behavior and data flow.

◉ Safeguard sensitive information like login details, credit card details, and social security numbers.

◉ Improve the quality of the website and web application.

Types of Vulnerabilities and Attack Methods

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Websites and web applications can develop multiple types of vulnerabilities. There is no fixed time or method to identify an issue like this. All you can do is hire a good penetration tester to ensure that the problems are taken care of before a hacker can identify one.

The most common web application security risks are listed below.

1. Security Misconfiguration: This is the most popular web application vulnerability which targets input fields and URLs. Application developers who cannot appropriately distinguish the security configuration for a web application and associated elements make it vulnerable to a malicious attackers’ unsanctioned access.

2. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): This flaw happens every time an application contains untrusted data in a new webpage without adequate authentication or it updates an existing web page with user-provided data through a browser API that can generate JavaScript or HTML.

Malicious actors can exploit those problematic scripts to carry out activities such as hijacking cookie sessions, defacing websites, or redirecting unsuspicious victims to steal sensitive information.

3. Injection Attacks: These target SQL, NoSQL, LDAP, and OS. A vulnerability occurs when untrusted data is transmitted to an interpreter as part of a query or command. Hackers can alter the SQL statements implemented in an application’s backend and manipulate them into completing commands that offer unapproved access to data. Another variation is XML External Entities Injection (XXE), in which malicious actors can disrupt how a web application manages XML data. They can then look at the files on the server and log on to backend systems upon which the web application relies.

4. Broken Authentication and Poor Session Management: Usually, websites render the cookies for a session unenforceable when the user logs out or closes a browser. An attacker can take over cookies and get hold of the confidential information if the invalidation doesn’t occur and the session stays open.

5. Sensitive Data Exposure: Most APIs and web applications aren’t adequate for protecting sensitive data. Malicious actors may hijack or adjust those inadequately guarded data to perform identity theft, credit card fraud, and other related violations. Without extra data protection, your valuable information may be compromised.

6. Vulnerable Components: This occurs when developers implement components that are outdated, unsupported, and prone to attacks on their websites. These vulnerable components give attackers an opening to hijack an organization’s system or pilfer sensitive information.

7. Inadequate Logging & Monitoring: When this is combined with unproductive and/or missing integration with incident response, it permits malicious attackers to attack, maintain additional persistence, pivot to additional systems, and interfere, remove, or damage data.

8. Broken Access Controls: There often aren’t enough limitations on what unsanctioned users are permitted to do. Hackers can exploit this flaw to gain unsanctioned data. This allows them to achieve functions outside of their assigned roles like viewing sensitive files, accessing other users’ accounts, modifying access rights, and altering other users’ data, among several others.

9. Insecure Deserialization: Malicious attackers can maneuver the data under the user’s control, which has become deserialized by a website. They do this by forwarding destructive information into the source code.

Advantages of Penetration Testing

Penetration testing aims to detect any vulnerabilities in the computer system, application, network, or website before the bad guys can exploit them. There are many advantages to performing a penetration test, such as:

◉ It allows organizations to obtain valuable insights into their digital systems.
◉ It helps organizations detect and fix system vulnerabilities.
◉ Putting yourself in the hacker’s shoes allows you to identify possible attack vectors easily.
◉ You cement your customers’ trust when you’re able to detect and thwart vulnerabilities before they are exploited.

As an aspiring cybersecurity professional, you will need relevant training and certifications to conduct successful website penetration testing. Training from experts will also prepare you to work on the latest technologies like IoT and Cloud. Certified Penetration Testing Professional (CPENT) by EC-Council is one of the top recommended certification programs covering the various nuances of pen testing required in modern businesses.

Become a Penetration Testing Professional with CPENT

CPENT rewrites the standards of penetration testing skill development. It teaches you how to carry out successful website penetration tests along with other forms of pen testing exercises in an enterprise network environment. It is one of the top-notch penetration testing certifications, teaching you how to pen test IoT systems, OT systems, how to write your own exploits, build your own tools, conduct advanced binaries exploitation, double pivot to access hidden networks, and also customize scripts/exploits to get into the innermost segments of the network.

CPENT is not just limited to ethical hackers, self-trained hackers, and IT employees aspiring for penetration tester jobs. Organizations that want to train their existing employees in the cybersecurity domain can also consider pen test training to strengthen their IT security.

Source: eccouncil.org

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

What Is Identity and Access Management (IAM)?

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Introduction to Identity and Access Management (IAM)

In enterprise IT, Identity and Access Management (IAM) is about identifying and controlling individual network users’ responsibilities and access rights and the situations in which such privileges are given (or denied) to users. These users may be customers (customer identity management) or staff (employee identity management). A single digital identity per person is the central goal of IAM programs. After the digital identity has been developed, it should be retained, updated and tracked during the access lifecycle of each user.

Management of identity and access (IAM) is a common concept that encompasses goods, practices, and policies used by an enterprise to handle user identities and control user access. Two critical IAM terms are “access” and “user.” Access refers to behavior that a user is allowed to perform (like view, create, or edit). Users may be staff, associates, vendors, suppliers, or consumers. Workers may be further segmented depending on their positions.

Read More: EC-Council Certified Security Specialist (ECSS)

IAM systems offer resources and software for managers to adjust the position of a user, monitor user behavior, produce reports on user activities, and execute policies in real time. These systems are intended to provide a way of controlling user control across an entire organization and to ensure that organizational policy and regulatory requirements are complied with.

How Does Identity Access Management Work?

Typically, when logging into a system, the user is required to enter their username as the first step towards validation of their credentials. This step is followed by an automated process of identity verification using knowledge-based mechanisms, which include passwords, along with other techniques, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and even biometrics. Once the authentication is successfully completed, the identity & access management system takes over. In this phase, the IAM ensures that the user is granted access only to the sections that he/she is authorized for by enforcing access restriction policies.

IAM technologies assist you in many areas, from meeting the criteria of leading compliance legislation through effective evaluations to solving many emerging IT security threats. However, the result of a successful IAM integration depends on its implementation. Here are some of the key IAM implementation practices every organization should know about:

1. Create clear IAM objectives

A mix of technical technologies and enterprise procedures for identity management and access to organizational data and applications is the essential foundation for effective IAM deployment. From the idea stage itself, it’s best to start tying in business processes with your IAM software.

Map company function control rights, recognize disproportionate privileges, accounts, and classes that are redundant or dead. Ensure that all auditing standards are fulfilled in order to conform with regulatory guidelines, privacy, and data governance policies. This will help you make better decisions for the teams.

2. Robust integration

This includes a thorough assessment of the functionality of the IAM product and its alignment with operational IT assets. An efficient risk management structure in both corporate applications and networks should follow this course of action. Identify operating systems and third-party applications and map them with the features provided by the IAM program.

3. Step-by-step implementation

Keeping in mind the above two steps, the ideal way to execute a successful IAM strategy is to conduct a stage-wise implementation to avoid future complexities.

4. Identity is the vanguard

Organizations should move from the conventional emphasis on network protection to the key security perimeter of identity concern. The network perimeter has become particularly vulnerable with the emergence of the cloud and remote working culture, and thus mere perimeter security cannot be successful. Centralize access policies over the identity of customers and utilities.

5. Prioritize multi-factor authentication

Enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA) for ever user, including C-suite executives and administrators. MFA is an important part of controlling identity and entry as it checks various facets of a user’s identity, rather than just the sign-in aspects.

6. Enforce a zero-trust policy

Until confirmed, the zero-trust model assumes that every access request is a hazard. Prior to granting authorization, access requests from both inside and outside a network are carefully validated, authorized, and investigated for irregularities.

Difference Between Cloud and On-Premise Systems

The fundamental distinction between cloud and on-premise computing is simply where it operates. On-premise software is built locally on the machines and networks of the organization, whereas cloud software is hosted on the server of the provider and is accessible by a web browser.

There are a range of other factors, other than usability, that need to be weighed before reaching a choice. This includes ownership of software, ownership costs, software upgrades and other resources, such as support and deployment. Some key differences between cloud computing and on-premise systems are:

◉ Cloud computing

In one important aspect, cloud computing varies from on-premise applications. In an on-premise ecosystem, a business hosts everything in-house, while a third-party vendor hosts all the data of the organization in a cloud environment. This enables businesses to pay on a need-centric basis and to scale up or down efficiently based on the overall usage, customer needs, and the organization’s growth.

To host a company’s apps offsite, a cloud-based server uses virtual technology. There’s not much financial investment required as it is possible to routinely back up data, and businesses only have to pay for the services they use. The cloud has a huge potential for those organizations that plan for a rapid push on a global basis, because it enables them to connect with clients, partners, and other companies with minimal effort anywhere.

◉ On-premise

On-premise software allows a company to buy a license or a copy of the software to access it. Because the software is licensed and it remains within the property of an enterprise, there is typically better security than for a cloud computing infrastructure. The drawback to on-premise ecosystems is that it costs can run exponentially higher than a cloud storage environment because of the costs associated with maintenance and retaining what the solution entails.

To assist and handle possible challenges that could occur, an on-premise configuration includes in-house server infrastructure, software licenses, integration expertise, and IT personnel on hand. This doesn’t even account for the number of repairs an organization is responsible for when anything fails or doesn’t work.

How Does Identity and Access Management Help in Shoring Up Security?

Successful IAM architecture and technologies help businesses develop safe, effective, and profitable access to technology services through complex networks, while at the same time providing multiple primary benefits:

◉ Comprehensive data security:

Centralizing the authentication and authorization functionality on a unified platform offers a standardized and reliable way for the company and IT experts to control user access within an enterprise during the identity lifecycle.

For example, when employees leave an organization, the centralized IAM system provides IT administrators the opportunity to remove their access with the assurance that the withdrawal will take place instantly across all business-critical systems, along with the services that are incorporated within the organization. This would ensure that no remaining access remains with the system-removed users and thereby greatly strengthens the company’s overall information security ecosystem.

◉ Lesser security costs

To control users and their access, deploying a unified IAM portal in an enterprise enables IT to conduct its work more effectively. In today’s environment, as part of their work, each employee has access to a number of systems and services. Imagine if an IT administrator needs to manually assign access to the programs when an individual enters the enterprise and then repeals the accesses manually from each system when the user exits the company. Managing these on-boarding and off-boarding procedures would be a massive headache for IT employees and also a massive budgetary burden for the corporation.

This challenge can be effectively addressed by an efficient centralized IAM solution. Implementation of such a system can result in enormous savings in terms of both time and money for the company. By automating identity protocols that absorb IT assets, such as on-boarding, password resets, and access requests, a robust IAM system can reduce total IT costs, while removing the need for support desk tickets or calls.

◉ Limited access privileges

Least privilege access is an effective systems and information management technique to restrict users’ access privileges to the absolute minimum so they can fulfill their job duties. As most data breaches involve an insider, it is absolutely vital to ensure that access to the organizational resources is protected and granted using the least privilege concept.

It is common in a business for personnel to shift around various positions within the organization. If the given rights are not removed when the employee changes the position, it will lead to the accumulation of certain privileges, and this can pose a risk for a variety of reasons.

This level of access privilege accumulation makes it possible for cyber hackers to target the user as his or her disproportionate privileges can be an easy backdoor for attackers to access the majority of sensitive infrastructure and services of the business. This could inevitably become an insider threat where an employee has the capacity to commit data theft. By using the least privilege concept to a significant degree, a well-developed and a unified IAM approach can assist organizations to eradicate insider vulnerability challenges.

◉ Enterprise-level IT administration:

Modern IAM technologies and systems allow user access policies, such as separation-of-duty (SoD), to be implemented, establishing clear administration controls and removing access breaches or over-entitled users by automated controls of governance. It will guarantee that corporations are consistent with the compliance and regulatory requirements of the industry and government, such as HIPPA, SOX, EU GDPR, etc. Not adhering to these requirements could result in millions of dollars in fines for enterprises.

Identity and Access Management Tools

Identity and access management tools include password management tools, device provisioning, frameworks for implementation of security protocols, reporting and tracking apps, and servers for identity. On-premise applications, such as Microsoft SharePoint along with cloud-based applications like Microsoft Office 365 are widely used across enterprises to implement robust identity and access management practices. Some of the most prominent IAM tools are:

◉ API security

The protection of the API enables IAM for B2B commerce, cloud integration, and IAM architectures focused on microservices. Forrester envisions API protection strategies among mobile devices or user-managed access being used for single sign-on (SSO). This will allow IoT system authentication and management of personally identifiable data to be handled by security teams.

◉ Customer identity and access management

CIAM facilitates a robust user control and authentication; self-service and profile management; and integration with CRM, ERP, and other customer management systems and databases.

◉ Identity analytics

IA enables security teams — using rules, machine learning, and other predictive algorithms — to identify and avoid dangerous identity habits.

◉ Identity as a service

IDaaS provides software-as-a-service (SaaS) technologies that provide SSO on single sign-on service to online apps and native apps from a portal, as well as a degree of optimization of user accounts and control of access requests.

◉ Identity management and governance

IMG supports the identification life cycle with automated and replicable ways of regulating it. This is essential when it comes to compliance with regulations on identification and privacy.

◉ Risk-based authentication:

RiRBA frameworks form a risk score in the sense of a user session and authentication.

What Are the Challenges or Risks of Implementing IAM?

◉ Hard to explain

It is difficult to explain exactly how important your data really is to your business. Your reputation may be damaged by a breach, there may be fines and you may lose substantial sums of money, proprietary information, and more in a cyber-attack. But the violation reaches far beyond that. For starters, records provided by the government, such as social security numbers, are considered highly confidential data and is related to the right to buy big things, such as a home, or seek new work opportunities.

◉ Takes a toll on the budget

It is tough to request budgetary support for identity governance systems. If IAM is difficult to understand, it’s even harder to attempt to allocate funds for an IAM solution that you can’t really explain. Think about the periodical access analysis process for a second. If you perform this exercise manually on a weekly, semi-annual, or annual basis, you typically have an entire team of managers and device owners who waste hours collecting user samples, editing files, inserting contextual details, and sending files back and forth via email before the due date.

◉ Cloud integration

The use of cloud-based software has accelerated, making for a globally linked workforce facilitated by cloud services. As several cloud services are used, however, deciding who has access to information becomes more complex. This will reveal personal data and expose agencies to hacking.

◉ Reuse of passwords

Online accounts are used by commercial, state, and federal institutions to complete vital business operations, forcing users to build different keys. However, since people prefer to use the same password for various accounts, if one account is hacked, others are likely to be compromised as well.

What Is Federated Identity Management?

Federated Identity Management (FIM) is an agreement that can be formed between different organizations to allow users to access the networks of all the businesses in the collective using the same identification information or credentials. In many instances, this system of sharing identification data across organizations is known as identity federation.

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The identity federation connects the identity of a user throughout various security domains, each of which supports its own identity management system. The user can validate in one domain and then access services or resources in the other domain. This removes the need for individual login processes, thus saving time and streamlining operations across domains.

Benefits of Federated Identity Management

Identity federation can be formed by companies working collaboratively on a project that enables the users of these multiple organization to gain easy access and share information. While the users are granted cross-domain access, the IT administrators can still regulate the amount of access in their own domains at each organization in the collective. Identity federation aims to do away with the barriers that stop users from accessing the resources they need when they need them securely and easily.

Users of identity federated systems don’t have to create new accounts for each domain, which means they can securely access systems in different domains without having to remember credentials for all of them. As they move from one domain to another, users don’t have to re-enter their credentials.

IT administrators can also prevent a range of challenges using identity federation when they work on integrating multi-domain control, such as designing a particular method to make it easier to access an external organization’s services. Identify federation is equally effective integrating applications that requires access to services and resources across multiple security domains.

Managing a company’s safety is a never-ending job, as more and more advanced cyberattacks arise every day. Security departments operate to prevent companies from losing vital and proprietary information as a result of cyberattacks. If you’re on the lookout to upgrade your skills in IAM and other related fields of study, a certification course is the best way forward.

Source: eccouncil.org