Debit card breach: Hitachi owns up to systems being compromised in mid-2016

We should have norms for organisations in India to quickly disclose any breach in their network. Other companies can learn from such attacks and they can use this information to protect their network. Awareness of Security will also help end consumers to be more cautious in handling digital transaction. As we move towards digital economy, transparency by organisations will help to improve confidence by a long way. 

Hitachi Payments Services on Thursday accepted its systems were compromised by a sophisticated malware in mid-2016 which led to one of the biggest cyber security breaches in country, with 3.2 million cards being affected, causing a scare over security of card-based transactions.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/debit-card-breach-hitachi-owns-up-to-systems-being-compromised-in-mid-2016-117020900504_1.html

Wishing you a very Happy and Secure New Year

First the good news, you no longer will be forced to pay service charge at restaurants. Some of the well known restaurant would not pass the service charge to the servers and would keep it as profits. Many a times, I had to fight whenever I have been unhappy with the service. Happy that the government has clarified and we can pay the service charge at our will.

For the bad news, cyber attacks will only increase in year 2017. Attackers have shifted their focus to more targeted attacks, which will be difficult to catch using traditional methods. We will need more sophisticated methods to identify such attacks and mitigate them. Context based security is one such method. It helps in identifying breaches and thus protecting users data.

With more and more enterprise application moving to cloud services like Google or Office 365, it becomes important that security devices are able to identify the legitimate use of such applications. Corporates would like to limit access to such applications only for their company use. Firewalls will have to become intelligent to identify such use and prevent data leaks through personal use.

Ensure that you take backups of all your critical data and files. Ransomware will subside, if they realise that their efforts is not bearing them fruits. We too have to play an important role to improve security of our networks and internet as a whole. Wish you once again a very happy and secure new year.

An apple a day keeps the attackers at bay !!!

As we reach the end of this year and look back at the numerous cyber attacks, one question that keeps coming to everyones mind is 'Can we win the war against attackers as we enter the new year?' We can find the answer in the old saying, 'An apple a day, keeps the doctor away'.  As we need to regularly monitor our health,  similarly, we need to monitor the security of our network too. By ignoring it,  it will give in and be compromised.

Let me begin with saying that it is not difficult to keep our network and data safe. Let us not be too overwhelmed and worried with the daily breaches that we hear. Like our physical health, it requires dedication to keep our network fit. If security management is incorporated in our daily routine, it will show wonderful results. Check your application and data, regularly, and see if they are all in a healthy condition.

Routine checkups can help find problems before they start or in their earlier stages where it is relatively easy to resolve. If you are unable to do so, the problem may spread to your complete network and can cause severe damage which may be very difficult to recover from. Ransomware showed how, if not limited, can even end up encrypting files on your file shares and affect not only the user who open the attachment, but everyone in the organisation.

Like your body, your security too requires regular maintenance. If you do not take care of it, you will end up making it easy for attackers to break it. Be in regular touch with experts who will help you in knowing the latest vulnerability and how to fix them. Keep your software updated and take regular backups of your critical data. Simple things, if done daily, can help improve health of your network and bring happiness to you in the new year.

Wish you a very happy and secure new year !!!

Should Small Companies be worried about Cyber Security ?

Many owners of small companies do not wish to invest in security. They feel there is not much to loose and why would anyone hack into their network and for what. This myth has been bursted with ransomware.

Ransomware has attacked all organisations, irrespective of their size. Monetary gain is what drives the attacker. This has affected small organisations more than large ones, as they do not have required process or infrastructure to backup their files on a regular basis. Large organisations can delete and restore their files and ransomware would not causing any harm to them.

Small organisations have few resources and are driven with profitability in mind. More often than not, security is compromised if it causes any hindrance in their business. Also, since people are already over loaded with work, ensuring security in all aspect of work is far fetched.

As we welcome the new year, every organisation should resolve to bring security at the centre of all processes and ensure that they are prepared in case of any attack. If done, the new year will bring less of distribution and more business for small organisations too.

 

Wish you a very happy Diwali and a safe and secure New Year

Wish you all a very Happy Diwali and a Secure New Year. Securing a company will always remain a challenge. There will be no one single right way of doing it. Majority view is that we are safe and we do not have to do anything further. How often that this myth been proven wrong. Even after being audited by the best firms and following best practises, the recent breach of Debit/Atm card information in India, has proven that we have a long way to go, before we can feel safe.

Securing an organisation has to be more practical. A copy book style will not work. There are just too many ways that protections can be breached. Many a times, we are not even sure, whether our gates have already been broken. Each aspect of protecting an organisation has to viewed holistically and an approach, not too though on users, will go a long way.

More often we make our security too complicated and end up mis-managing it. Any security implementation should begin with knowing what to protect. Then understanding what are the access points. You need to create your own defence ring around your data assuming all access points are vulnerable and will be compromised. Once this is understood, it becomes very easy to secure your data.

Hope, this year we will have fewer breaches and a more secure year, ahead.

Security breach: Debit/ATM card breach - What more can banks do

As per news-paper report (This is how an ATM virus compromised 3.2 million debit cards in India) a virus or malware infection at Hitachi Payments Services led to the compromise of millions of debit cards. Not many details are known on the malware that has caused this havoc. It is unfortunate that even after knowing about the infection, customers were not flagged. RBI has to take a serious note of this and work on disclosure norms so that precautionary measures can be taken in future.

Hitachi Payment system should come out with detailed reason of the malware and how it affected the ATMs. This will be a good learning for other organisations and they too can take pro-active steps in future. As for banks, they need to provide a mechanism for customers to check if their card has been compromised and pro-actively change their pin and notify them accordingly. Interestingly my bank allows me to change the PIN, only at the ATM. There is no way I can change the PIN by logging onto the bank website. This prevents me from changing my PIN regularly. Implementation of two-factor authentication would also go a long way to assure customers on the security of their accounts. Debit/ATM cards too need to move away from magnetic strip cards to EMV based. EMV based cards consists of a microchip that contains data traditionally stored in the card’s magnetic strip. These work with new point-of-sale readers that scan the chip and process payment transactions in a secure manner using encryption.The chip reduces fraud because it contains a cryptographic key that authenticates the card as a legitimate bank card and also generates a one-time code with each transaction. This means thieves can’t simply take account numbers stolen in a breach and emboss them onto the magnetic strip of a random card, or program them onto the chip of a random chip card, to make fraudulent purchases at stores or unauthorized withdrawals at ATMs.

 

Some of the above measures will help in reducing threats to the banking system and bring more assurance to customers that their money is safe. 

Security breach: SBI blocks over 6L debit cards

In one of the biggest card replacements in Indian banking, State Bank of India has said that it will re-issue around six lakh debit cards to customers, which have been blocked following a malware-related security breach in a non-SBI ATM network.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Security-breach-SBI-blocks-over-6L-debit-cards/articleshow/54926828.cms

For a long time, security has been ignored. It's consequences are now being felt. Though not much is known about malware and which bank's ATM have been infected, it is clear that this breach would have affected other banks too. Hardship faced by people whose debit cards were blocked and not being able to withdraw cash from ATM's could further alleviate common man from using technology and question security of all initiative taken to move towards a cashless society.

 

It is time that organisations conduct their due diligence when they inter-connect with other company networks and also ensure that their customers are well protected. Banking industry has to move fast to protect against such malware as we will see more such attacks in future.

GajShield honored as among 20 Most Promising Cyber Security Company of 2016

It is an immense pride, for a company, to get recognized and applauded for the ideas that innovates in any field. GajShield and its team’s gladness is indescribable as we hold are heads high for being among the 20 Most Promising Security Companies by CIOReview. Overwhelmed with gratitude, we owe our success to all our clients who have kept their faith in us to provide security solution to their enterprise. This acknowledgment will motivate us further and will help us to create ingenious solutions, and will also boost our zeal for excellence.

This is a new feather added in our cap since we have already achieved various business milestones seamlessly. Innovation is one of our greatest assets and with technologies like Context based Data Leak Prevention, Cloud Security, we have always been ahead of the security solution curve which helps to create real security solutions of today’s and tomorrow’s enterprise. We already have our fortified presence in 40+ countries and are expanding our global footprints too. With 14+ years of Establishment, we are fueled with great knowledge, strong network, and high confidence. We have always worked seamlessly to achieve excellence. This recognition will help to take our business to the next level.

 

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Rural Indian villages are about to get lifesaving treatment through an app

India has just one doctor for every 1,700 people, and while 70% of the population is in rural areas, about 60% of the healthcare infrastructure is in cities.

http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/03/technology/intelehealth-india-doctor-health-worker-app/index.html

With majority of population being in rural India and very few doctors to take care of them, telemedicine is the way to go. With the advancement of technology like IOT of health, it will not only reduce the cost of treating a patient in rural places, but will also help in diagnosing the disease early with quicker treatment.

 

India, too needs to have a central repository of health information, probably linked with Aadhar (with appropriate security and anonymity), it will help in identifying spread of disease, plagues and with bioinformatics lead to better research and improving healthcare in India.

Cyberbullying increases by 75%

During July, August, and September, the Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner investigated 70 serious Australia-wide cyberbullying claims, up from 40 in the same period last year.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/childrens-esafety-commissioner-reports-75-percent-increase-in-cyberbullying-complaints/

 

With mobile phones and tablets, it has become easy for kids to access internet. Cyber-bullying mainly happens through Social sites. Many kids under the age of 16, create an accounts on these sites by giving a false birthdate. It is the responsibility of these site owners to ensure that false birthdates are not accepted, if needed to have a separate site for kids under the age of 16. Any account created on these sites have to be validated, thus limiting the posting through genuine accounts and not fake accounts. This will go a long way in preventing cyber-bullying.

GST to boost business in India

Asserting that India has shown that progress on reforms could "ignite" business investment, the IMF today said the adoption of goods and services tax is poised to boost the country's medium-term growth.  

Read more at: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/54727072.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

 

Looking forward for implementation of GST in India. Manufacturing companies will benefit a lot and will help them to compete with imported products. Various tax leakages will get plugged and will help to lower price which will ultimately help customers. 

GajShield on ‘Net Neutrality’

Ending Net-neutrality will squeeze out start-ups who will have to pay distributors to offer their apps at the same level as the larger player. This will monopolise the service for a few. Internet was developed to provide free and fair access to all. Limiting this will kill innovation and prove to be a major hurdle in the growth of the Indian economy.