James Steele

Edinburgh, Edinburgh City, UNITED KINGDOM

Joined January 20th 2012

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Leaving your computer or network without computer security software protection will leave you vulnerable if attacked by phishing websites including Trojans, this warning was sent out by the Internet security expert, Li Xioling, Thursday the 11th April. Xioling who is a senior manager at Alipay.com (the payment platform of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group) said – “although it may make your Internet surfing a little more inconvenient” (…) “it is really necessary to install the security software into your computer”. She highlighted this during an interview with xinhuanet.com during the 2013 Internet Industry Security that was held by the Internet Security Working Group of China.

During the summit several important advise and tips was brought forward:

Avoiding using the same username and passwords on various different sites. Do not tell about vulnerable personal information like bank account figures and ID card numbers to unfamiliar or shady looking websites – these where some of the tips Xioling gave in regards to computer security. Also paying attention to the check code, which is provided during online purchases. Around 650.000 phishing sites have been found worldwide. All companies should make sure to be protected by doing a combination of enhancing safe handling of Internet procedures, while implementing computer security software, which can control software vulnerabilities across networks and end points.

A Guide To PCI DSS

December 13th 2012 09:30
When customers pay for goods using a card, they expect their details to be kept safe by the business. But what happens when the business and information is compromised? The consequences can be severe such as loss of customers’ information.

What is PCI DSS?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was introduced in 1999 to increase security confidence and reduce the risks for PCI members, merchants, service providers and consumers. Financial services data security should be a top priority no matter what business you’re in.

There are 12 requirements for any business that stores, processes or transmits card data – regardless the size of the business. The requirements encompass three essential steps – access, remediate and report.

By assessing your IT assets you’ll be able to locate vulnerabilities in your process. Once found you can begin the necessary steps to remediate the vulnerabilities. And lastly, you can file the compliance reports to banks and payment organisations you have a relationship with. Banks will have to report to VISA and Mastercard to ensure merchants’ are complying.

Why should you comply?

Complying with PCI DSS may seem like a strenuous effort. However, complying brings major benefits as the consequences can be detrimental to your brand.

A customer’s trust in a business can be taken for granted. But losing this trust is hard to regain, particularly after a security breach. This can lead to a loss in sales and negative press. It could also lead to lawsuits, Government fines and insurance claims in some cases.
By complying with PSI DSS standards, you can ensure your system remains protected against other cyber threats such as ghost attacks, website and account tampering. Remember, compliance requires continual analysis and is not just a once-a-year activity.

Complying doesn’t have to be difficult.

Complying with PCI DSS policies can be difficult to adhere to manually. This takes time which many IT departments in organisations around the world don’t have. Requirement six for example necessitates the prioritisation of vulnerabilities – and this is where difficulties can arise.

While IT departments don’t have the time, they also don’t know which vulnerabilities should be made priorities. That’s where vulnerability and patch management can help relieve some of the pain complying brings.

With network security software you can prioritise vulnerabilities and in doing so, react to real time threats, meaning your system is vulnerable for a short time. Not only this, but you can also automate the patching process too.

Data theft is still a very real threat; millions of customer card numbers have been stolen at the hands of criminals.

What difficulties have you found complying with PCI DSS?

Secunia Release VIM 4.0

November 21st 2012 16:12
Securing your business IT infrastructure must be given high priority. Cybercriminals continue to target organisations big and small in a variety of ways – you need to cover all bases.

One way to prevent potential attacks is to identify vulnerabilities in your network. Carrying this out manually can be extremely difficult, especially for an IT team who have little time to waste.

That’s where Secunia’s Vulnerability Intelligence Manager software (VIM) can help. The network vulnerability management tool is both a time and cost effective IT security solution that analyses the state of your IT infrastructure. By doing so, you can see where your business is weakest and begin steps to remediate them. For example, did you know that the majority of vulnerabilities are found in third-party programs? - 78% to be exact.

This has been a rising trend which is now gaining attention in every industry. In 2006, vulnerabilities found in third-party software were 45%; an increase of 33% on today’s.

Research thought leaders Gartner believe this is a trend that is set to continue. In their ‘Adapting Vulnerability Management to Advanced Threats’ paper, they suggested 2015 would see 80% of successful attacks exploit well-known vulnerabilities – and they will be detectable via security monitoring.

These vulnerabilities in software can allow access to an organisations entire infrastructure. This can be a problem if your organisation uses a lot of different software (as many do); how do you keep track of them all? It’s not only the software the company itself uses either. Any company laptops and even employee devices can pose a software vulnerability threat. One weak end point can affect the security of an entire organisation.

Another advantage of using VIM for your business is it can help you to comply with policies such as PCI DSS, Sarbanes-Oxley, FISMA and HIPAA for example. Failing to comply with these standards could result in heavy fines. With VIM, you can automate tasks to ensure your organisation is complying with these regulations. Therefore, VIM can help to define and manage policies.

Secunia have been protecting and serving organisations across various industries for 10 years. In that time, the cyber security landscape has changed. This has meant business needs have changed too and Secunia continue to meet those needs.

With that in mind, Secunia have released the next evolutionary version of their Vulnerability Intelligence software, VIM 4.0.

The latest release sees a new and improved interface which makes managing vulnerabilities on a day to day basis even easier. You can now integrate Secunia’s CSI software to complete the vulnerability dynamic. There are also improvements to matching assets and exporting data together with an activity log. And of course you have the power of covering over 40,000 systems and applications.

Watch these videos to see how the VIM 4.0 can help handle zero-day exploits and address security compliance issues.

Internet Explorer 10

November 1st 2012 12:44
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has come increasingly under the microscope in the last few years as challengers Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox jostle to steal its crown.

[ Click here to read more ]

What's New in Firefox 15?

August 29th 2012 10:47
The latest version of Firefox sees a number of changes as the battle for the best web browser title continues. Mozilla have really set the gauntlet and called out Google. Thinking of changing browsers? Let’s look at some of the improvements in Firefox 15 to see if it’s worth it.

mozilla firefox 15
Image via Wikipedia

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iPhone 5 - Rumours and Expectations

August 13th 2012 11:02
Rumour has it that a new iPhone is about to grace us all with its shiny, super sleek presence. Though none of this is based on official fact, gadget lovers, tech bloggers and general Mac nerds have been speculating on the launch of the iPhone 5 a lot in recent weeks. We've dived into the rumour mill and dug out the juicy bits - so you don't have to:

iphone 5
iPhone 5 Concept

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New Viruses To Look Out For

May 4th 2012 11:10
Is there anything more frustrating than receiving a computer virus? Often they strike at the wrong time, usually when you have lots of work to do and your computer starts to act funny. Pop ups and crashing can be the source of frustration for many.

That’s why it’s important to update your PC regularly and check a security forum every once in a while to keep up with the latest viruses spreading. Here are the most recent viruses you should be looking out for

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Another Tuesday and another round of patches for Microsoft users.

April’s Microsoft Patch Tuesday sees six security issues highlighted; four have been given the highest rating. Altogether that’s 11 vulnerabilities which is fairly quiet compared to other months

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Nerd Insider Recommends

March 1st 2012 17:12
Every now and again I come across some amazing tech, gadgets, websites, software and deals and today I'm sharing 3 of my favorites relating to making your business go 'web worthy' with you...

By blog.appboy.com
[ Click here to read more ]

Engaging Your Online Community

March 1st 2012 11:34
In todays online world business it is widely thought that creating and engaging with an online community is necessary for developing customer relationships and furthering you product/service online.

There will always be a balance between content and engagement. One cannot exist without the other. Content must be interesting, pushing forward new ideas and thoughts that will interest the following that you are hoping to develop. The community should also be encouraged to engage, this can be as simple as asking a question or conducting an online survey
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