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Hacker Horror Stories to Frighten Dev Teams This Halloween

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Halloween is a time for ghosts, ghouls, and other frightening things. But ask any cybersecurity professional if they’re more scared of hockey masks and chainsaws or hackers and malware, and most will take their chances with the slashers. Truly, few things are more terrifying than when data security is compromised. 

Customer information, reputation, credibility, the outlook for the future — all of those things come into question when hackers and attackers infiltrate. It’s the thing of nightmares and, unfortunately, it happens more often than you think.

In fact, some estimates place the total at 109 million accounts that were breached in the third quarter of 2022 alone. That’s a 70% jump over the previous quarter. Yikes! And while no breach is minor, sometimes the magnitude of the breach, who it affects, and the costs and outcomes are especially jaw-dropping.

So to finish out Cybersecurity Awareness Month, let’s look at a few especially terrifying hacker horror stories that are sure to spook you!

 

Hackers Breach the Red Cross

It’s bad enough when hackers target businesses, but something about going after the charitable organizations that help people seems especially egregious. That happened in January of this year when hackers attacked servers operated by the Red Cross, which contained data about Restoring Family Links services, which works to reconnect people separated by war, migration, and violence. The personal information of a half million people was exposed.

 

 

Disgruntled Employee Goes After Cash App

It’s one thing when hacks and attacks come from the outside – those are to be expected. But when a person within an organization betrays their position to compromise security? That type of inside job is hard to protect against. Cash App found out the hard way in April this year when a former employee breached data containing customer names, stock information, account numbers, and portfolio information, along with a lot of other sensitive financial information. Eight million customers had to be notified about the occurrence!

Russia’s Warfare Has Cyber Element

Few things are more horrific than war. And the conflict that’s on everyone’s mind is what’s going on in Ukraine. The violence on the ground is bad enough, but Russian hackers have also taken to launching cyber attacks against the power grid in Ukraine, nuclear facilities, and a lot more.

 

Personal Health Information Leaked

Australia has had an especially difficult 2022 when it comes to cyber attacks, and many organizations have found themselves in compromising situations. Among the worst was when the personal health information of almost a quarter million people was leaked. In this case, not only were clients put at risk, but the company itself, Australian Clinical Labs Ltd., saw its share price fall as a result.

Hackers Hit the Bar

Having a glass of wine (in moderation) is a commonly practiced way to temporarily forget about problems like data breaches and security leaks. Well, not for customers of iDealwine. The online wine merchant just recently reported that they’d been the victim of a data breach that has potentially exposed the information of every single one of their customers.

Former Uber Exec Covered Up Data Breach

Imagine facing nearly a decade in federal prison for a hack you didn’t even commit. That’s what happened when former Uber Chief Security Officer Joseph Sullivan was found guilty in federal court of not disclosing a 2016 breach of customer and driver records to regulators and attempting to cover up the incident. He is looking at a possible maximum of five years in prison for the obstruction charge, and a maximum of three years for the other charge. It doesn’t get much worse than that.

 


PreEmptive Protects Applications From Hackers

 

Maintaining data security in today’s world requires a comprehensive approach and constant vigilance. No single habit does it all, nor is sometimes often enough. Whether it’s simply regularly changing your passwords and practicing good password hygiene, or implementing a full-fledged, enterprise-level security program.

When it comes to helping software developers create secure products, PreEmptive is a trusted global leader of protection tools for Desktop, Mobile, Cloud, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. We help organizations make their applications more resistant and resilient to hacking and tampering so that protecting intellectual property, sensitive data, and revenue is achievable.

Want to learn more about our products and if they’re right for you? Contact us for a complimentary security consultation.

 


 

Categories
Risk Management

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Changing Your Passwords

Reading Time: 4 minutes

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a month-long effort to raise awareness about the importance of practicing good habits to keep ourselves and our data safe. This year’s theme is “See Yourself in Cyber,” which is intended to communicate that cybersecurity isn’t complex; it’s all about people. And one of the most important things people can do to stay safe online is to practice good password hygiene. And what better time to start than by updating your passwords for Cybersecurity Awareness month.

 

Why You Should Practice Good Password Hygiene

Passwords are how we verify our identity. Whether it’s online banking, email, applications, or the countless other things in our daily lives that require a password, using sound practices to manage them is a must to keep your data safe and secure from prying eyes. Hackers look for situations with weak passwords; unfortunately, many people make it easy.

When was the last time you changed your email and social media passwords? What about your bank and household accounts? Experts say you should do it at least every three months. Do you use the same passwords for any accounts? If you’re shy about sharing your answers, you’re not alone. Many organizations have poor behavior around password management, and weak passwords cause at least 30% of security breaches. 

The 2021 Verizon Breach Investigations Report found that 80% of hacking-related breaches involved stolen or brute-forced credentials. But such aggressive approaches usually aren’t even required. For example, did you know that “Password” is the second most-used password in the United States? We can do a lot better than that.

How to Change & Manage Your Passwords for Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Each of us has over 80 passwords, and there are better ways to manage them than saving them in browsers, writing them on post-it notes, or reusing them for multiple accounts. In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’re encouraging everyone to update their credentials. Below are strategies and habits that can ensure your passwords are secure.

Use a Password Manager

A password manager like LastPass or KeePass eliminates the need to memorize credentials or store them in a browser. With just one password you can can create and save passwords for all your accounts.

 

Create a Strong Password

Creating a strong password is a critical step to protecting yourself online. Using long, complex passwords is one of the easiest ways to defend yourself from data breaches and hacks.

 

Get Goofy

If you must create your passwords instead of using randomly generated examples, get creative. Phonetic replacements (“kc” instead of “k”), deliberate misspellings, and substituting letters with numbers and punctuation marks or symbols (such as @ instead of the letter “A”) can maintain security while allowing you to remember your password more easily.

 

Make It Hard to Guess

The National Institute of Standards and Technology provides several suggestions to promote password security, including not using personal information in your passwords. Kids’ names? Pets names? Address? Forget it. All of that information is easy for criminals to guess.

 

Don’t Tell Anyone Your Passwords

Never tell anyone your passwords. If someone calls you on the phone or emails you and says they’re with a service provider and need your passwords, hang up — it’s a scam. Additionally, do not keep written passwords out in plain sight.

 

Each Account Gets Its Own Password

 

Using the same password across multiple accounts is like giving attackers a master key that unlocks every door in your life. Do you really want to do that? Mix things up and use a distinctly unique password for each account. Password managers — which you should use — make it easy.

 

Double Your Protection With Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication

 

Whenever an application allows you to use multi-factor authentication (MFA), do it. It’s another way to ensure that the only person with access to your account is you.

 

Other Strategies to Stay Safe Online

 

Practicing good password hygiene all the time is something every one of us needs to do. But it’s also just one component of cybersecurity. You can arm yourself with multiple layers of protection by following these other practices promoted during Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

 

  • Think before you click. If a link looks off, don’t click. It could be an attempt to steal information or install malware. 
  • Update your software. Got a software update notification? Install it immediately. Even better, turn on automatic updates.
  • Get more information. Want to see everything you can do? Get all the tips about cybersecurity at the official website.

PreEmptive Is Security

PreEmptive helps organizations make applications more resistant and resilient to hacking and tampering. We are a global leader in obfuscation tools for Desktop, Mobile, Cloud, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Our products balance ease of use, strength of protection, quality of output, ROI, and security.

Learn more about our products.

 


 

Categories
Risk Management

5 Ways PreEmptive Boosts Productivity in Your SDLC With DevSecOps

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Devsecops is quickly becoming instrumental for businesses that want to boost productivity. According to the 2021 GitLabs DevSecOps report, teams that use a devsecops approach to generating their code got their work out the door 60% faster than those that didn’t. That’s a massive improvement in efficiency and productivity.

You can reap the same rewards by taking a devsecops approach early in your systems development lifecycle (SDLC). Keep reading to learn the five most important ways that early devsecops implementation can streamline your SDLC and what it means to take a devsecops approach.

What Is DevSecOps?

DevSecOps

The term devsecops is short for “development, security, operations.” It’s the next evolution of the “devops” culture and approach to development. In DevOps, the development and operations teams work together closely to ensure that the program is designed from the ground up to meet functionality goals and deadlines. 

Devsecops goes one step further by rolling the security team into the development process. Instead of having a DevOps group and a Security group, everyone on the project is responsible for ensuring it’s secure. This helps prevent fundamental security flaws from being baked into the final product and reduces the risk of costly security fixes after development is complete. 

Building a devsecops culture within your business helps you accomplish this by providing five main benefits. When your team is dedicated to pursuing devsecops goals throughout the SDLC, you can:

1. Improve Communication

The traditional approach to application development involves siloed teams. Each part of the development process is handled by separate groups. These groups don’t typically work together and only communicate about the project when it’s moved from one team to the next. As a result, communication delays are common, and miscommunications can cause problems that take weeks to resolve. 

Taking a devsecops approach can resolve this issue entirely. Instead of having siloed teams working separately, everyone is working on it at the same time. The group can easily communicate and bring up potential problems in advance, saving time and effort in the long run. 

You can further improve communication about security concerns by implementing security solutions in your application from the very beginning. PreEmptive makes it easy for everyone on your team to ensure the app is secure, including non-specialists. Everyone can communicate in the same language and avoid delays since they’re all working with the same tools.

2. Implement Early Testing

Devsecops allows you to start performing critical tests early before it becomes cost-prohibitive to make essential changes. There’s no need to wait until the project is nearing completion to send it to the security team. Since everyone is responsible for security, and protective features and architecture should be included from the very start, it’s possible to start security testing significantly earlier in your SDLC. 

Working with a tool like PreEmptive makes early testing easier to accomplish. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel or worry about whether your tests will miss something. You can simply verify that the PreEmptive hardening features are working as intended. 

This early testing can significantly improve your team’s productivity. You can catch potential flaws and risks right away when they can be fixed in hours or days. The result is less time wasted on preventable fixes and more time spent on features that matter.

3. Incorporate Security Into Metric Monitoring

Many teams monitor productivity metrics to determine how well they’re performing. When you’ve built a devsecops security culture, you can include your security teams in your monitoring process to understand how your project is going. 

This holistic overview helps you spot places where you’re inefficient. You can quickly address delays or redundant processes and refine your SDLC to reach peak performance. 

4. Integrate Shared Knowledge

Another benefit of devsecops culture is the way it encourages sharing knowledge. A well-structured devsecops approach means that everyone does a little of everything. Having team members share their knowledge ensures that the loss of one person won’t derail an entire project. Someone else will have a basic understanding of what needs to be done to keep things moving. 

Furthermore, this team culture can benefit your project as a whole. Collaboration between groups with different skill sets leads to more robust, secure projects, particularly when they have high-quality tools to work with. Providing shared security tools like PreEmptive reinforces this knowledge transfer and collaboration, making your final product even better. 

5. Institute Automation

A quality devsecops team will prioritize the use of automation. When your development and security teams are one and the same, it’s easy to build high-quality security automation from the beginning of your SDLC. This can make all the difference down the road. 

Security automation includes attributes like:

  • Obfuscation: Protecting sensitive information and code through renaming, encryption, and minification.
  • Tamper detection: Identifying and shutting down outside attempts to adjust your application without permission.
  • Control-flow: Ensuring that outside forces can’t affect the commands issued within your application.

The sooner these features are built into an application, the less likely it is to contain major security flaws. Devsecops ensures that you can bake in automated security protection while your app is still in early development.

PreEmptive makes it easy to automate your app’s security from the moment your team begins work. It’s as easy as adding your chosen solution to your app, with no need to send your sensitive or protected code to a third party at any point. You get the benefits of automated security and regular updates while keeping your code in-house.


Make DevSecOps Easier With PreEmptive

It’s never too early to start thinking about application protection and security. Devsecops is the best way to make sure your app is secure from the moment you begin development. 

If you want to make devsecops a fundamental part of your SDLC, PreEmptive makes it simple. By adding a PreEmptive security solution like DashO, JSDefender, or Dotfuscator to your app, you ensure that security is baked into your design. Learn more about how PreEmptive can help you accomplish your security goals, or start your free trial today.