The Importance of Data Asset Awareness and Protection as part of Your Cybersecurity Strategy

When it comes to cybersecurity, there are three basic knowledge issues that plague most organizations:

  1. They don’t know what data assets they have.
  2. They don’t know where it is stored.
  3. They don’t know how secure it is.

A recent good example is the July 2019 Capital One breach where a hacker is said to have accessed data about credit card customers’ and applicants’ data via a firewall misconfiguration in the firm’s cloud infrastructure. Having the answers to 1-3 above, might have helped prevent this loss of valuable data and even more valuable customer trust.

For the longest time, the common rule among firms was to “collect as much info as you can from visitors/members in hopes that it might prove insightful one day.”  Such unnecessary collection of unessential data is still prevalent on most websites, mobile applications, and sadly brick and mortar stores. Would-be users are faced with the decision of either forking over non-consequential data or forgoing discounts at best. At worse, they’re forbidden access to tools that are in today’s society deemed necessary (banking tools, social media, etc.).  Their data  – phone numbers, email addresses, geographical locations via ip addresses, etc. – which can be used to identify them completely, have become the mandated price of entry.  This cost, at first a light burden to consumers and a supposed boon to the businesses and sites they patronized, are now correctly recognized as a dual-edged sword: insightful and valuable, yes, but also a severe liability due to the ever-increasing prevalence of hacking and data abuse.

The number of cyber attacks, data breaches, data leaks and espionage have increased dramatically and devastatingly in the past decade with cyber crime evolving into a sophisticated industry for “hacking” companies. These companies operate with evermore impunity, some with physical buildings and regularly-paid employees, and reside primarily in places where authorities turn a blind eye to their operations. These firms create the demand for their own services by attacking targets, and then posing as legitimate cybersecurity companies, they provide the solution to those hapless victims, at a cost.

This year, the Word Economic Forum listed cyber threats behind climate change and natural disasters as the fourth greatest risk to world economies. Companies and individuals residing in locations that have been lauded for their social fabric and lack of corruption are no longer as insulated as they once were by geographical boundaries from the lawlessness and vicious criminal activities present elsewhere. Through the connection of the internet of things and mass migration of data to the cloud, all data is accessible with the right tools or information. AI is utilized by cyber criminals now to create nearly undetectable polymorphic malware code and personalize attacks. The dark web provides increasingly sophisticated communication tools and a relatively secure marketplace to hackers. Worse, the amounts of massive money in play in this industry grows exponentially. All of these factors have rendered cyber crime defense a never ending race to stay ahead of cyber criminals, and sadly, since no one – companies or individuals – are immune, all must participate.

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Cost of cybercrime courtesy of Raconteur:

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What are the first things that companies and individuals should do to avoid suffering a devastating attack?

  • Do a Data Asset Audit. Know what you have, where it is stored, and how well it is protected. Follow a standard data asset framework tool like SOC 2 to accomplish this
  • Do a Risk Analysis. Use a standard risk analysis tool like NIST 800-53 and understand the potential impacts of your vulnerabilities being exploited.
  • Determine Your Risk Appetite. Figure out what damage you can live with, and prioritize defending against the damage that will cause the most detriment.
  • Implement Defensive Measures. Hire a well-known or recommended firm to help resolve your prioritized vulnerabilities. Fix easy issues first like training employees on best practices and observing least-privilege access rules.
  • Manage and Maintain. Last, but not least, form an emergency plan and establish best practices for monitoring your systems and managing your data. If possible, also have a cybersecurity firm on retainer to help you restore systems and mitigate damage at a moments notice not if, but when, you are successfully attacked.

Of course the first action item, if you are a company, is to convince your decision makers that these steps are necessary and must be prioritized. That’s easier said than done. However, if the quick rundown of facts in this article aren’t sufficient, bring us in to make the case for you.

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5 ways to fight cyber attacks using AI

The last few years has seen an increase in cyber attacks – whether it is hacking into personal data or bringing down electric grids or tampering with federal data. According to the State of Cyber 2019 report, there is an exponentially increasing breach rate of 232 records/sec. This is only going to see upward trends as the number of connected devices increases, exposing the risk of cyber attacks.

Source: Wipro State of Cyber Report 2019

It is humanly impossible to handle the terabytes of data that is vulnerable to such attacks. Automation is the only answer to this challenge of defending our data. However, unlike traditional software, Artificial intelligence tools like machine learning can plough through the vast quantities of data to find vulnerabilities, hacking patterns and response mechanisms. Machine learning is a discipline of AI where an algorithm can be help in learning from vast quantities of data and make predictions without being explicitly programmed for an output.

Here we take a look at five ways to use AI and machine learning to fight cyber attacks.

1. Intrusion detection:

Typical intrusion detection and defense software use monitors based on previously classified intruders and malicious attributes. Using deep learning, a technique of machine learning, intrusion detection can identify previously unrecognized patterns. Deep learning has the ability to learn from highly unstructured data coming from heterogeneous environments. They are better than other forms of machine learning due to their ability to learn incrementally and extrapolate new features from a limited data set.

2. Multi-entity response:

With the advent of machine learning, a new form of Intelligent Threat response is being used to rapidly and accurately respond to threats. Based on the results obtained by threat detection, threat responses can be driven by machine learning algorithms. These responses are typically undertaken based on recommendations by the users. Based on the type of threat, AI programs can block the source automatically or outmaneuver by sending false signals to gather additional information. As threat volume increases, it is increasingly useful to deploy automated responses to cyber attacks in order to reduce the security incident response times.

3. Tracing the dark web:

Dark web is content on the Internet that requires specific software, configurations or authorization to access. It is usually a nesting ground for illegal activities and can be a source for emerging cyber threats. Machine learning can be used in two ways to monitor activities in the dark web 1. To identify potential threats and keep you abreast of the upcoming trends of attacks or patterns of detection and 2. To identify any information pertaining to your organization, your employees or your products. They can also be used to identify if your company assets like software source code are being openly developed or traded. The exploits identified in the dark web will help accelerate your responses to any attacks. As most hackers constantly change their IPs and domain infrastructure, it is almost impossible to track their activities using traditional mechanisms. Machine learning is helpful to gather insights into these chaotic patterns. Another feature of the dark web is the use of local languages and machine learning and natural language processing can be used to successfully transcend these linguistic and geospatial barriers.

 

Source: Kali Tutorials DarkWeb Statistics

4. Endpoint and network monitoring:

Cyber security teams are often challenged with reduced budgets and increase in security activities such as detection and response. Automating the monitoring of networks and device endpoints is crucial to ensure compliance with your security governance rules. Machine learning/AI provides you the tools to automate the monitoring process. Machine learning can also help you break down data silos and authenticate all users accessing the various sources of data – whether it is transactional or reporting systems. With the help of machine learning, you can monitor new variants of malware by understanding and learning from various aspects and attributes of malware or viruses. You can also use machine learning to simplify your multitude endpoint and networking monitoring tools and consolidate them into a single dashboard.

5. Third party detection:

While in-house systems, applications and devices are vast in a huge organization, it is almost impossible to keep track of third-party systems like vendors and suppliers that often integrate with your systems. Your ecosystem multiplies your risk and exposes your systems if they do not take security as seriously as you do. Recent research shows that organizations are way behind on instituting the governance and technology around third-party risks, across software supply chain, access governance, or data handling.
Machine learning can be used to detect, monitor and alert data coming in and out of third party systems by learning the patterns of data or breaches that occur. In order to effectively manage security of third party data, you would need additional monitoring, controls and governance in place. Machine learning can help you automate the monitoring process across a wide variety of unstructured data. It can also be used to enforce system controls and security policies.

Conclusion:
In conclusion, we are in an age of data proliferation, increased cyber-attacks and cyber security incidents. The only way to manage data protection, reduce risk and increase security is to automate the process. Artificial Intelligence mechanisms like machine learning can help with sifting through the vast quantities of data and use intelligent algorithms to learn and detect patterns of vulnerability so that cyber threats are thwarted and your organization is protected.

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Tired of managing multiple properties? Maybe there is a solution

The rate of home ownership in the USA is expected to fall to 50 percent by the year 2050. A migrant population and change in the perceptions of young people regarding real estate to save their money is the main cause for this trend. Landlords can capitalize on this trend as it will certainly lead to an increase in the rental yields. However, they might face a number of issues related to the management of their property. One of them is tracking rent payments. Here are some of the issues we have noticed:

Managing Multiple Properties/Tenants

Many landlords now own multiple properties and depend on rents earned from them for their livelihood. Tracking rental payments from multiple tenants can be a hassle as some tenants make delayed payments.

Payment tracking

Tenants mostly make their payments through channels other than cash like checks and direct bank transfers. Landlords need a well-planned digital system to track their payments and manage their finances in a streamlined fashion.  

Repair Management

It is the duty of the landlord to conduct repairs to the property and solve other problems raised by the tenant. Keeping track of these concerns and managing the resolution can be a tiresome process, especially when multiple properties are involved

What is the solution?

A good solution to the issues faced by landlords is a software product offering custom digital solutions. Custom-built features embedded into such software should facilitate easy management of properties.

OneRoof from Allwyn Innovations is one such software product that will make life easy for landlords. OneRoof is a ‘customer relationship management platform’ in the cloud that allows landlords to access all documents at one place and manage crucial information that assists them in managing multiple properties, tracking rental payments, and conducting repairs.

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Allwyn Corporation Wins Technology Leader Award for 2018

Allwyn Corporation’s CEO – Ms. Madhu Garlanka won the Technology leader award in the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual business awards for 2018. Theawards were announced at the “Stars Over Dulles” Awards Luncheon event held onDec 5th at Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport in Herndon.

The annual awards recognize the companies andorganizations operating in Dulles region that have exhibited outstandingperformance. Every year, the awards are announced in areas ranging fromleadership in running a small business to demonstrating exemplary corporatesocial responsibility. All the award winners were presented with CongressionalRecord recognition by the office of the Congressman for D-VA 11th District anda Congressional Proclamation by the office of theCongresswoman for R-VA 10th District.

The award demonstrates the efforts of Allwyn Corporation in contributing tothe local economy and improving the quality of life people affected by itsoperations. It also demonstrates Madhu Garlanka’s abilities in leading theorganization toward success.

 

 

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Expanding your horizons and your audience

We know that building a website on your own can be messy. We don’t expect business owners to be experts in web design and we would hope that you don’t expect web designers to be experts in business!

 

As the world is rapidly growing more connected through the exponential growth in the use of websites and social mediait is of the utmost importance to build an online presence for small businesses and startups. A website is the easiest way to increase word of mouth recognition for your brand, expand the audience that you reach and increase sales.

Maximize your website with google ad words as a means of making each google search efficient and generating more hits for your site- making it the most effective marketing decision for your company without the fees of a professional marketing team.With the Allwyn google ad words package, you pay-per-click (PPC) instead of paying a flat fee to give you more bang for your buck.

Allwyn is for everyone!

Nonprofit?

Are you a nonprofit organization struggling with updating your website with new events and ways to donate?

Let our team at Allwyn update your site for you, add a directory and credit card integration as a way to accept online donations.

Businesses, big and small

Are you a business trying to reach more people or trying to limit spam form submissions?

Allwyn can help create and market a website for you and secure your form submission page.

Tired of trying to use social media to market?

We have the solution for you! Let Allwyn highlight key points and create the best fit google ad words to bring more attention to your hard work.

Marketing, Sales, and Branding

The Internet is an absolute necessity as far as where we advertise the brand. A website is necessary for giving the brand legitimacy. These days, handling a brand without a website is like your business is not global. It works very well as a Sales CRM to Multi-brand on a single website.

So let us here at Allwyn Corporation handle the website, and create effective google ad words to increase your business’ online brand and notoriety.We also work to help small businesses create the necessary software for their industry and nonprofits create a website conducive to their cause.

Feel free to contact us at (703)435-4248 or drop us a line at info@allwyncorp.com

 

 

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AdWords PPC Campaign: Boost Your Online Presence for the Long Run

One of the best ways to run a successful online marketing campaign is to integrate a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising solution. And it only makes all the more sense to use Google AdWords (Google’s very own PPC advertising solution) given the popularity of the search engine all over the world.

AdWords go a long way in improving your website’s online presence. What basically a PPC program does is grab the attention of people online at the very moment they are searching for a product or service like yours. Every time a user runs a Google search for a business that’s homogenous to yours, Google will display your ads in the search results, thereby paving the way for more organic traffic. By letting you choose your target audience in terms of interest, geographical area etc., a PPC campaign will ensure a better lead generation making your online presence more worth the while.

AdWords can also help you promote your business outside of Google search. AdWords will display your ads on the Google Display Network (GDN), which is made up of thousands of websites from across the globe, thus giving you the opportunity to reach to even more potential customers.

The working mechanism of Google AdWords is quite simple. Website owners will only need to pay when someone clicks on the ads to visit their websites. The PPC campaign works best with SEO – helps bring traffic to your site in the short term and enhances your business’s online presence for the long run.

Our team can help setup, configure and manage a Google AdWords package custom to your website’s needs.

Check us out at mahindradealersites.com or dealerdemosite.com

Drop us an email at support@dealerdigital.us and we will work with you to get your site up and running in no time!

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In College? Need an Internship?

Here are 5 steps and a tool that can help you

Summer is fast approaching and the journey from academia to workspace can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be!

We have all been in that place where there are more questions than answers…

  • Who to approach for a Job?
  • What are the skills that a Company might look for?
  • Where can I find a local employer?
  • How do I get a job in my area of study?

Below are 5 easy tips that you should consider when preparing for local internship opportunities

  1. Professors and Career Counselors

They already know you and your interests and are in the best position to point you in the right direction – which could be with local employers they are familiar with or job sites that have opportunities that meet your needs

Professors and Career Counselors can also act as your references in case an employer wants to know more about you. This is a great first step into you the world of employment!

  1. Job Fairs

College or local job fairs are some free resources for you to discover which employers are hiring and interested in your skill set. You will get the opportunity to interact with several employers at one place, which otherwise could be a very costly and time consuming exercise. Your interaction with the employer is face to face. You get a chance to build your rapport and impress them with your skills and knowledge.

Online resources that provide national job fair information include National Career Fairs (nationalcareerfairs.com) and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (naceweb.org)

  1. Soft Skills

Soft skills are personality traits and interpersonal skills that directly affect your relationships with other people —specifically interpersonal skills, the ability to manage and control your emotions, communication skills, leadership, adaptability, and problem solving.

Interacting with peers and employers at Job fairs will let you develop and hone your soft skills. Keep working on it!

  1. Local Community

Be open to joining groups or communities that can help enhance your reachability. These groups can just be coffee conversations, roundtables in the park, or any other event where you’d be comfortable. Check out the site Meetup.com first to see if there’s a group you may already want to be a part of, but if there isn’t, don’t hesitate to start one.

  1. Online Tools

Another great way of connecting to potential employers is through social media. Products like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide a pathway for applicants and employers to find each other.

To find something local, use platforms like GetaJob (getajobdulles.com) which is helping in minimize the gap between employers and job applications in the Dulles Virginia area. It’s a platform that was developed in collaboration with the Education & Workforce Committee of Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, so that it meets all the local employer/student requirements.

Students, with no or limited experience in the Dulles area may increase their chances of employment by being more visible, accessible, and credible to the local community needs. The team at a GetaJob has extensively on-boarded local employers who have posted their job requirements in the portal.

You can use your Facebook or Google account for a quick and simple sign up. The profile setup should take you less than five minutes to create and there is a resume builder that can help you create a resume from scratch if you need help.

As a job seeker, it takes very little time and effort to broadcast your skills and experience and your willingness to seek out job opportunities. The process has to start with YOU! The jobs and internships will not seek you out, you have to put forth the effort to find them. All of these steps will help you get that much closer to your employment goals.

That’s all for now folks. Be determined and know that there is a job out there waiting for you to reach out. Do check us out at getajobdulles.com

Good Luck!

Author: Allwyn Innovations

getajobdulles.com

support@getajobdulles.com

In College? Need an Internship?

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Allwyn in the CIO Applications magazine

About Allwyn Corporation in CIO Applications.

Get the complete article here.

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Blockchain – Internet of Information to value

Trust is critical for business. Today, we trust banks to hold our money, eCommerce companies to deliver the products we buy online, and payment platforms to protect our transactions from fraud or misappropriation.

Ever wondered that if you had the right connections in bank, you could end up finding out lot of critical information about people whom you want to target or in general sense get a lot of important pre hand information about the person’s / companies financials. Even worse these banks and middle men are few and big  and if chaos has to be injected in the society, all it requires is a team of hackers or a group of corrupt people in the organization to act in bad faith and our value, specifically money in this case is in trouble.

What if we could mathematically embed trust into the very nature of transactional activities?

People are essentially trying to develop solutions to solve these kind of inherent problems  and  this is the genesis of block chain.

Welcome to Blockchain!

Blockchain is a distributed (decentralized) digital network that enables the exchange of value or the ability to confidently share data—including financial assets and contracts—in a secure environment .By design, blockchain builds trust into every transaction and shared data source, enabling greater security, cost efficiency and optimized reconciliation processes.

Block chain will enable value to be exchanged as quickly as information without any intermediaries. Information is travelling around the world with a blink of an eye however a single payment from one country to another is still relatively slow, expensive and unreliable. Even today a typical international payment takes 3-5 days to settle and there is a cost that you have to pay to the intermediaries i.e the banks involved to discharge the transcation.Worldwide, there are million dollar worth of cross-border payments made every year.

With the Internet of Value, a value transaction such as a foreign currency payment, can happen instantly without involving the intermediaries, just as how people have been sharing words, images and videos online for decades. And it’s not just money. The Internet of Value will enable the exchange of any asset that is of value to someone, including stocks, votes, contracts, music etc. The transfer is validated, time stamped and completed instantly. At last value will be able to move around the world as information does. The implications of this technology is mind numbing.

The World Economic Forum has predicted that, by 2027, 10 percent of global GDP is likely to be stored on block chain platforms.

We at Allwyn, recognize the potential of this technology and we are following the developments in this technology gearing our resources to take advantages of it as it enters mainstream of business.

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Allwyn wins WorkForce Star award!

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The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce held its annual “Stars over Dulles” awards ceremony on Wednesday December 13, 2017. The event was held at the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport Hotel in Hendon Virginia where over 200 business and community representatives attended to share in the celebration.

Allwyn Corporation received the award for Workforce Leader of the Year! Allwyn Corporation was nominated by peers in the industry for outstanding work with the Chamber with regards to the GetaJob Dulles employment tool being used by the education community, the workforce agency and the employers in the Dulles Region to help connect job candidates with the employers seeking to fill positions.

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