Will Facebook Change The Cryptocurrency Market?

Facebook Cryptocurrency Libra

Will Facebook Change The Cryptocurrency Market?

With over two billion users worldwide, Facebook rules the social media space. But it is now setting its ambitions even higher, planning to take a plunge in the currency market.

Yes, Facebook is joining the cryptocurrency game. It is about to launch a Bitcoin-like currency called Libra. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have generated a tremendous amount of interest as well as confusion. To learn more about cryptocurrencies, refer to our blog post – “Cryptocurrency For Dummies – What is Cryptocurrency & How Does it Work?

But in this blog post, let us focus on what Facebook plans to achieve through its proposed currency, Libra.

What is Libra?

Libra

Facebook’s Libra will be a cryptocurrency, which will allow you to make purchases or allow you to send money to individuals at almost zero transaction fees. According to Libra, “Libra’s mission is to enable a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people.”

A Roman unit of weight, Libra in the context of Facebook’s cryptocurrency tries to invoke a sense of financial freedom. You can buy or spend your Libra online or at a grocery store near you by using third-party interoperable wallet apps or Facebook’s Calibra wallet, which the company plans to incorporate into all its apps, including WhatsApp and Messenger. Facebook is planning to launch its cryptocurrency Libra through its blockchain system sometime in the first half of 2020.

Facebook does not plan to control Libra fully. Instead, Facebook will get a single vote – just like other founding members of the Libra Association – which include Uber, Andreessen Horowitz and Visa. Each of the founding members has invested at least $10 million in the project. The open-source Libra blockchain will be promoted by the association with its Move programming language. The association also plans to enter into agreements with other businesses to use Libra for payment and give rewards and discounts to customers.

Facebook will launch a subsidiary company by the name of Calibra to handle its crypto dealings and protect the privacy of its users by not allowing your Libra payments to mingle with your Facebook data, which means it cannot be used for ad targeting. Your publicly visible transactions will not be tied to your real identity. Libra association members along with Facebook (Calibra) will earn interest on the money that users cash in, which is kept in reserves so that the value of Libra remains stable.

Facebook’s global digital currency plans to promote financial inclusion for those who don’t use banking services, and it is expected to have more privacy and decentralization. Facebook does not intend to make a lot of money immediately through Libra; instead, they want to be there for the long-term so that they can get more payments into its online domain. According to Facebook’s VP, David Marcus, “If more commerce happens, then more small businesses will sell more on and off platform, and they’ll want to buy more ads on the platform so it will be good for our ads business.”

What does Facebook want to accomplish with Libra?

As reported by Josh ConstineZuckerberg Money LibraEditor-at-Large for TechCrunch – “In cryptocurrencies, Facebook saw both a threat and an opportunity. They held the promise of disrupting how things are bought and sold by eliminating transaction fees common with credit cards. That comes dangerously close to Facebook’s ad business that influences what is bought and sold. If a competitor like Google or an upstart built a popular coin and could monitor the transactions, they’d learn what people buy and could muscle in on the billions spent on Facebook marketing. Meanwhile, the 1.7 billion people who lack a bank account might choose whoever offers them a financial services alternative as their online identity provider too. That’s another thing Facebook wants to be.”

The existing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are not properly designed to be a medium of exchange because of their uncontrolled price, which results in their erratic swings. It becomes difficult for the traders to accept these coins as payments. Also, these cryptocurrencies cannot be exploited to their full potential because there are not many places where they can be used in place of dollars, and it is not easy for the mainstream audience to deal in these coins. But Facebook can tackle this problem head-on because it has more than seven million advertisers and 90 million small businesses in addition to its user experience expertise.

Facebook now wants to turn Libra into another PayPal. Facebook is confident because it thinks that it is easier to set up Libra, it is easy to use as a payment method, more accessible to those who don’t have access to banking services, more efficient than others because there are fewer fees, and flexible and long-lasting due to developers and decentralization.

According to Facebook’s Libra documentation, “Success will mean that a person working abroad has a fast and simple way to send money to family back home, and a college student can pay their rent as easily as they can buy a coffee.” When you look at exploitative remittance services charge, which averages around 7% for the money sent abroad, totaling $50 billion from users annually, it certainly seems to be a big improvement. Libra would allow microtransactions of a few cents, which is unthinkable with the in-built credit card fees.

But it is a steep climb for Facebook ahead in the cryptocurrency market.

How does Libra work?

All you need to do is cash in your local currency and get Libra, which you can spend like dollars, with fewer transaction fees and without disclosing your identity. You can also cash your Libra whenever you want.

The Libra Association

It would have been difficult for the general public to trust Facebook in the crypto world, which is why major corporations have been assembled to form the Libra Association. This not-for-profit entity headquartered in Switzerland will overlook the development of the token, keep the reserves safe and streamline the governance rules of the blockchain.

Some of its founding members as reported by The Block’s Frank Chaparro include:

Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU (Naspers’ fintech arm), Stripe, Visa

Technology and marketplaces: Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook/Calibra, Farfetch, Lyft, Mercado Pago, Spotify AB, Uber Technologies, Inc.

Telecommunications: Iliad, Vodafone Group

Blockchain: Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Inc., Xapo Holdings Limited

Venture Capital: Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures

Nonprofit and multilateral organizations, and academic institutions: Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Women’s World Banking

Before the official launch of Libra, Facebook plans to increase its present 28-member founding members to 100.

The Libra currency

The Libra cryptocurrency will be represented by three wavy horizontal lines. To make it a good medium of exchange, the value of Libra would largely stay stable. The value of Libra would be attached to a basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities for a number of internationally stable currencies like dollar, pound, yen, Swiss franc, and euro. To keep the Libra stable, the Libra Association will maintain the basket of assets, and they can also change the composition when required to counterbalance major fluctuations.

The exact start value for Libra is still under consideration, but it is likely to be close to internationally stable currencies.

The Libra Reserve

Every time someone cashes in a dollar, that money goes into the Libra Reserve, and the person gets an equivalent amount of Libra in exchange. Should someone cash out of Libra, the Libra that is returned would be destroyed or burnt, and the person gets the equivalent value of the local currency in exchange. It means that there would always be 100% of the value of the Libra in circulation.

The Libra blockchain

All Libra payments would permanently be recorded in the Libra blockchain, which is a cryptographically authenticated database. Libra blockchain is a public online ledger engineered to handle 1,000 transactions every second. It means that the Libra transactions would be much faster as compared to Bitcoin (which allows seven transactions every second) and Ethereum (which allows 15 transactions every second). 

The founding members of the Libra Association will operate and verify the blockchain. 

Libra transactions cannot be reversed. The Libra association in case of an attack will temporarily stop the transactions and take corrective measures for future smooth operations.

The Libra blockchain currently is known as ‘permissioned,’ and here only those entities that fulfill certain requirements are admitted to a special in-group, which will control the blockchain through consensus. But as of now, the Libra association has not found a reliable ‘permissionless’ structure that is safe and secure. The goal of the Libra Association is to create a permissionless system.

What are the incentives to use Libra?

The Libra Association wants to involve more developers and merchants for its cryptocurrency project. The association plans to issue incentives, possibly in the form of coins to those who use the currency. Those who bring in more customers and keep them active for over a year will be rewarded. Traders will also receive a percentage of a transaction for every transaction they process. Businesses can keep the incentives or pass a portion of it to their respective customers.

Libra privacy concerns

Individuals can spend and own Libra through Libra wallets like Calibra and other third-party Libra Association members like PayPal. The philosophy is to make it easy for an average consumer to send money to a friend or use it wherever they want just as they conveniently send a Facebook message.

About the privacy of the Libra, Mark Zuckerberg had this to say, “It’s decentralized — meaning it’s run by many different organizations instead of just one, making the system fairer overall. It’s available to anyone with an internet connection and has low fees and costs. And it’s secured by cryptography which helps keep your money safe. This is an important part of our vision for a privacy-focused social platform — where you can interact in all the ways you’d want privately, from messaging to secure payments.”

What is the difference between Libra and Bitcoin?

There is a mixed bag of reaction for Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project. Some say that it will be nothing more than PayPal with the addition of blockchain technology, while others say that it will lead to more adoption of traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. 

The Bitcoin and Libra are different. While Bitcoin is a decentralized network – which is permissionless and censorship-resistant – Libra will be operated by a group of companies that will still remain answerable to the governments of the world.

There is some skepticism, though, among the lawmakers of several countries against Facebook’s attempt to create their digital currency. As regards monetary policy, Bitcoin and Libra are poles apart. While Bitcoin follows its own supply schedule, Libra is only backed by a basket of currencies that are issued by governments. Libra, unlike Bitcoin, has a face, which can be targeted by the government whenever they want to regulate it.

Also, since Libra will not operate in a permissionless manner, it is debatable for some whether it qualifies as a cryptocurrency or not. Moreover, when talking of Facebook, it is difficult for the consumers to totally forget about all their privacy-related scandals.

Libra seems to be a minor variation of the traditional financial system and is unlikely to have any significant impact on the Bitcoin price.

Will Libra change the world?

According to Facebook’s Libra white paper, the goal is as follows: “A stable currency built on a secure and stable open-source blockchain, backed by a reserve of real assets, and governed by an independent association.”

Their stated aim is to create better access and improved, inexpensive and open financial services for all people – regardless of their location or economic status. The road ahead for Facebook’s Libra project is arduous and is difficult for a single entity to achieve. That is why a consortium of corporations is coming together to helm the project.

But only time will tell whether Libra project gets the support from various stakeholders – most importantly of all – consumers.

With the great potential of Libra and other cryptocurrencies, encryption technology is more important than ever – especially in the corporate world. DocuServe has the industry experience and solutions to protect company data, keeping employees productive without risking data loss. Our eServe encryption solution provides content security in the cloud, mobile access, security at rest and in motion, encrypted data security, remote wipe and much more. Contact us to learn about our industry-leading solutions.

 

 


A robber holding a computer

How Secure Is Your Digital Content?

Data security is – or should be – a top priority for businesses both big and small. With data breaches increasing, it is imperative to implement security measures at every level. So, what should organizations do to streamline and secure their digital workplace and content? Our DocuServe team offers information about essential tools, trends and advice – especially for web developers who use WordPress.

Collaboration in the cloud – the advent of the CCP

Every business knows that a migration to the cloud is necessary. The productivity gains of going paperless and the sheer speed of a digitally-integrated workflow are only possible with a well-implemented content collaboration platform (CCP) solution.

As defined by Gartner, the CCP market covers a range of products and services that enable content productivity and collaboration. CCPs are aimed at individuals and teams, inside or outside an organization. Additionally, CCPs increasingly support lightweight content management and workflow use cases.

Why does your digital workplace need a CCP?

If you want to improve productivity and teamwork, you need to devise secure ways for content sharing and collaboration with your employees and colleagues both inside and outside your organization. According to Gartner’s content collaboration magic quadrant, 50 percent of midsize and large organizations in mature regional markets are expected to use a CCP by 2022 to improve productivity and collaboration and implement document workflows.

CCPs not only empower and connect people, but also enable a new level of productivity, collaboration and efficiency. Just as importantly, it covers security and compliance issues, in addition to helping meet business goals. As outlined by Gartner, the core functionalities of CCPs include:

  • Mobile access to content repositories.
  • File synchronization across devices and cloud repositories.
  • File sharing with people and applications, inside or outside an organization.
  • Team collaboration with dedicated folders.
  • A content repository, which can be cloud-based or on-premises, native to the CCP platform or based on other file servers or repositories.

Using these workplace apps separately and out of context of a CCP platform is difficult and trying for employees to use to perform specific tasks. Also, managers and employees perceive these workplace apps in a different light. When you opt for a CCP, you can eliminate most of these problems because they offer different levels of support for the following:

  • Data protection and security
  • Usability
  • Mobility
  • Simplicity
  • User productivity
  • File manipulation
  • Content management
  • Collaboration
  • Analytics
  • Workflow
  • Data governance
  • Integration
  • Management
  • Administration
  • Storage

What to avoid

KIssflow’s Employee Experience Survey was conducted to assess the day-to-day interactions of the employees and leaders of various industries with workplace software – and the extent to which the workplace software affects the overall employee experience. Findings revealed the following:

  • The opinion is different among employees and leaders on how much workplace software they use.
  • Employees are less satisfied with the software they use than the leaders.
  • Employees are less likely to believe than their leaders that workplace technology empowers them to do their jobs in a better way.
  • When it comes to using workplace technology to their advantage, employees face several obstacles. Some of these obstacles are inadequate training, confusing and complex interface, and lack of guided learning tools.

According to Kissflow CEO Suresh Sambandam, “We can’t build enterprises as we did a decade or so ago, but the problem is, we’ve started working for the tools we’ve implemented, instead of the tools working for us. Each time a tab is switched, productivity goes down and some momentum is tossed away.

“With a digital workplace, enterprises are providing a radically new experience so that working is easy and fun, and not a burden to fathom all the things that are going on in 6-7 different applications running as siloed tabs on people’s browsers.”

CCPs offer complete data protection and uninterrupted service, and can be extremely useful for start-ups that have small teams and need to work closely with external teams on different projects. With a CCP in place, you can communicate efficiently to complete projects which need collaboration. It keeps your business organized and help you avoid workplace silos.

Keeping your digital content secure

As previously mentioned, information security is a serious threat to organizations worldwide. Your data is a major investment – as is your website. Because 25 percent of websites are powered by WordPress, it should not be surprising that hackers frequently target WordPress sites.

Fly Plugins offers crucial tips for keeping your digital assets safe and secure.

Make sure your foundation is strong – When you talk of security, you need to ensure that your foundation is secure. And, a secure foundation starts with your laptop or desktop computer. Should the hackers compromise your device, you can’t do much by securing WordPress.

Use a strong password – Not to be rude, but you’re probably not as clever as you think you are. Don’t use a password that has a personal meaning you believe no one will ever guess, or assume that no hacker would try anything as obvious as “password 123” or “password.” Don’t keep a text file or spreadsheet of your password. Never use a sticky note on your laptop that has all of your passwords.

In addition:

  • The physical security of your laptop is of utmost importance. Make sure that you keep it in a safe place to prevent theft.
  • Always use an antivirus program – add a firewall for additional security.
  • Always use a secure Wi-Fi connection.
  • If your organization has a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, take the appropriate security measures. Our blog post on the topic covers what you need to know.  

Select a secure web hosting service – Server-level security is also of utmost importance. When you select a web hosting service provider, perform your due diligence so that you know in detail the level of security it provides.

Set up WordPress correctly from the start – Do not use ‘admin’ as the primary administrator account. Ensure that you do not begin your database table names with ‘wp.’ Again, use strong passwords for the admin account, and use multilevel authentication.

Keep yourself updated –Keep current on all security updates, as well as WordPress, themes, and plugins. Have a staging site so you can test the updates before using them on your live site.

Also, ensure that you only install plugins you trust. In most cases, the plugins available on the WordPress site are safe. You need to be careful with free plugins. It is important to go through the reviews before installing them. Never download a free premium plugin.

Secure the goods – You can install the free Sucuri plugin, which performs all the necessary security monitoring and malware detection, and has tools that harden your WordPress site. The Sucuri scan feature can clean your site, and its primary features include security activity auditing, file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, effective security hardening, post-hack security actions, security notifications and website firewalls.

No matter what platform your company uses to meet its unique needs, DocuServe specializes in offering industry-leading solutions for keeping your digital content safe. Our secure document and rich media sharing app can reduce the risk of data exposure. With DocuServe, you can easily control content distributed to employees, vendors, and potential customers. Contact us to learn more.

 


Enterprise Security

What is Enterprise Security?

With the threat of cyberattacks looming large in organizations of every size, it is imperative for companies to have foolproof security in place to keep their data safe and secure. But enterprise security is a challenging and broad issue. To reduce and eliminate the risk of unauthorized access to information technology systems and data, you need to have a comprehensive strategy that secures all entry and end points.

Enterprise security comprises the strategies and techniques that companies undertake to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to data, IT systems, and information. The activities in enterprise security include the institutionalization, advancements, change and evaluation of a firm’s enterprise risk management (ERM) and security methods.

Enterprise security administration entails different business units, staff, personnel and officials to work together to secure a company’s digital assets, ensure data loss prevention and safeguard the company’s reputation. Enterprise security activities should be in line with the organization’s compliance requirements, culture and administration strategies. Enterprise security activities include conducting vulnerability and risk analysis tests that are intrinsic to the organization’s business.

Enterprise security is also about devising procedures and strategies that can safeguard the company’s physical assets.

Dealing with the human factor

Though all technological help should be put in place to keep cyber attacks at bay, it is also vital for organizations to understand the human angle in dealing with the security issue.

Humans have broken many barriers when it comes to technology. However, people have a habit of experimenting with technology that at times goes beyond the original intent. Experimentation with technology is good, but this is also the point where security problems begin. As organizations embrace technology, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to predict all the threats and vulnerabilities that come to fore in the process. This is what makes enterprise security reactive by nature, and that is why protecting the system or asset becomes extremely difficult.

Also, security has become a problematic issue because of economic reasons. The market these days has become extremely saturated and fragmented. Enterprise security companies claim to offer almost identical solutions to everyone in the market. In addition, buyers are more interested in getting a solution that helps them meet their compliance norms rather than address their security problems. Also, buyers are ready to purchase solutions that are not effective, and sellers continue to market their product as if their product is infallible. Both buyers and sellers are operating in an environment of uncertainty, which adds to the enterprise security problem.

Two of the other issues that further complicates enterprise security are the cloud and the internet of things (IoT) because they expand the total attack surface.

How can companies approach security at a strategic level?

The fact is that there are countless moving parts in enterprise security. Since the challenge of enterprise security is so dynamic, pledging technological, organizational and financial resources to one specific strategy can prove counterproductive. Despite the fluid condition that governs the market forces and recent developments in IT/OT infrastructure, one factor that remains constant throughout is that all the cyber attacks are carried out by human beings.

Irrespective of the motives and methodologies of the attackers, be it rogue actors, industry competitors, corporate insiders, organized crime syndicates or nation-states, they can only operate within limits dictated by human behavior.

To effectively address potential insider threats, organizations should have full visibility into every employee, customer, and contractor. And, to address external threats, organizations should proactively try to identify attackers and their recognized patterns of behavior.

The future of enterprise security

Mobile security has always been an issue with enterprise security and will remain so in 2019 as well. The future of enterprise security vis-à-vis mobile presents a characteristically scary scenario. Mobile threats are on the rise and businesses need to be mindful of this development. Here is a complete lowdown of mobile security threats – present and future.

According to David Slight, president of Quora Consulting in North America, security, security, and security will dominate enterprise mobility in 2019.

Some of the main security problems that mobilized enterprise will face in 2019 are:

WPA-3 – WPA-2 which has been in use for over a decade has encountered vulnerabilities in the last two years; hence WPA-3 was introduced last year. The standard rollout of WPA-3 will take place this year which means a lot of work needs to be done that includes an upgrade to the 192-bit encryption in WPA-2. An enterprise will have to update its RADIUS service to use this enhancement. For public networks, WPA-3 will use a new encryption format called OWE which prevents snooping and session hijacking. But Wi-Fi access points need to be upgraded to support the WPA-3 which is what will make a mobile device secure.

Home office security is a big problem – In 2019, the home will become a more popular attack vector. The problem on this front is escalating because of the rise in the popularity of smart devices and home offices. As these devices are used for both private as well as business purposes, it makes the devices insecure which will be a big challenge to tackle in 2019.

The 5G network rollout will be a challenge – 2019 will see the rollout of 5G. And, like with every new technology, security will remain the main concern. Though the 5G mobile devices will not be widely available in 2019, securing these devices is going to be challenging and expensive. As more 5G IoT devices will connect to the 5G network directly without a Wi-Fi router, it will make devices more vulnerable to direct attack.

The IoT also poses threats – There are billions of endpoints in the IoT. Onboard security is often compromised to keep down the cost of each endpoint and to power them. What worsens the problem is that the IoT devices are available to hackers readily. Since IoT offers several loopholes because the systems are primeval and vulnerable to attacks, it is advisable to hire outside penetration companies to identify the weak spot to avoid breaches.

Attackers think globally, but act locally – Too many employees have a careless attitude towards workplace security, which makes the job of an attacker easy. The threat is likely to come from the network (compromising a single Wi-Fi connection) or phishing.

Does bring your own device (BYOD) affect enterprise data security?

Though security professionals are increasingly becoming open to embracing BYOD policies, yet businesses are not too confident when it comes to the data security of employees’, laptops, tablets, and personal phones. A recent Bitglass study reveals that out of the 400 IT experts surveyed, 30% were hesitant to embrace BYOD because of security concerns like data leakage, shadow IT, and unauthorized access to data. With GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation and other data privacy mandates kicking in, it has become vital for the organizations to monitor and protect their data.

There is a growing acceptance of personal devices in the enterprise – Using personal devices for work was not the norm just a few years back. Though employees used their personal computers and laptops to access company networks, as a concept BYOD was not prevalent in organizations back then.

Mobile threats are on the rise, yet security has not changed much – Since the mobile devices are relatively insecure, it is not surprising that criminals target is so often and with precision. It is not difficult for criminals to gain access to both corporate data as well as personal data from an easy-to-breach mobile device. Mobile device management tools and remote wiping, basic security precautions, are put in place only by 50% of those surveyed in the Bitglass study. Also, many security teams don’t have clear visibility about the apps used on personal devices.

Though the federal government’s use of mobile technology is improving, many communication paths remain insecure which makes the whole ecosystem vulnerable to attacks (a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) study).

Similar security loopholes are present in the private sector as well. Mobile devices are considered the riskiest point of intrusion to corporate networks.

Put in place smart policies for BYOD security – You need to ensure that your employees use personal devices safely and securely. BYOD is a beneficial yet risky practice. Before a company adopts BYOD, it should put in place a smart BYOD policy so that their data remains safe and secure. When it comes to BYOD, here is what you need to do to keep your enterprise data safe and secure:

Find out whether your employees need to use personal devices for doing their work. Those who don’t need regular access to networks or employees who work remotely should be left out of the BYOD program because it is difficult to monitor their devices.

Next, encourage your employees to update their operating systems and security software regularly. Make it mandatory for employees to use corporate security software on personal devices. And, if they are connecting their devices to the enterprise network, they should follow the company’s security protocols.

As you can see, enterprise security is a complex goal to achieve. DocuServe has the industry experience and solutions to protect company data to ensure that all your data remains safe and secure. From securing your data in the cloud and protecting your corporate secrets to keeping your mobile devices safe, DocuServe is a one-stop shop. Contact us to learn more about our industry-leading solutions.


Cybersecurity Degree Programs, Cybersecurity Masters Degree, Degree in Cyber Security, Online Security, Internet Security

Interested in Internet Security? Get a Cybersecurity Masters Degree!

Cybersecurity Degree Programs, Cybersecurity Masters Degree, Degree in Cyber Security, Online Security, Internet Security

No one can forget the infamous Sony Pictures security breach of 2014, where confidential information was released courtesy of computer hackers who called themselves the “Guardians of Peace.”

Cybersecurity attacks are becoming more frequent, and the demand for jobs is reaching a fever pitch. A new report out from Cybersecurity Ventures estimates there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021, up from 1 million openings last year.

Employment figures from the U.S. and India highlight the cybersecurity labor crisis.

In 2017, the U.S. employed nearly 780,000 people in cybersecurity positions, with approximately 350,000 current cybersecurity openings, according to CyberSeek, a project supported by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Most IT security jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in a computer related field however many colleges are expanding to have cybersecurity master’s degree programs, and here are some of them…

 

American Military University Logo_Cybersecurity Masters Degree Programs

American Military University (Charles Town, W.Va.) – The Master of Science in Cybersecurity Studies program takes a broad, multidisciplinary approach to preventing and responding to large-scale cyber threats and cyber attacks. The first half of the online, two-year program provides a foundation in network security, information assurance, cyber crime and digital forensics. The second half focuses on the issues, policies, practices and perspectives of various sectors, critical infrastructures, agencies and disciplines, such as national security, intelligence, criminal justice and emergency management.

 

Carnegie Mellon University_Cybersecurity Masters Degree Programs

Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh)—In 16 or 20 months, the Master of Science in Information Security enhances a technical education in computer systems and security with research/development opportunities and the option to take additional courses in areas complementary to security. Graduates may pursue doctoral degrees or positions as security experts equipped to manage the growing complexities associated with securing data, networks and systems. This graduate degree program meets the criteria for the NSF-funded CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Program (SFS). U.S. citizens who are accepted may be eligible for a full scholarship and stipend from the federal government.

 

Fordham University_Cybersecurity Masters Degree Program

Fordham University’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies (Bronx, N.Y.)—Fordham’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity program is a combination of weekend, online and hybrid courses is designed for completion in 12 months over three semesters. Students learn how to identify solutions to global cyber threats while mastering legal, ethical and policy issues using methods in computing and informational science, engineering and social science. Program highlights include small classes taught by academia and industry experts, intensive lab experience in a dedicated cybersecurity research lab, and networking opportunities and career support.

 

George Washington University_Cybersecurity Masters Degree Programs

George Washington University (Washington, D.C.)—The Master of Science in Cybersecurity in Computer Science program was created to respond to the large and fast-growing need for technical cybersecurity experts nationally and internationally. Students acquire up-to-date knowledge and skills in cybersecurity and get a firm grounding in requisite core knowledge in computer science, as well as the ability to take courses in related disciplines. GWU also offers the Master of Engineering in Cybersecurity Policy and Compliance (online).

 

Indiana University_Cybersecurity Masters Degree Programs

Indiana University (Bloomington, Ind.)—The Master of Science in Secure Computing offers an interdisciplinary focus that combines coursework in mathematics, protocol analysis, and system and network security, with business and economics, social engineering, human-computer interaction, and other disciplines. The Master of Science in Cybersecurity Risk Management program will bring together cybersecurity courses from law, business and computer science. The degree offers integrated coursework from the School of Informatics and Computing, the IU Maurer School of Law, and the IU Kelley School of Business.

 

Northeastern University_Cybersecurity Masters Degree Programs

Northeastern University (Boston)—The Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity program enables students to gain the broad knowledge needed to make strategic decisions to combat information security threats, including identity theft, computer malware, electronic fraud and cyber attacks. The program explores key issues in information security and how technology can help resolve them. It combines an understanding of IT with relevant knowledge from law, the social sciences, criminology and management.

 

University of Southern California_Cybersecurity Masters Degree Programs

The University of Southern California (Los Angeles)—USC Viterbi’s Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering program focuses on the fundamentals of developing, engineering and operating secure information systems. Curriculum fosters understanding in developing a security policy and how policy drives technology decisions. Students solve challenges and problems of secure operating systems, secure applications, secure networking, use of cryptography and key management. This program is also available online to professional engineers through the Distance Education Network.

 

University of South Florida_Cybersecurity Masters Degree Programs

The University of South Florida (Tampa, Fla.)—The Master of Science in Cybersecurity interdisciplinary program has four concentrations. The Cyber Intelligence concentration prepares graduates for entry-level or advanced positions as cyber intelligence or threat intelligence analysts. The Digital Forensics concentration helps students gain the skills needed to investigate computer, cyber and electronic crimes; analyze networks that have been attacked or used for illicit purposes; and properly identify, collect, secure and present digital evidence. The Information Assurance concentration provides a core foundation of knowledge and applied expertise in information security controls, the regulatory environment, and information risk management and incident response. The Computer Security Fundamentals concentration provides a core foundation of technical knowledge necessary to design and build secure computing systems, detect unauthorized use, and protect systems, resources and data that they store or access. All courses are fully online.

 

University of Washington_Cybersecurity Masters Degree Programs

The University of Washington (Bothell, Wash.)—The Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering prepares students to protect cyber systems with the necessary technical and leadership skills. Students gain expertise and confidence in making difficult security trade-offs and carrying out essential changes to keep and maintain secure systems. They gain hands-on experience in a myriad of research areas, such as penetration testing, emerging technologies, vulnerability analysis, network security, human-computer interaction, wireless security and cryptography. The degree is designed to meet the needs of working professionals. Enrollment is either part-time or full-time, with courses meeting in the evening two or three times a week. Most students complete the program in just over two years.

 


Digital Content Security, Mobile Security, Encryption Algorithms, Encryption Apps, Secure Mobile Applications

Security Applications & Tips to Keep Your Mobile Device Secure

Mobile security threats are on the rise, and criminals are using top level domains (TLDs) for phishing sites. It started with a trend towards the generic use of (i.e., non-geographic) TLDs such as .support and .cloud to create URLs that appear to be authentic. For example: review-helpteam.support, contact-us.site, summary-account.review

Now, instead of using these gTLDs so simulate authenticity, threat actors have identified a new way to create believable URLs, and it’s focused exclusively on the mobile market. Instead of trying to create legitimate looking URLs, threat actors have started including real, legitimate domains within a larger URL, and padding it with hyphens to obscure the real destination.

While the best defense is to become familiar with these threats and the cyber criminals tactics, there are a few apps such as Mobile Security & Antivirus, Avast Mobile Security, and Trend Micro that help detect malware for mobile users.
-Intro by Lindsey Havens, Senior Marketing Manager at PhishLabs

Digital Content Security Apps

We spoke with Tonia Baldwin of A1 Connect and got two of her favorite apps for online security. The first is Dashlane, a secure password keeper, followed by Folder Lock, an app that locks specific folders and files.

Password Manager App: Dashlane

Dashlane Logo_Mobile Device Security

A strong password is often the difference between your documents staying safe and a catastrophic data breach. Password vault apps like Dashlane are essential if you have lots of accounts on various sites and apps and want to use a different strong password for each one. It also calculates your overall security score and gives you suggestions on how to improve it. Dashlane even generates unique strong passwords for you, so you don’t even need to think of them yourself. 

Using the same password for every site is a way to beckon disaster should one account be hacked into. With password managers, the only password you need to remember is the one to get into the app, so make sure it’s a strong one.

Password Manager App: Folder Lock

Folder Lock Logo_Mobile Device Security

If someone manages to steal your mobile, then there’s not much stopping them from hooking the phone up to their laptop and accessing all of the files they want to. Folder Lock is basically an encryption app that will let you password protect specific folders and files. It’s the melding of physical and virtual security that makes this app a winner.

It also offers other features like cloud-based backup storage and the ability to lock down your apps to keep any personal information in them secure.

7 Tips To Stay Secure on Mobile Devices

Now that you have mobile apps for logging in and keeping your files secure, we wanted to provide tips on how to keep your business and personal networks secure. For that we got in touch with Robert Siciliano, Cyber Security expert with Hotspot Shield, and came up with 7 tips that will keep you and your boss happy!

1- Don’t Buy Apps from Third-Party Sources

Apps are quite popular, and there are many that can help to boost productivity in a business setting. However, Apple devices that are “jailbroken” or Android devices that are “rooted” are outside of the walled garden of their respective stores and susceptible to malicious viruses. Make sure your employees know that they should never buy an app from a third-party source. Only use the official Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

2- Always Protect Devices

It’s also important that you advise your employees to keep their devices protected with a password. These devices are easy to steal since they are so small. If there is no password, there is nothing stopping a bad guy from getting into them and accessing all of the accounts that are currently logged into the device.

3- Install a Wipe Function on Company Mobile Devices

You should also require all employees to have a “wipe” function on their phones. Even if they are only doing something simple, like checking their work email on their personal mobile device, it could get into the wrong hands. With the “wipe” function, the entire phone can be cleared remotely. You should also require employees to use the setting that erases the phone after a set number of password attempts.

4- Require Company Mobile Devices to Use Anti-Virus Software

It’s also important, especially in the case of Android devices, that all mobile devices on the network have some type of anti-virus software.

5- Do No Jailbroken Devices on Your Company Network

Jailbroken devices are much more vulnerable to viruses and other malware.  So, never allow an employee with a jailbroken phone to connect to your network.

6- All Employees Should Activate Update Alerts

One of the easiest ways to keep mobile devices safe is to keep them updated. So, make sure that all employees have update alerts enabled, and make sure that they are updating their devices when prompted or automatically.

7- Teach Employees About the Dangers of Public Wi-Fi

Finally, make sure your staff knows the dangers of using public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi connections are not secure, so when connected, your devices are pretty open. That means, if you are doing things that are sensitive, such as logging into a company website or accessing franchise accounting records, a hacker can easily follow. Instead, urge employees to use a VPN


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