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Learning Ethical Hacking Can Be A Disaster If You Neglect These 7 Rules

Attacking one’s own self defence systems to check for vulnerabilities was considered to be a major war strategy even 1500 years ago. Attacking one’s own systems to check for resilience against attacks may have helped many of our ancestors win wars by fortifying their weak spots. The trend continues to this day in the name of ‘ethical hacking’ where in vulnerabilities in cyber systems are sniffed out and systems are fortified against attacks. A new kind of battle is being waged upon us this day, not in the battlefield but in the digital world. Cybercrime is the fastest growing area of crime and nobody is safe. The internet has brought a lot of anonymity to its users and hackers and cyber criminals take advantage of this anonymity to perpetrate crime. Ethical hacking was created out of a need to proactively counter cyber threat, and improve defences to protect the interests of vulnerable parties. Ethical Hacking is big business today. Google, Facebook, Twitter and other big companies spend millions on ‘white hat hacking’ to sniff out vulnerabilities in their systems. Bug bounty programs, where hackers will be compensated for reporting vulnerabilities, will be a norm in the future. Organizations trust individuals who have been certified as Ethical Hackers as they are aware of the code of conduct to be followed during ethical hacking courses. But even the sincerest ethical hacker may stumble and get into situations that may harm the hacker or the organization. Even certified ethical hackers need to understand some rules before practising white hat hacking. • You are a white hat hacker but you still need permission before hacking into a user’s system: White hat hacking may be ethical but hacking into a user’s system without explicit permission from them will land you in trouble. In fact hacking, even for ethical purposes without explicit permission from the owners is a criminal offence in most countries. • Understand your client’s business and organizational set up: Before you start off on ethical hacking it is important that you understand your client organisation’s business and system. This will give you a background on the sensitivities of their network and how you need to handle any sensitive information that you might encounter. • Do not exceed limits imposed by the client: Even if your client has given you full access to their network, there might still be a limit to how much you can dig. Do not dig deeper than you have been told to as you might be breaching client trust. • Make sure you do your job properly so that you do not compromise the client’s defence systems: Your job is to sniff out holes and ensure that those holes are fixed to strengthen the IT security system. Give a detailed report of your findings and ensure that you do not overstep any limits or violate any laws or regulations.Plan out before you perform ethical hacking tests as time and patience are of utmost importance for sensitive results. • Be transparent with your clients: Open communication with your client will not only help your client but also you, by increasing your trustworthiness. You must disclose all discoveries that you have made to your client so that they can take necessary precautions to safeguard their systems. Your client should be aware of what’s going on at all times. • Be confidential and ethical: You should maintain confidentiality during and even after the job is done. You are an ethical hacker and work ethics come topmost for you and this includes client confidentiality. Disclosing secrets of your clients to third parties will defeat the very purpose of ethical hacking. Uphold the values and goals of the company and respect their privacy. • Cover your tracks: You have penetrated the systems and you have suggested detailed clean-ups. But as you exit, you must ensure that you do not leave any footprints and thus protect the system from future attacks. Ethical hacking is a sensitive and sometimes dangerous job. But every ethical hacker must follow the commandments of ethical hacking as there is a very thin line between black hat and white hat hacking. Stay focused and true to yourself and you will be successful
Learning Ethical Hacking Can Be A Disaster If You Neglect These 7 Rules
Shweta
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Shweta

Shweta Iyer

Blog Author

A writer, traveller and culture enthusiast, Shweta has had the opportunity to live in six different countries and visit many more. She loves researching and understanding the Internet of things and its impact on life. When she is not writing blogs, she’s busy running behind her 6 year old with a bowl of veggies

Posts by Shweta Iyer

Learning Ethical Hacking Can Be A Disaster If You Neglect These 7 Rules

Attacking one’s own self defence systems to check for vulnerabilities was considered to be a major war strategy even 1500 years ago. Attacking one’s own systems to check for resilience against attacks may have helped many of our ancestors win wars by fortifying their weak spots. The trend continues to this day in the name of ‘ethical hacking’ where in vulnerabilities in cyber systems are sniffed out and systems are fortified against attacks. A new kind of battle is being waged upon us this day, not in the battlefield but in the digital world. Cybercrime is the fastest growing area of crime and nobody is safe. The internet has brought a lot of anonymity to its users and hackers and cyber criminals take advantage of this anonymity to perpetrate crime. Ethical hacking was created out of a need to proactively counter cyber threat, and improve defences to protect the interests of vulnerable parties. Ethical Hacking is big business today. Google, Facebook, Twitter and other big companies spend millions on ‘white hat hacking’ to sniff out vulnerabilities in their systems. Bug bounty programs, where hackers will be compensated for reporting vulnerabilities, will be a norm in the future. Organizations trust individuals who have been certified as Ethical Hackers as they are aware of the code of conduct to be followed during ethical hacking courses. But even the sincerest ethical hacker may stumble and get into situations that may harm the hacker or the organization. Even certified ethical hackers need to understand some rules before practising white hat hacking. • You are a white hat hacker but you still need permission before hacking into a user’s system: White hat hacking may be ethical but hacking into a user’s system without explicit permission from them will land you in trouble. In fact hacking, even for ethical purposes without explicit permission from the owners is a criminal offence in most countries. • Understand your client’s business and organizational set up: Before you start off on ethical hacking it is important that you understand your client organisation’s business and system. This will give you a background on the sensitivities of their network and how you need to handle any sensitive information that you might encounter. • Do not exceed limits imposed by the client: Even if your client has given you full access to their network, there might still be a limit to how much you can dig. Do not dig deeper than you have been told to as you might be breaching client trust. • Make sure you do your job properly so that you do not compromise the client’s defence systems: Your job is to sniff out holes and ensure that those holes are fixed to strengthen the IT security system. Give a detailed report of your findings and ensure that you do not overstep any limits or violate any laws or regulations.Plan out before you perform ethical hacking tests as time and patience are of utmost importance for sensitive results. • Be transparent with your clients: Open communication with your client will not only help your client but also you, by increasing your trustworthiness. You must disclose all discoveries that you have made to your client so that they can take necessary precautions to safeguard their systems. Your client should be aware of what’s going on at all times. • Be confidential and ethical: You should maintain confidentiality during and even after the job is done. You are an ethical hacker and work ethics come topmost for you and this includes client confidentiality. Disclosing secrets of your clients to third parties will defeat the very purpose of ethical hacking. Uphold the values and goals of the company and respect their privacy. • Cover your tracks: You have penetrated the systems and you have suggested detailed clean-ups. But as you exit, you must ensure that you do not leave any footprints and thus protect the system from future attacks. Ethical hacking is a sensitive and sometimes dangerous job. But every ethical hacker must follow the commandments of ethical hacking as there is a very thin line between black hat and white hat hacking. Stay focused and true to yourself and you will be successful
Rated 4.0/5 based on 28 customer reviews
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Learning Ethical Hacking Can Be A Disaster If You ...

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Seven Awesome Things You Can Learn From Choosing Big data

The use of the internet has resulted inthe creation of gargantuan amounts of big data. Millions of consumers all over the world indulge in online shopping and voice their opinions of products on review pages, blogs and chatrooms. There are millions of messages that go through Facebook and Twitter each day. All this results in the spontaneous generation of large amounts of data called user generated data. This huge amount of data is all over the internet and can be accessed and downloaded to gather useful insights on consumers. Enterprises have now learnt how valuable this big data can be and take it into consideration when making important business decisions. Big Data: What it is and why is it important? In its classic definition, Big Data is large amounts of structured or unstructured data that when analysed reveals patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions. Big Data comes from all over—blogs, social media sites, digital pictures, audio and video, purchase transactions and much more. What’s so special about these 2.5 quintillion bytes of data that are created each day that organizations are clamouring for a piece of it? From gaining insights into customer preferences and using it to build better products to analysing and detecting fraud, Big Data with its volume, variety and velocity characteristics has found uses in every aspect of our lives. 1. Target consumer groups: Retailers have been doing this for years; collecting information about their shoppers and targeting them with specific marketing strategies. But big data technology has taken this form of predictive analysis to a whole new level by offering solutions in real time. Big data derived from social media, browser logs, sensor data and other sources helps retailers predict right from the customers’ favourite ice-cream brand to when they will expect a baby. Car insurance companies are now able to access the driving records of their potential clients before offering them an insurance. 2. Creating intelligent business processes: Big Data helps streamline processes. By identifying loop holes and problems, and finding solutions to these problems, big data essentially helps in growth. Big Data testing helps in filtering bad data from useful ones, it helps in data validation and data authentication and helps improve overall ROI. 3. Snooping frauds and scams: High speed analysis of records in the tune of nanoseconds can help identify frauds. This is possible with the help of big data technologies that have the capacity to monitor up to 5 million trade events created each day and identify frauds. 4. To enable new products and services: The biggest enterprises of our generation, Facebook, Google and Amazon have built and customized their business and launched new products based on big data analysis. Their users create tons and tons of data every day and data analysis of this helps these companies better cater to the needs of their users. 5. Healthcare just got better: Healthcare improved by leaps and bounds with the advent of big data. It has been used to predict epidemics, cure diseases and improve the overall quality of life. The most striking example would be how by monitoring and tracing the heartbeats and breathing patterns of babies in paediatric units, data scientists were able to create algorithms that can predict infections 24 hours before the appearance of physical symptoms. 6. Safer lives, thanks to Big Data: From foiling terrorist attacks to proactively mitigating risks in the cyber world, Big Data has made the fiction of ‘Minority Report’ a fact by helping law agencies catch criminals and predict criminal activities. Credit card companies, insurance companies and other sensitive sectors use big data to map out fraudulent transactions and even internal threats. 7. In science and research: The human genome is a mystery that scientists have been trying to crack for years. But cracking the genome, which initially used to take a whole lot of effort and money can now be done with more accuracy, lesser time and at lesser cost using big data technologies. Advances with big data are expected to guide therapeutic intervention and help us lead better lives. Not just the medical sciences but big data is used in scientific discovery and environmental research. An example of this would be the prediction of air-pollution related deaths in China revealed by data collected from satellites, sensors and weather and air flow information. We are at the cusp of something huge. Big data opportunities can change the way we live our lives for the better. But will manipulation of this data lead to a loss of privacy or discrimination? Only time will tell.
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Seven Awesome Things You Can Learn From Choosing B...

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15 Things Your Boss Needs To Know About Strategies

Strategy is part of life. And the better you do it, the more successful you are. Winning wars was always based on the foundations of strong strategies from the use of the Trojan horse that helped the Greeks overcome Troy or the defensive warfare that Genghis Khan used to conquer the world. Business today is a battlefield, where profits, competitive advantage and customer loyalty are the spoils of the war. An effective business management requires a sound strategy that will aid in multitude of benefits. Whether strategy is for planning, or identifying activities that will make the organization more successful a well-crafted strategy gives a huge opportunity to excel and go global. If you are in a large organization, strategies have to be focused on different aspects such as strategies for competitive advantage, for growth and for development. But every strategy must follow some basic considerations that are listed below. 1.The targets:A business strategy mainly involves identifying the areas which affect growth. In this context it is important to identify the demographic that the business or product will cater too. This is done by market research. Your strategy should be guest focused and you should decide the product to design and deliver for this segment. 2.Focus on execution: Your strategy should list a roadmap of the project execution. It is a well-known fact that a poorly executed project will result in loss of face and money not to mention customer trust. The execution strategy should take into consideration internal and external factors such as availability of resources and budgets and other factors that may affect the flow of the project such as unforeseen requirements and last minute changes suggested by the customer. 3.Should be driven by quantifiable metrics: Key performance Indicators are tools used by organizations to define, measure, monitor, and track performance over time. Strategies must take into account these KPIs as these are the metrics that drive business decisions. 4.Think Global But Act Local: A strategy should have a global orientation but its execution should be based on local conditions and environment. 5.Market conditions: Market conditions are volatile. Market conditions change. Any strategy should account for changes both beneficial and adverse and should account for them. 6. Analyzing competition: Marketing strategies do not live in isolation. They have to be in relation to how the competition would react. Understanding the strengths and weakness of your competition is the key to the evolution of any strategy. 7. Any strategy should lend itself to a plan of action that is time driven. A strategy which cannot be translated to a plan, is not worth much. 8. Any strategy should identify the people required to execute the strategy and the skills that would be needed. A strategy may look good on paper, but it requires people and skills for it to become reality. 9. Any strategy should align with the vision of the company. A strategy that is in contradiction to what a company stands for is bound to fail. 10. A strategy should lead to competitive strategic advantage which is sustainable in the future. A strategy which does not create a long term advantage or differentiator, will not sustain. 11. Like any good plan can fail, a strategy should also be flexible to make modifications. Having a backup plan in case of an eventuality is always a good idea. 12.A strategy should not be drawn in vacuum but should be a collective effort which draws on inputs from team members, external research and your target audience. A strategy should consider diverse opinions and views, before finalizing on the final blueprint. 13. Any strategy should assume black swan events. Rather than trying to avoid them a strategy should account for how, some of these events, if they would play off, would benefit the organization. 14. The past may not be a good indicator of the future, but there is a lot that the past can teach you. Any strategy should look at similar companies and the journey they have been through. 15. Last but not the least, finally after all this, Strategy is about listening to the heart and going with your instinct. After the left brain has done all the thinking, let your right brain take over. After being deliberate, let the heart decide, if you are confused. While there is plenty of research out there about strategy and strategizing and experts have spent trying to understand the best approach to business success, the truth is, nobody really knows how it works. Thorough research and a solid strategizing team can help tackle it.
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15 Things Your Boss Needs To Know About Strategies

Strategy is part of life. And the better you do it... Read More

Big Data Analytics: Challenges And Opportunities

Collecting data and deciphering critical information from it is a trait that has evolved with human civilization. From prehistoric data storage that used tally sticks to the current day sophisticated technologies of Hadoop and MapReduce, we have come a long way in storing and analysing data. But how much do we need to innovate and evolve to store this massive, exploding data? And with so many business decisions riding on it, will we able to overcome all the Big Data challenges and come out successful? Today is an age where we use Ethernet hard drives and Helium filled disks for data storage. But the idea that information can be stored was formulated and put to use centuries before the first computer was even built. Libraries were the among the first mass storage areas and were built on massive scales to store the ever-growing data. With time, more targeted devices were invented such as punch cards, magnetic drum memory, and cassettes. The latter half of the 20th century saw huge milestones in the field of data storage. From the first hard disk drive invented by IBM to laser discs, floppy discs and CD-ROMs, people realized that digital storage was more effective and reliable than paper storage. During all this time experts were lamenting the fact that abundant amounts of information were simply being ignored when they could provide good commercial insights. But it was not until the invention of the internet and the rise of Google that this fact came to be truly appreciated.While data was always present, its velocity and diversity have changed and it was imperative to make use of it. This abundant data now had a name—Big data and organizations were realizing the value of analysing it and using it to derive deep business insights which could be used to take immediate decisions. So what exactly is Big Data? The classic definition of big data is that it is large sets of data that keeps increasing in terms of size, complexity, and variability. Analysing enormous amounts of data could help make business decisions that lead to more efficient operations, higher productivity, improved services and happier customers. 1. Lower costs: Across sectors such as healthcare, retail, production, and manufacturing Big Data solutions are help reducing costs. For example, a survey by McKinsey & Company found that the use of Big Data analytics in the healthcare industry could save upto $450 billion in America. Big data analytics can be used to identify and suggest treatments based on patient demographics, history, symptoms and other lifestyle choices. 2. New innovations and business opportunities: Analytics gives a lot of insight on trends and customer preferences. Businesses can use these trends to offer new products and services and explore revenue opportunities. 3. Business Proliferation: Big Data is currently used by organizations for customer retention, product development and improvement of sales all of which lead to business proliferation and give organizations a competitive advantage. By analysing social media platforms they can gauge customer response and roll out in-demand products. But all said and done, how many organizations are able to actually implement Big Data Analytics and gain profits from it? The challenge for organizations who have not yet implemented Big Data into their operations is; how to start? And for those who have already implemented is; how to go about it? Analysts have to come up with infrastructure, logistics and architectural changes to fit in Big Data and present results in such a way that stakeholders are able to make real time business decisions. 4. Identifying the Big data to use: Identifying which data to use is key to deciding if your Big Data programme will be a success or failure. Data is exploding from all directions. Internally from customer transactions, sales, supply chain, performance data etc. and external data such as competitive data, data from social media sites, and customer feedback. The trick is to identify which data to get, how to get it and how to integrate it to make sense and affect business outcomes. 5. Making Big Data Analytics fast: Relevant data needs to be identified quickly to be of value. This requires high processing speeds that can be achieved by installing hardware that can process large amounts of data extremely quickly. 6. Understanding Big data: Your machines are superfast and you have all the required data. But does it make sense to you? Can your management take decisions based on that data? Understanding and interpreting the data is an important parameter of using Big Data and this requires relevant expertise, skilled personnel who understand where the data comes from and how to interpret it. To handle the constantly changing variables of Big Data, organizations need to invest in accurate data management techniques that will allow them to choose and use only the information that will yield business benefits. This is where Big Data technologies come into the picture. These advanced technologies such as Hadoop, PIG, HIVE and MapReduce help extract high-velocity, economically viable data that ultimately deliver value to the organization.
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Big Data Analytics: Challenges And Opportunities

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Education: The Everlasting Status Symbol

We are living in an age of consumerism. Money, bling, cars, apartments, a luxury before, have now become bare necessities. But do these really define new age millennials? Does Gen Y care only about materialism? NO, according to several surveys. For these indicate that education is the everlasting status symbol. Most university students would rather have a college degree to flaunt, than designer clothes. One should be a thinker and doer. While for most of us, education is a birth right; for many others it is a source of freedom from drudgery. It is a gateway to success and economic and social progress. A person from a rural background can now educate himself or herself and the rest of the people of a community, triggering a ripple effect that will emancipate a whole generation. Higher education with PMP Certification brings better employment opportunities through enhanced skills and access to wider networks. Education is now the top priority for most governments because of the several benefits that society as a whole gains from it. More economic opportunities: Jobs are today no longer bound by geography. The right skills can get you a job even across the seven seas. The BPO industry is the perfect example of this. Better education results in better health: Better educated people tend to live longer and have better health. For example research conducted in central European OECD countries have shown that a 30-year-old tertiary-educated man can expect to live eight years longer than a 30-year-old man who has not completed upper secondary education. While a tertiary-educated woman can expect to live four years longer than a woman without an upper secondary education. The better educated are more socially active: Education promotes civic engagement. On an average, the better educated are more inclined to engage in civic activities than their less educated counterparts. These activities include voting, volunteering, political interest, and other social activities. Lower crime rate: The more educated engage in less criminal activities. Early philosophers such as Plato viewed education as a must for the good of the individual and the safety of the state. These views have great significance in the times we live in. Research has shown that increasing the high school completion rate by just 1 percent for all men ages 20-60 would save the U.S. up to $1.4 billion per year in reduced costs from crime. This is true for other regions as well. Higher your education, the happier you are: Again research in the OECD countries has shown that those who have attained higher education are generally happier than their lesser educated counterparts. A reason for this could be that education has a direct correlation to income and with good income comes a self-sufficiency that can affect happiness. Governments, across the world are stressing the need for better education and some of them are going for live virtual classrooms as well. Rural IT programs help empower people by giving them computer and communication skills. These have helped create IT-based employment opportunities. The internet has also largely promoted education. Access to free education has never been easier. Prestigious institutions such as MIT, C Berkley, Yale and Stanford have launched their own channels on YouTube thus giving millions of people all across the globe access to premier education material. The internet is a great teaching guru that helps students learn the complexities of metaphysics or pick up a foreign language. Children in rural India can access academic videos and learn geometry and trigonometry through sites such as Khan Academy, Academic Earth and several others. Through its reach, the internet has unlocked the learning potential of several students across the world and given them the power to enhance their social and economic status. Governments across the world realize that education is the first step towards nation building. The youth also realize that higher education is the first step towards a better future and a higher social standing. The position of education as the number one status symbol over money and fortune might just be a cultural revolution that will take us one step closer to being a more enlightened planet.
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Education: The Everlasting Status Symbol

We are living in an age of consumerism. Money, bli... Read More

9 Stupendous Technologies You Might Be Using In Near Future

Our lives have made a 360 degree turn in the past decade. Technology is making us move at break neck speed and our lives are all about going somewhere and getting things done. The internet brought the world closer and it has been predicted that it will lead to the democratization of the world. While until a few years back we needed our PCs and laptops to get online, today we can do so with the touch of a button on our smartphones. Indeed, the smartphone has now become the most popular device in many parts of the world. Mobile technology is exactly what the name implies; technology that is mobile, portable and you can carry around in your pocket. A smartphone with an internet connection is all you need to get all your work done. Android and iOS are changing the way we live, eat, sleep, work and even travel. As consumerism grows so does the mobile technology, giving us better, richer and safer experiences than ever before. You will no longer be standing in a checkout line: The future of easy shopping is upon us. With the right app, you will soon be scanning your product and getting it delivered across to your address, which is already stored in the app and the payment would be deducted from your account which is already linked to this app. Of course, the app knows all about your shopping preferences and would suggest possible online stores if you do not get in at the store. Wearable technology: Google Glass and Apple Watch are not the only wearable technology out there. Medical wearable trends are fast changing the landscape of healthcare with such things as computer pills that when ingested send a patient’s medical information to a health centre wirelessly or artificial pancreas that monitor a patient’s glucose levels and also injects insulin at defined intervals. In fact, the future might be even more high-tech with a camera for a contact lens and a microphone under the skin. Your vehicle, a Wi-Fi hotspot: Your car might soon be an escape into a sci-fi movie. GPS enabled location trackers are already widely used but now your vehicle might have wi-fi and enhanced location guidance that may be displayed on the windshield. Data transfer between devices: You are working on your laptop, now on your phone and now on your tablet. There will soon be apps that will allow you to seamlessly move between devices without disrupting your work. No keys future: How many times have you locked yourself out of your house or your car? If carrying a hundred keys around is not exactly your cup of tea then you might as well make your smartphone your best friend since it might be all that you need to open your house, locker, car, safe or any other lock. No more charging: A charge less phone is a complete killjoy. But what if your phone charged by itself without a charger? This ‘”dream come true” situation might soon become a reality with a phenomenon called Piezoelectricity that converts mechanical movements into electric current. So your phone will charge as you are texting or talking. Now that is really a dream come true! Don’t like to type? Then just think: Technology that uses electroencephalography (EEG) might soon hit the market where in devices will be able to read your brain waves and allow interaction with phones or computers or other devices. Advent of the 5G: Once in every 5 years, cellular standards take a quantum leap and the 5G promises to be the most futuristic of them all in terms of power and functionality. This standard is expected to deliver higher speed internet services and greater levels of AI capabilities. No communication barriers: You will soon understand as many languages as you want due to the instant translation apps that will be available on your phone. Global communication barriers will be brought down as people can connect across geographies and text each other in multiple languages. The number of mobile users is expected to reach 5 billion by the year 2020 and this means better connectivity and infrastructure even in the remotest parts of the world. Technology is bringing the world closer and with such advances as interactive t-shirts, USB drives in ornaments and ear patches with voice recognition, the future of mobile technology will be you!
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9 Stupendous Technologies You Might Be Using In Ne...

Our lives have made a 360 degree turn in the past ... Read More