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Database Encryption: the new trend?

We’ve talked quite a bit about database encryption in this blog, and perhaps you have heard about it on the news or in the media as well. Every other day a company is hacked. Data is everywhere. Cyber security is an unavoidable topic as of late, especially here in Korea.

In Seoul, digitization is the norm, not the exception. Billboards are all in LED format. The majority of any commercial shopping can be done online. Having a mobile application for any activity is an obvious given. Considering how everyday life is inextricably linked to the digital world, it seems inevitable that laws comply with the changing trends.

For example, Korea’s Personal Information Privacy Act (PIPA), requires any commercial entity that deals with private user information to apply encryption to its databases. Otherwise they need to take other precautions to ensure user privacy. If they don’t comply with the act and private records become breached, those responsible could be sentenced for up to 2 years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.

This kind of approach to privacy gives a good push to the information security market.

For the past few years, the database encryption market has seen increased potential due to the Information Communication Act, which is similar to the Privacy Act but much less strict. Moreover, government institutions have been major customers for encryption security in the past. This pressures other enterprises (like insurance companies or financial firms) to join in the fun. The potential for this market is $50 million – not a small amount.

Database Encryption for the “IT Crowd”

For example, since the privacy act became enforced, Korean IT-security firm Penta Security Systems has shown consistent and significant annual sales increases. In 2013, sales increased to 75% in terms of revenue, and 70% in terms of the number of customers. It was as if clients in the government sector had become “the IT crowd,” and other enterprises were lining up to follow the lead in database encryption.

There are countless benefits in utilizing a DB encryption solution, especially for government entities and enterprises. For example, the leading encryption solution in APAC, D’Amo offers access controls for encrypted data, so by distinguishing authorized vs. unauthorized users, the access can be under your control. The administrator can specify user login authority by the IP address, permitted time period, and application program. It also provides an auditing function for important data columns that tracks which users or computers have performed operations. Based on the provided data, it can apply security measures to prevent questionable access or privilege abuse.

Trends and policies come and go… Encryption is here to stay

Lately, the hot topic words are “cloud trends” or “database encryption trends.” While it’s a start that these topics are being mentioned – the word “trend” can be misleading. It signifies that there will be a point in time where it is no longer popular to be doing something.

However, database encryption is something that everyone should start to be concerned about. And we should continue to be concerned. While it’s easy to wait for policies to be made in order to adhere to a set standard, corporations and individuals alike do need to remember that at the end of the day, the responsibility of cybersecurity lies with you.

A recent report by Symantec found that up to 60% of cyber attacks target SMBs. In addition, Kaspersky Lab reported that on average, enterprises paid US $551,000 to recover from a security breach. That’s money that would send the budgets of many start-ups or SMBs in the red. Why wait for an attack when you could build a long-term defense?

When looking for an encryption solution, don’t think about it in the short term. Look at what solutions will give you long-term benefits. Countless new vulnerabilities may arise, but a company should be able to give you optimized solutions for what you need at any given time. It shouldn’t send you into a panic attack every time a new cyber threat makes its way into the digital world.

For more information on encryption solutions, head to the D’Amo Overview page, or contact us at info@pentasecurity.com

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Website Defacement – What is it?

Website defacement is hard to imagine but visualize this —you have finally moved into your dream neighborhood and are excited to spend your first night in your new home.

You’ve dreamed of owning a house like this your entire life. You put in a lot of time and effort, as well as financial investment into this house. You’ve finally made it and can rest assured. The next morning after a great night’s sleep, you go outside to pick up your mail. However, you see this on the side of your house:

defacement graffiti

Graffiti. Some delinquents outside of the neighborhood came when you were sleeping. They drew all kinds of messages on your treasured new home. As with most people, you would most likely not be happy with the situation. You may even possibly look into home security to prevent a similar situation from ever happening again.

We all know that unwanted graffiti on your home or business establishment is considered vandalism. However, did you know that your website could also be vandalized? A hacker can break into your website and either upload unauthorized files or post malicious changes on your website. This act of virtual vandalism is called website defacement. Just like the delinquent who spray-painted a scribble on your wall, a hacker oftentimes defaces your website. Not for any monetary gain, but rather, just for bragging rights.

The Dangers of Website Defacement?

Although most hackers who intentionally make changes on your website may not be looking to steal your or your users’ private information for identity theft, website defacement is still dangerous to anyone’s business. Website defacement attacks affect your reputation as hackers can manipulate pricing for online retailers, make embarrassing changes to article posts or even upload unwanted photos. One of the most harmful website defacement methods—phishing links—cause both harm to you and your users. Using a phishing link, a hacker can lure your users to a website that looks just like yours and ask for their private information. Once your website is recognized by your hosting company as a website with a phishing link, it will shut your website down and blacklist it.

You Have Random Changes On Your Website. Now What?

Hackers launch website defacement attacks by directly cracking into a server to deface its website. Cloudbric, powered by WAPPLES, prevents unauthorized users (hackers) from uploading files or changing your website’s content by blocking any malicious traffic that is reminiscent to a hacker’s characteristics. Cloudbric constantly monitors your website’s response data, which is your website’s communication to our server. Once that response data differs from your website’s original content, we flag the changes on your website for you to check. If the change is obviously malicious (with explicit content or the addition of phishing websites), Cloudbric blocks these unauthorized changes automatically.

In addition, Cloudbric saves and stores the location of your website’s original static content, whether they being on static or dynamic pages, so that even if your website was ever defaced, you can easily restore it.

Just like how your home can be vandalized by some delinquents, so can your website. Just like the example of your beautiful home being defaced, it may be difficult to stop someone from spray-painting graffiti on your home without having a security personnel constantly watch your home. Cloudbric is the security that your website needs to prevent delinquents from making changes on your website or even worse, add malicious phishing sites that steal users’ personal information.


 

This blog post was originally featured on cloudbric.com. Visit their blog for more insight, news, and accessible information on web threats and trends. If you would like to learn more about Cloudbric’s logic-based WAF service, please contact info@cloudbric.com.

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Web Security: Why Does It Matter?

Once upon a time, to access the web we had to have access to our PCs.

Perhaps it wasn’t that long ago, but now with our smart devices, we can access the Internet no matter where we’re currently located. Especially here in Korea, everything is inextricably connected. Companies have even jumped on board with this new-found “connectedness.” Nowadays the services that were previously necessary to seek in-person are available online as a given. Internet banking, financial transactions, registration card issuance, and customer service platforms… The web is now an essential part of everyday life. So what do we do about web security?

Web Security: the Elephant in the Room

With this connected world comes the part that no one wants to talk about. The elephant in the room: Web security.

Now, no one wants to think about that but let’s say you’re a small-medium business (SMB) owner. You’re just getting started and making a slight profit. You want to promote your business on your website. It would also be nice to manage through online services that handle bills and salaries for your employees.

There’s no real way around it – you’re connected to the web. Your information (as well as those of your customers and employees) could be out there if you don’t take the steps to protect it.

The Application Layer

There are many layers to an IT system – and most businesses spend the majority of their security budget on the network layer (which deals with data transfers), maybe a bit more on the systems layer (which are the operating systems like Windows or Linux), and finally the least of their budget on the applications layer (which offers the protocols and services with many features). Now why do they spend so little on the applications? The applications layer is technically complicated and most varied. Therefore, it becomes difficult to find a web security solution.

But this layer is the area that needs the most protection. Because what we know as the “web” is basically composed of applications, including your website. Simply protecting the network or systems layers is not enough. Unfortunately, cyber criminals have figured out that web applications are profitable targets. The most profitable would be the web applications of businesses and companies because the value of their data would be hefty compared to the data of an individual.

Additionally, what many individuals and businesses don’t realize is that cyber threats don’t come in a neat file cabinet. It’s more of a whirlwind of documents that’s constantly being rearranged. For example, there’s SQL injection, cross-site scripting, cookie tampering, website defacement, denial of service, malware… and next year the biggest trends could be an entirely different set of attacks.

While it’s easy to think that perhaps your business is the exception to the rule, Whitehat Security reported that 86% of all websites have at least one vulnerability. That means companies shouldn’t consider web security to be optional, but essential.

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Protecting Yourself from Web Attacks?

Then the question is: how do you protect yourself when threats are always changing?

First, if you’re just starting out in the world of web security, I would suggest Cloudbric – a full-service Web Application Firewall (WAF) that can detect even the most elusive attacks. It’s powered by WAPPLES, Penta Security’s WAF that uses a logic analysis engine instead of the traditional pattern matching system. With a lower false positive rate than many of the products out there, it offers accessibility at a reasonable price –  free if your monthly traffic doesn’t exceed 4GB.

Second, make sure you’re consistently educating yourself on cyber security and how to keep your information safe. At the end of the day, keep yourself informed. We’ll be doing our part on this blog going through different types of web threats, what the newest trends are, and what to be on the lookout for. Even those in the industry are always learning. Preparing for these types of threats can prevent major headaches or even worse – loss or damage to information.

Because at the end of the day – you’re protecting your website and investing some time and resources in order to grow your business further. An organization grows as much as you put into it, but if you don’t protect one of your most valuable assets (your customers’ and your own information), how can you expect it to flourish? So research, and take the leap into web security. For more information, visit www.pentasecurity.com/ or email us at info@pentasecurity.com

Web Application Threat Trends: Penta Security Systems Releases Bi-Annual Report

Second half of 2015 sees sharp increases in hacking attempts targeting website vulnerabilities

Seoul, Korea: Penta Security Systems Inc. has released its bi-annual Web Application Threat Report. Data is collected from detection reports gathered and analyzed in the second half of 2015. It is compiled from approximately 1000 separate units of Penta Security’s Web Application Firewall (WAF), WAPPLES. The units are from customers who have consented to the threat report. Penta Security does not release any sensitive customer data. Through this report, customers are able to gain insight on the newest trends in web application threats, and gain assistance in planning accordingly for future attacks.

Web Application Threat Trends:

In the second half of 2015, the threat report found that a significant portion of the attacks were Vulnerability Assessment attacks (roughly 400 million detections). Many were labelled as “Critical” in terms of risk levels. Vulnerability Assessment refers to when attempts are made to determine the vulnerabilities of a web server.

For web attacks corresponding to OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) Top 10 attacks, Injection was the most prevalent, at 31%. Injection, where malicious codes are inserted in order to attack applications, causes extensive damage despite the comparatively easy execution process. Second, a high detection was measured for Security Misconfiguration at 26%. Security Misconfiguration attacks are when security settings are re-defined and the system is compromised. This can give hackers access to private data.

The report additionally includes the “WAPPLES Black List Top 30,” a list of source IPs from various countries and networks that have been categorized as spam or hacking with high danger levels.

Penta Security’s Head of Planning, Duk Soo Kim, stated:

web application threat trends“When infiltrators to the system succeed in their target, there could be a multitude of issues as a result of attacks: information leakage, defacement, and even complete server malfunction. Our hope is that through our analytical reports, there can be a push for better access control in order to better prepare to face these types of trends head-on, especially for those responsible for server security.”

For the full copy of the web application threat trends report from the second half of 2015, please visit the Reports section of the Penta Security Systems website.


About Penta Security:

Penta Security Systems Inc. (CEO/Founder Seokwoo Lee) is a leading provider in data and cyber security solutions and services. With over 19 years of IT security expertise, Penta Security is recognized by Frost & Sullivan as the top Web Application Firewall vendor in the APAC region based on market share. For more information on Penta Security Web security services, please visit www.pentasecurity.com/en. For potential partnership inquiries, please send an email to info@pentasecurity.com