A Reliable Free Alternative to MS Office?

In the land of open source, there are a few tools available that work as MS Office suites. The King of that stack has actually been, for a very long time, LibreOffice … with great factor. LibreOffice provides all the features you could ever desire from an office suite, maintains a user friendly user interface, and plays well with the competition. I’ve utilized LibreOffice for several years and can not imagine utilizing anything various.Previously.Sort of.

You might have heard of the business SoftMaker. They are the creators of SoftMaker Workplace, which runs on Windows, Linux, and Android. That exact same company has just recently launched a brand-new item, FreeOffice, and it might shake up the competitors very quickly.
Why another product?
Among the problems that has actually plagued LibreOffice for a long time now is MS Workplace compatibility. Yes, it works very well with the fundamental functions. Once you start entering more complex files (or MS Office password secured files), LibreOffice can run into some concerns. I’ve seen LibreOffice stumble on a variety of events with track modifications. If track modifications is utilized for simple modifying, it works fantastic. However, once you start using track modifications for formatting things start to go sideways. I have actually missed out on whole format modifications, thanks to this very issue.
With FreeOffice you will lastly experience going back and forth between MS Workplace files and another suite (practically) issue complimentary. That’s a significant win for anybody desiring an open source (or cross platform) alternative.
Freeoffice is readily available for Linux, Windows, and Android. You can download the installers for Windows and Linux on the FreeOffice downloads page. For Android, you will find FreeOffice on the Google Play Store, as specific pieces (FreeOffice TextMaker, FreeOffice PlanMaker, FreeOffice Presentations) or Office HD for tablets.
The versions
FreeOffice is really nothing more than a totally free version of Softmaker Office. You’ll have to make the relocation to SoftMaker Office if you desire to up your game with this suite. The distinctions in between the two are very little. With the $69.95 requirement you get all the functions of the complimentary variation, plus a permit for 3 computer systems in addition to a Softmaker redux of the Thunderbird email customer that incorporates with the suite. For $99.95 you get all the features of the free and conventional editions, plus a number of additional dictionaries.
Despite the added features, exactly what you’ll desire FreeOffice for is the compatibility it offers with MS Workplace. FreeOffice is the only choice, on the Linux platform, that can open MS Workplace password-protected files. That’s an important function for a lot of company users. And beyond some seriously advanced features, FreeOffice does the very best job of any workplace suite, not called MS Office, of opening and working with MS Workplace documents.

It’s not perfect

When you hear that a software provides Function X, you expect that function to work. Every major office suite I’ve tried has made pledges of MS Office compatibility. Some of those products have actually come a cropper, while others have, for the many part was successful. FreeOffice is no exception to the latter. Although it does prosper to a greater degree than other workplace suite, you will discover (as you most likely anticipate) specific innovative features just are not supported. Naturally, most of users aren’t working with sophisticated features, so the masses will most likely see absolutely no concerns when working in between MS Workplace and FreeOffice.
There’s one glaring problem I find to be a bit odd. With FreeOffice you can open and save in the following formats:
DBF, DIF, DOC, DOT, HTM, ODT, PMD, PMV, POT, PPS, PPT, PRD, PRS, PRV, PSW, PWD, RTF, SLK, TMD, TMV, TXT, XLS, XLT
Notification the absence of DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX formats?
With FreeOffice you can open (but not conserve as) the following formats:
CSV, DOCM, DOCX, DOTM, DOTX, HTML, OTT, PMW, POTM, POTX, PPSM, PPSX, PPTM, PPTX, PRN, SDC, SXW, WPD, WRI, XLSM, XLSX, XLTM, XLTX
As soon as you open the newer MS Office files, you will need to conserve them in the older format. Because LibreOffice provides the ability to both open and conserve in the new format, why I consider this odd is. Why was this ignored by FreeOffice? More than likely a licensing problem with Microsoft.
Why bother?
I need to start by saying this: Because MS Workplace is among Microsoft’s greatest cash cows, I don’t think we will ever see a 100% drop-in replacement … on any platform, by any company. However the truth is, with all the offered options (Google Docs, LibreOffice, Apple Efficiency Apps, etc), fewer and less people are depending upon MS Office. If you’re looking for a single office suite that plays well with everybody, FreeOffice ought to be placed on your radar. It’s not perfect and offers a slightly out-of-date user interface (Figure A), however if you require a free suite of tools that will allow you to work well with MS Office (in addition to can be expected), FreeOffice is a great alternative.

Personally, I’ll be sticking to the one-two punch of Google Docs and LibreOffice … however I have no requirement to work with MS Workplace (as my editor now works with LibreOffice too).

Nevertheless, it’s assuring to know, ought to I need to open an MS Office password safeguarded file (or a file that LibreOffice does not care for), I now have an alternative.

50% of companies believe their IT security is ‘good enough’

With reports of massive data breaches becoming almost a regular occurrence in the enterprise, it stands to reason that most companies wouldn’t dare rest on their existing security practices. Well, to a recent CompTIA report, that’s not the case at all.

 

According to Practices of Security Professionals, released Tuesday, almost half of IT security professionals in the enterprise believe their company’s current security practices are “good enough.” While it’s not necessarily bad to be proud of the work being done in an organization, this could signal a dangerous level of complacency in regards to security.

 

Interestingly enough, though, this doesn’t seem to reflect the growing priority of security in enterprise IT. As noted by CompTIA in the report, research firm Gartner predicts that the enterprise security market will be worth $100.3 billion globally by 2019.

 

So, if that many security professionals think their work is “good enough,” then they have to be doing something right, don’t they? Well, let’s take a look at how CompTIA breaks down the modern approach to security.

 

First off, most modern security strategies are made up of three distinct movements: Most modern security strategies are made up of three distinct movements:

 

  • Shifting away from the secure perimeter
  • Balancing prevention and detection
  • Increasing focus on proactive security activities

There are a host of new technologies that are playing into these movements. The proliferations of cloud, mobile, and big data each come with their own security challenges, and each of these trends affects the potential way that businesses approach security. Increased use of big data and cloud services mean that companies must better protect their most valuable assets and make sure their are implementing the proper compliance standards and authorization protocols.

 

This expansion of security’s core challenges is also being met with workforce issues. In the executive suite, roles like Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or Chief Security Officer (CSO) are proliferating, but security itself is becoming more horizontal– touching every aspect of digital business.

 

At the same time, the total number of job postings relative to careers in security are booming. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data cited in CompTIA’s report, the number of postings rose 175% from 2012-2015. In 2012, there were 39,920 security job posting compared to the 109,819 in 2015, which had grown from 58,456 in 2014. Despite this massive growth in listings, more than half of all businesses surveyed said that they believed there were no skills gaps.At the same time, the total number of job postings relative to careers in security are booming. In 2012, there were 39,920 security job posting compared to the 109,819 in 2015, which had grown from 58,456 in 2014.

 

So, if security is a growing issue then why aren’t enterprise professionals taking it more seriously? According to the CompTIA research, a high priority regarding security won’t always translate into improved security practices.

 

” Companies may not fully understand the nature of modern threats, the need to support technology with process and education, or the necessity of proactively monitoring events along with building strong defenses,” the report said.

 

In addition to this belief that security is already good enough, issues such as the prioritization of other technology over security (43%) and lack of security metrics (39%) are also hampering security improvements.

In terms of what would actually help change an organization’s approach to security, respondents ranked the following drivers as the most important:

 

  • Change in IT operations – 51%.
  • Reports of security breaches – 46%.
  • Internal security breach or incident – 40%.
  • Knowledge gained from training – 39%.
  • Change in management – 38%.
  • Focus on a new industry vertical – 37%.
  • Change in operations or client base – 37%.
  • Vulnerability discovered by audit – 34%.

Looking at the disconnect between new security threats and enterprise needs regarding security, IT professionals need to examine their own organizations to determine how they can shrink the gap between the reality of the security landscape and how their own employees view it.

 

 

The proliferations of cloud, mobile, and big data each come with their own security challenges, and each of these trends affects the potential way that businesses approach security. Increased use of big data and cloud services mean that companies must better protect their most valuable assets and make sure their are implementing the proper compliance standards and authorization protocols.

 

At the same time, the total number of job postings relative to careers in security are booming. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data cited in CompTIA’s report, the number of postings rose 175% from 2012-2015. In 2012, there were 39,920 security job posting compared to the 109,819 in 2015, which had grown from 58,456 in 2014.

10 iPhone & iPad Apps for Document Management

10 iPhone & iPad Apps for Document Management

These days, abandoning paper is not a trend, but a necessity. Being on the go means you don’t always have your full suite of tools for performing basic functions like dealing with documents. Whether you need to sign, send, store, edit, unzip, or scan, there’s an app somewhere on this list that will help you get it done.

Here are 10 iOS apps for managing documents.

1. Genius Scan

The day someone figured out that smartphones could be used to scan documents instead of clunky, quirky scanners was a good day.Genius Scan is an app that will do just that, allowing users to easily scan docs and save or send them as JPEGs or PDFs to various locations, whether email, iCloud, Box, Evernote, or many more. There’s a free version of the app. For extra functionality, more export options, and Touch ID protection, you can upgrade in-app for $6.99. It’s available for both iPhone and iPad.

2. SignEasy

This free app lets users sign documents and also allows for others to sign documents remotely. And that’s basically it. Unlike other document management apps, SignEasy focuses just on signing documents. It’s available for both iPhone and iPad.

3. PDF Expert 5

If you regularly deal with PDFs, PDF Expert will let you highlight, annotate, merge, and sign PDFs, as well as fill out forms and make bookmarks. It’s available on both the iPhone and iPad for $9.99.

4. Adobe Fill & Sign

If you’re plugged into the Adobe universe, Adobe Fill & Sign lets users do that with documents like contracts and forms. That includes importing and exporting files from your favored cloud, checking boxes, and even using the scanner function to scan in those documents you need to amend. It’s free and works with both the iPad and iPhone.

5. Pages

There’s always Apple’s own Pages app. It’s $9.99 and is effectively a word processor with all the usual capabilities for creating various types of documents, even using templates. If you use iCloud, you can have your documents automatically sync so they’re available across devices, including Macs.

6. FileApp

FileApp can both read and store files like PDFs, Microsoft Office documents, HTML files, even audio and video, to name a few. One appealing aspect is that it offers password protection as the app starts up. It’s free and compatible with both iPhone and iPad.

7. GoodReader

For $4.99, GoodReader is just a functional app that lets users annotate and markup PDFs, as well as other files like Microsoft Office documents, and do the usual zip, unzip, move, and sync.

8. Organidoc HD

Organidoc is an app for straightforward file management. It works with Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, iCloud, and others to help you transfer, save, and compress all kinds of files, ranging from PDFs and Word documents to image and video files. It’s $4.99

9. Evernote Scannable

If you’re a big Evernote user, Evernote Scannablemay be of interest. It’s basically a document scanner for receipts, contracts, whatever the case. It can also turn business cards into contacts, and it works with ScanSnap Evernote Edition Scanner for multi-page documents. It’s available for free for either iPad or iPhone.

10. PDFpen2

It’s not uncommon for signing apps to offer a certain number of signatures or sent documents for free, and then charge for a tier that allows for more signatures. PDFpen2 differs in that you pay $20 for the app, but after that, it’s yours, no matter how much you use it. You can also make notes on PDF, highlight, fill in applications, and make corrections. It’s available for the iPhone and iPad.

 

Facebook wants to track your private conversations?

As of this moment, there are more than 2 trillion posts on Facebook—a figure that expands by a billion each day.

Alan Packer, the director of Facebook’s Language Technology Group, wants to understand and, ultimately engage with, these messages. But the task is more difficult than it sounds. Of the 1.6 billion people who use Facebook, he said, most don’t speak English. Most, in fact, don’t speak each other’s language. Jason Pontin, editor of MIT’s Technology Review, called Facebook the internet’s “first planetary platform.”

The beauty of the internet, Packer said on Monday at EmTechDIGITAL 2016 in San Francisco, is that we now have “access to almost all the knowledge in world, from almost anywhere in the world.” The “proliferation of languages and cultures on the internet,” however, has created a unique problem: “There’s a disconnect between the languages people speak and the content they want to access,” he said.

“We need AI to solve the problem.”

So, Facebook is using machine learning to grapple with issues like natural language understanding, translation, and interpreting slang.

“Translation is about removing language as a barrier,” Packer said, “so people can connect.”

Facebook has done studies with people who have access to translation and people who don’t, Packer said. In fact, people who used translation had twice as many friends-of-friends than those who didn’t. “People who have access to translation have more friends,” he said.

And, in conversational understanding, Packer said, Facebook wants to “find out what people want, and either connect them to other people or to the information they want.”

Why hasn’t Facebook just applied another machine learning algorithm to figure it out? It’s because people on Facebook don’t talk the way they do on the rest of the internet.

Most existing systems are trained using academic data sets mined from the web. But while useful in some situations, the text of a product manual, for instance, doesn’t apply to the language of Facebook. In contrast, said Packer, conversation on the social media site is casual, full of slang, and “is often riddled with (intentional) misspellings.”

The importance of understanding posts is also connected with the “changing nature of the internet and the devices we use to access it,” said Packer.

As more and more Facebookers have transitioned to mobile devices, the problems have become more pronounced. Content is easier to digest, said Packer, but harder to produce. The move towards wearables will only amplify this problem, he said, when keyboards become “smaller, worse, or go away,” creating a real need for vocalization tools.

The reason Packer said that Facebook wants AI to understand conversation is to engage with conversations between users. For example, he said, you might want Facebook to post a photo, tag friends, and add a caption—all through voice-recognition.

Packer also sees Facebook as assisting users who have questions they pose to friends. For instance, recommendations about hotels or restaurants. Facebook could potentially have the ability to step in and boost that post on the wall of a friend who was recently tagged in the destination in question.

“We have the ability to participate and enhance the conversations happening on Facebook today,” Packer said.

But the problem is more difficult than it sounds. The ability for Facebook to understand meaning would require, Packer said, Facebook to “track conversation, to have a memory, to be contextually aware.”

Still, Facebook has a key advantage: An extraordinary volume of user data.

“We see how people are communicating, we see how they are having conversations,” said Packer. “We know you.”

And it’s clear that “knowing you,” and connecting people socially isn’t Facebook’s only motivation in improving communication tools. Facebook makes money selling ads,” said Packer, “but that’s already Facebook’s business model.”

When Packer was asked about the potential privacy concerns that may arise when Facebook users discover that the company wants to access their personal conversations online.

“Facebook takes privacy more seriously than any company I’ve ever worked at,” Packer said. “You can’t write code that violates privacy.”

Cyberwarfare 101

Cyberwarfare is real. Governments are pouring billions into making sure they can fight battles on the internet, and you might just get caught in the crossfire. Here’s what you need to know.

Executive summary

  • What it is:Cyberwarfare is the use of digital attacks to damage the networks or computer systems in another nation state.
  • What it does:State-backed hackers aim to disrupt civilian and military services and potentially create real-world effects, like shutting down power grids.
  • Why it matters:Most developed economies are now entirely reliant on web-based services: undermining confidence in these systems and networks could do serious damage.
  • Who it affects:Potentially anyone who relies on digital infrastructure in their lives, regardless of location.
  • When is this happening:There have already been a few incidents that could be labelled as cyberwarfare, more will follow.
  • Where is this happening:Electronic attacks have taken place in Ukraine, Iran and eastern Europe: more may have taken place but secrecy makes it hard to be sure.
  • Who is making it happen:Many governments are building a cyberwarfare capability: among the most advanced countries are the US, Russia, China, Iran and South Korea.
  • How to get it:Find yourself in conflict with a major power, or annoy a dictator.

What is cyberwar?

At its heart, cyberwarfare involves digital attacks on the networks, systems and data of another state, with the aim of creating significant disruption or destruction. That might involve destroying, altering or stealing data, or making it impossible to access online services, whether they are used by the military and broader society. These digital attacks may also be designed to cause physical damage in the real world – such as hacking into a dam’s control systems to opening its floodgates.

Such attacks can form part of a more traditional military campaign or be used as a standalone attack.

A wider definition of cyberwarfare could also include some elements of what is also known as information warfare — including online propaganda and disinformation, such as the use of ‘troll armies’ to promote a certain view of the world across social media.

There is no settled legal definition of what cyberwarfare is and there are no laws that specifically refer to it. That doesn’t mean the concept isn’t covered by international law, or that it is considered trivial. Among western states there is a general consensus that an online attack on a state can – if it is severe enough — be the equivalent of an armed physical attack.

NATO has, for example, updated its rules of engagement so that an electronic attack on one of its members could be considered an attack on all of them – triggering its collective defence clause. Increasingly it is seen as another potential battlefield alongside land, sea, air and space.

But cyberwar remains a shifting concept, one that describes a shadowy world — the domain of spies, top secret military projects and hackers often working at arms-length from their own governments.

Want to be more productive? Try these Chome extensions!

If you’re a Chrome user, you know well how the extension architecture can expand functionality and make Chrome more than just a browser. In fact, with the right collection of extensions, Chrome can become a means to a very productive end. Don’t believe me? Just take a gander at the Productivity category on the Chrome Web Store. But which of the plethora of extensions are best suited for getting your life in order and your work done? Of course, this will depend upon what exactly you need to accomplish, but certain extensions can help just about anyone. Let’s take a look at 10 of them and see if they appeal to your needs.

1: QuickDrop

QuickDrop is one of the best tools for interacting with Dropbox from within Chrome. With this extension you can navigate through your Dropbox account (with a single click on the extension button), upload images directly to your Dropbox account (through a right-click context menu), and much more. You can also create a special upload folder from within the QuickDrop settings so all uploaded files can be found there.

2: StayFocused

StayFocused is the extension you need if you tend to waste too much time on websites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and want a third party to control your usage. If you restrict your Facebook usage to one hour a day, that’s all you’ll get. StayFocused can block specific pages, entire domains, and even apps and games. With the help of this extension, you’ll stay more focused and get more work done.

3: Dayboard

Dayboard replaces your new tab page with a daily to-do list. You can view these tasks in what’s called Focus Mode, which displays the tasks in your to-do list one at a time. Dayboard will also give you a history of your completed tasks, allows you to connect teams to your lists, and keep your tasks in sync with all your devices. The developers are always working on new features (such as the coming-soon ability to archive tasks and turn off reminders when the workday is over).

4: Auto Text Expander

Auto Text Expander is an extension focused on saving you time on phrases you repetitively type. You simply add shortcuts for text snippets. Every time you type the shortcut, Auto Text Expander will automatically insert the text associated with it. Not only will you save time, but you’ll save the extra work associated with typos. Auto Text Expander allows you to import and export your shortcuts (which you should always do, to be safe).

5: Save to Pocket

Save to Pocket offers an efficient way to save articles or bookmarks for later viewing. Instead of creating a Temp folder on your Bookmark bar, just add this extension and be done with it. Save to Pocket offers one-click saving from the toolbar, from a context menu, and from a keyboard shortcut. Everything you save will appear in your Pocket account and be synced across all of your devices.

6: OneTab

OneTab is the extension for anyone who keeps too many tabs open at one time. When this happens, those tabs can become so small, you have no idea which tab is associated with what page. OneTab provides a single tab that lists all your currently open pages. This will also help save memory on your PC (as all of those tabs have been reduced to a single instance). When you need access to a tab, you can either restore them individually or all at once.

7: LastPass

LastPass is a free password manager that should be considered a must-have for anyone who needs to remember passwords across devices. If you are concerned about security (and you should be), those passwords shouldn’t be easy to memorize. So you want a good password manager to take on the task. You can’t go wrong with LastPass.

8: Note Board

Note Board is a corkboard for your computer screen. Yes, it’s a bit cheesy. But if you prefer to work by visuals (as opposed to lists), this tool will help you keep your cluttered mind a bit less cluttered. With Note Board you can drag and drop content from other tabs or images from your local file manager onto a board. You can also create popups with notes and even have public boards.

Other favorites?

The list of productivity extensions for Chrome seems to be never-ending… and somewhat overwhelming. If you don’t know where to start, give some of these a try and see if your daily grind is a bit less grindy.

Do you have a favorite productivity extension that’s not on this list? Share your recommendations in the comments below.

How to Encrypt your Text Messages

If you use SMS to communicate sensitive information to contacts, you might want to take advantage of one of the many encrypted SMS services available. One such service is Signal.

With Signal you can communicate via SMS or voice using advanced end-to-end encryption (called TextSecure) with other Signal users. That is the one caveat to using Signal: In order to send encrypted texts with your contacts, they must also be using the app. You can send unencrypted texts to users who are not using Signal, but if you want to take advantage of the offered encryption, those users need to jump on board.

Installing Signal

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Search for signal.
  3. Locate and tap the entry by Open Whisper Systems.
  4. Tap Install.
  5. Read the permissions listing.
  6. If the permissions are acceptable, tap Accept.
  7. Allow the installation to complete.

When the installation finishes, you’ll find the launcher for Signal on your home screen or within your App Drawer. Tap the icon to launch the app.

Note: Signal does not allow the taking of screenshots from within the app.

Using Signal

The first thing you must do is verify your device phone number. When prompted, make sure your phone number is correct and tap Register. Double check your phone number when prompted and then tap CONTINUE.

Once the number is verified, you will be prompted to use Signal as your default SMS app. Tap Use As Default SMS App and then tap YES when prompted. (Remember, you can still send unencrypted texts, so it’s fine to select this app as your default SMS app.) You will then be asked if you want to import the system SMS messages; this will copy all of your phone’s previous SMS messages into Signal’s encrypted database.

When you send an unencrypted text to a user, if that user isn’t using Signal, a message will appear at the top of the chat for you to invite them to use Signal. Tapping that message will enter a text with the download link to the Signal app. Tap Send and the message will go to the contact in question; that contact can easily install Signal to enjoy the offered encryption.

If you decide not to use Signal as your default SMS app, go to Settings | Application Manager | Signal | Open By Default and tap Clear Defaults

The next time you open the app you want to use as the default SMS app you will be prompted to set it

To Signal or not to Signal

If you need to communicate sensitive information via SMS, you should be using Signal.

http://pcesolutions.ca

The Business of Hacking

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) released a new report titled “The Business of Hacking,” which examined the underground economy surrounding cyber-crime and criminal hackers, and explained how businesses can protect themselves.

Many of the conversations had with security professionals in IT organizations quickly become very technical. As such, some business leaders often relegate security as something to be spoken to exclusively by security professionals.|Some business leaders often relegate security as something to be spoken to exclusively by security professionals.

But, by explaining how the cybercrime underworld economy works, hopes are that it will help business leaders understand that criminal hacking is a business, and it operates like a business.By explaining how the cybercrime underworld economy works, hopes are that it will help business leaders understand that criminal hacking is a business, and it operates like a business. By doing this, it gives business leaders a much better appreciation of what’s happening.

According to the report, cybercrime can take many forms. Criminals can be acting in the interest of organized crime, corporate espionage, hacktivism, cyber warfare or terrorism, or just people who want to make some money. The report itself focused on the criminal exploits that could be monetized.

In terms of the way criminals make money through cybercrime, the report identified 10 ways criminals use hacking for financial gain.

Ad fraud
Credit card fraud
Payment system fraud/Bitcoin mining
Bank fraud
Medical records fraud
Identity theft
Credential harvesting
Bug bounty
Extortion
IP theft
Ad fraud, or setting up adds to bolster fake website traffic, are one of the easiest forms of cybercrime and have the highest payout potential. Extortion and IP theft, while almost as profitable, are far more difficult to pull off.

Hacking, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, many “white hat” hackers provide a valuable service in helping organizations understand how cybercrimes are perpetrated.|Many “white hat” hackers provide a valuable service in helping organizations understand how cybercrimes are perpetrated. HPE’s report, though, focused on the “bad guys.” Although it’s less about hackers being the bad guys and more about criminals becoming hackers.It’s less about hackers being the bad guys and more about criminals becoming hackers.Many “white hat” hackers provide a valuable service in helping organizations understand how cybercrimes are perpetrated. It’s less about hackers being the bad guys and more about criminals becoming hackers.

Not all hackers are driven by financial gain. The HPE report identified five different types of bad guy hackers:

  1. Nation-state backed – Driven by patriotism or military duty. Often highly skilled and going after major targets.
  2.  Hacktivist – Ideologically driven. Wants to {disrupt or bring|bring or disrupt} down a system or institution.
  3. Cybercriminal – Motivated by profit.
  4. Ego-driven attacker – Wants to be famous, or recognized for their work. Often taunt their victims.
  5. Hobby hacker and the professional – Simply loves to hack. No set skill level, but typically less anonymous

As business leaders begin to study cybercrime organizations, they will see just how similar they may be to their own organization. Cybercrime organizations have markets and supply chains, they think about talent when gearing up for a big job, and they have margins to think about when selling their information.

Some groups build their own tools, but others use tools they’ve purchased in online marketplaces. Anonymity is critical in the cybercrime industry and, just like in the movies, everyone is known by their online handle. Still, there are specific roles filled in every organized group. The “mastermind” pulls the attack together, builds the team, and plans the approach. The “spiders” are black hat hackers who perform the attack and are typically contracted out by the mastermind. Then, there are “mules,” people who, sometimes unsuspectingly, play a role in the attack through money laundering or other schemes.There are “mules,” people who, sometimes unsuspectingly, play a role in the attack through money laundering or other schemes.Anonymity is critical in the cybercrime industry and, just like in the movies, everyone is known by their online handle. The “spiders” are black hat hackers who perform the attack and are typically contracted out by the mastermind. There are “mules,” people who, sometimes unsuspectingly, play a role in the attack through money laundering or other schemes.

When most people think of cybercrime, they immediately picture the technically proficient hacker. But there are a host of non-technical jobs in the industry as well, including: tool development, guarantor services/background checks, escrow services, recruiting, cyber laundering, sales and marketing, and legal professionals.|here are a host of non-technical jobs in the industry as well, including: tool development, guarantor services/background checks, escrow services, recruiting, cyber laundering, sales and marketing, and legal professionals. HR, marketing, outbound logistics, operations, and technical development all play into the industry.

So, how do companies combat this sophisticated criminal industry?How do companies combat this sophisticated criminal industry?Because it’s a business, potential victims must take away the criminals’ ability to sell the goods (data) or make it cost too much for them to procure it in the first place. Get rid of the low-hanging fruit.

For starters, do the due diligence. Patch your servers, enable two-factor authentication, and make sure your applications are designed to be resilient from the ground up, which makes it more expensive for them to hack.

There’s a maturity curve for each type of cyber attack, but you can not rely on the novelty of an attack type to know what to protect against. Invest in your security tools but, enterprises also need to invest in educating their workforce.
The report itself focused on the criminal exploits that could be monetized.

Many “white hat” hackers provide a valuable service in helping organizations understand how cybercrimes are perpetrated. It’s less about hackers being the bad guys and more about criminals becoming hackers.

When most people think of cybercrime, they immediately picture the technically proficient hacker. Because it’s a business, potential victims must take away the criminals’ ability to sell the goods (data) or make it cost too much for them to procure it in the first place.

http://pcesolutions.ca