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Data Protection

Data Encryption for Cloud Security: A Practical Guide

The frequency of cyberattacks continues to increase, especially in the education, banking, healthcare and government sectors. This is why data encryption for cloud security has been a priority.

One reason for this increase is the transition from storing data in local databases to cloud storage, which is connected via wired and wireless technologies.

And data encryption for cloud security has been key in this transition phase.

While cloud platforms present a convenient way to store large databases containing customer, employee, financial and sales records, hackers can exploit weaknesses in cloud computing systems and gain unauthorized access by representing the package as local traffic.

Cybercriminals target organizations not only with on-premises data centers, but also those with environments hosted on cloud computing platforms.

Unfortunately, strong firewall rules are not enough to protect against cyber attacks and provide the necessary authentication and authorization for operational security protection against cyber attacks. Rigorous testing and validation of security at the database and application level is required.

It is crucial to protect data stored when at rest, where data remains on a device permanently, and in transit, and when it is moved from one location or network to another location/network.

To complicate matters, hackers use modern tools and techniques to gain unauthorized access to data within an organization, on the Internet or stored in cloud computing services.

Therefore, data encryption and authentication, implementation of SSL certificates and SSL connections are essential. Equally important is establishing policies that restrict unintended access to environments and regular identity validation and access management.

Realizing the benefits of authentication and data encryption for cloud security

Basically, data encryption for cloud security protects sensitive and private informationby mixing blocks of text data into a secret code. A decryption key is required to decode the encryption.

Different algorithms, including DES, AES and RSA, transform the data into an unreadable format called ciphertext. The ciphertext is transmitted to the receiver with public and private decryption keys to decrypt the data.

The receiver decrypts the ciphertext using both keys to transform it into a readable format.

Data authentication is a complex network communication mechanism that maintains non-repudiation and data integrity. Common data authentication methods include:

Password authentication

Users must enter a password to gain access to the data, which keeps the data safe from unauthorized access. Complex passwords using a combination of numbers, letters and special characters are used for more secure data and to further reduce risk.

This is just the first step in ensuring protection against cyber attacks using data encryption for cloud security.

Two-factor authentication

Aone-time password(OTP) is sent to the user’s cell phone number or e-mail address. If you are the original user, access to the data is approved after this OTP is entered.

Hackers trying to gain access will not have this OTP, which means that access to the data is denied and the account is temporarily locked to save the data from attacks.

Token authentication

A token is sent to the network server for authentication. The server checks the device credentials and approves or denies authentication.

Parity bit check

This strong and commonly used technique is also known ascyclic redundancycheck (CRC) and guarantees accurate data transmission.

A CRC code is added to the end of the data message before transmission. At the destination point, the receiver obtains the data with the CRC code and compares it with the original code. If the values are equal, the data was received correctly.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates provide data encryption using specific algorithms. These certificates ensure the security of data transmission from malicious activities and third-party software.

Two types of mechanisms are used to encrypt the certificates: a public key and a private key.

The public key is recognized by the server and encrypts the data. SSL keeps data encrypted until the user completes the communication process. Data can only be decrypted by the private key.

If a hacker manages to hack the data during the communication process, the encryption will render the data useless. SSL is recommended as an international standard for secure data transmission on websites.

Best practices to protect against cyber attacks using data encryption

Organizations can employ several proven approaches to protect their data when using data encryption for cloud security. They include:

  • Develop an encryption key and access management plan to ensure that data is decrypted when access to the data is required. Key management processes should be in place to prevent unauthorized disclosure of data or irrecoverable loss of important data;
  • Ensure that encryption mechanisms comply with applicable laws and regulations. Any sharing of encrypted data, export or import of data encryption products (e.g. source code, software or technology) must comply with the applicable laws and regulations of the countries involved;
  • Define data access levels. Monitor and record inappropriate access activities to reduce insider threat occurrences. Delete the accounts of former employees immediately after separation from the company;
  • Train all staff in handling sensitive data using the latest technology and make sure they understand how systems use this information.

Data encryption for cloud security: mistakes your business should avoid

The biggest misconception about cybersecurity is that companies think they are completely protected from attacks because they have made large investments implementing security protocols.

They forget that there are always vulnerabilities that leave them exposed to risks, which can result in irrecoverable damage. With the advent of cloud storage, many companies have been led to believe that simply moving to the cloud guarantees protection against cyber attacks.

And while it is certainly a safe place to store a company’s sensitive data, it is not an impenetrable fortress, hence the importance of data encryption for cloud security.

In addition, some companies remain with older technologies without upgrading to newer, more secure advances, which leaves them still vulnerable to security risks.

Companies can leverage innovative security aspects to help them mitigate security threats. Software-defined networks can provide automated security at the hardware level through routers and switches.

Configuration management tools provide a convenient method to manage and automate security settings.

It is time for companies investing in cloud computing systems to also invest in making their cyber security systems more secure, reliable and robust against cyber attacks with the use of data encryption.

About Eval

EVAL has been developing projects in the financial, health, education and industry segments for more than 18 years. Since 2004, we have been offering solutions for Authentication, Electronic and Digital Signature and Protection Against Cyber Attacks. Currently, we are present in the main Brazilian banks, health institutions, schools and universities, and different industries.

With value recognized by the market, EVAL’s solutions and services meet the highest regulatory standards of public and private organizations, such as SBIS, ITI, PCI DSS, and LGPD. In practice, we promote information security and compliance, increase companies’ operational efficiency, and reduce costs.

Innovate now, lead always: get to know Eval’s solutions and services and take your company to the next level.

Eval, safety is value.

Data Protection

Scams involving Pix: Necessary Recommendations

One of the most pressing questions for banks, financial system operators and regulators is how to increase speed without sacrificing safety. In this new landscape of instant payments, can technology contribute to the prevention of scams involving Pix, rather than simply speeding up payments?

When the Central Bank of Brazil recently launched the instant payments system, scams involving Pix immediately occurred.

This new form of instant payments is a new paradigm in the way financial transactions are made, delivering 24/7 payment transfers in a matter of seconds.

But unfortunately, instant payments can open the door to real-time fraud.

Scams involving Pix can take different forms

Instant payments allow sellers and buyers to exchange money and purchase services in seconds. The funds are received in the beneficiary’s bank account almost immediately, instead of taking a few working days.

This can make a significant difference to a small business’s cash flow, in particular, and means less time spent waiting for money to clear from a buyer’s point of view.

Indeed, fast transactions are a common requirement in the new economy, especially with the rise of mobility: today’s generations of customers want to be able to make payments anytime, anywhere, using their mobile devices.

However, at the same time that financial institutions are rolling out new, faster payment solutions, they are struggling with new types of fraud and the rise of tactics such as email compromise.

Typically, a fraudster will intimidate, persuade or entice you to fork out money or valuable personal identifying information by pretending to be a person you know or an institution you trust.

The digital criminal may pretend to be a bank representative on a phone call and ask for your checking account login. He or she may pose as a government official and threaten to throw you in jail unless you pay for “taxes owed”.

The fraudster may even pretend to be a charity and trick you into donating funds to a fake organization. Scammers tend to thrive on uncertainty and panic. And with Pix, it will be no different, they will take advantage of their weaknesses.

Fighting Pix scams: a balancing act

How can you protect yourself from scams involving Pix? Here are several common sense steps consumers can take to ensure they don’t get scammed by a scammer.

1. Think before you click on a link or download an attachment

Think carefully before clicking on any link or downloading any attachment in an email or website, security experts say, even if it’s from someone you know.

Scammers and hackers hijack email addresses to send you bad links, and then use them to install malware on your computer or trick you into providing valuable personal information.

If an email seems incomplete, think twice before interacting with it. Also be very careful before conducting financial transactions on a public Wi-Fi network, which makes it more vulnerable to fraudsters.

2. Stop and breathe

During Pix scams, cybercriminals feed on your panic and fear. They are what we call social engineers, their job is to dissuade you from your information.

If you get a call from a debt collector, for example, threatening to arrest you unless you send money immediately, take a deep breath and go slowly.

Remember that debt collectors cannot threaten to arrest you. Once you let the panic subside, you may realize that there are other suspicious aspects about the interaction and realize that you are dealing with a con artist.

3. Protect your personal information

Scammers when carrying out scams involving Pix are not just after your money. They want your ID or CPF number, address, email and other personal information, which is as valuable to them as money.

So be very careful before you pass on your information to someone who calls, texts or emails you. Never identify yourself with personal details to anyone who contacts you.

Instead, hang up and call back the customer service number you find online or on the back of your credit card, for example.

There are a few reasons to provide your ID or CPF number, and the verification number on the back of your credit card should only be used by you when making an online purchase.

4. Have a strong password

Make sure you have complex passwords – made up of letters, numbers and symbols – and use a different password for each account you set up.

You should also make sure that all your computers and laptops have up-to-date antivirus and security software. Remember to update all phones or tablets with the latest software.

It is also important to have secure passwords as this makes it harder for scammers to commit financial fraud on your account.

5. Be vigilant, if it sounds too good to be true, be suspicious

If someone calls or emails with an amazing financial deal, it could be a scam involving Pix.

Offers that seem too good to be true are usually criminals trying to get their hands on your money. If you are unsure, ask them to write to you to confirm the details of the offer you are discussing with them.

Even so, you should continue to exercise caution when dealing with them until you are absolutely sure that the offer is genuine.

What to do if you get scammed in Pix scams

If you are the victim of a Pix scam or any other form of fraud, don’t let embarrassment stop you from reporting the crime to the authorities.

If your identity has been stolen, call the companies where the fraud occurred and report that someone has stolen your identity. Ask them to put an alert on their accounts and then change their login and passwords.

Some mitigation actions, such as canceling the Pix key or your credit card, are necessary to limit your financial liability if your information is stolen.

If you are concerned that identity theft is affecting your financial health, contact the bank branches or credit companies to correct any false information and request a fraud alert or freeze of your account. Depending on the type of theft or fraud that has occurred.

Finally, if you have been a victim of financial scams – also beware of the fraud recovery process. Often fraudsters will pretend to be a lawyer or police officer and say they can help you recover money you have already lost.

Pix and Eval

Eval was directly involved in the implementation process of Pix, the Central Bank’s instant payment system. E-VAL with signature solutions and digital certificates, such as E-VALCryptoCOMPE and EVALCryptoSPB, which today serves the digital signature of messages exchanged by the National Financial System.

Regarding Pix processing and performance, Eval’s EVALCryptoPix solution, which uses Rest API, facilitates integration and optimizes digital signature and XML processing, providing high performance and scalability with elasticity in Pix payment transactions.

In addition, for Pix, Eval is providing a complete solution for digital signature, from the digital signature and verification software, as well as the digital certificates required in communication and the HSM that the Central Bank recommends using.

About Eval

Eval has been developing projects in the financial, health, education, and industry segments for over 18 years. Since 2004, we have offered solutions for Authentication, Electronic and Digital Signature, and Data Protection. Currently, we are present in the main Brazilian banks, health institutions, schools and universities, and different industries.

With market recognized value, Eval’s solutions and services meet the highest regulatory standards for public and private organizations, such as SBIS, ITI, PCI DSS, and LGPD. In practice, we promote information security and compliance, increase companies’ operational efficiency, and reduce costs.

Innovate now, lead always: get to know Eval’s solutions and services and take your company to the next level.

Eval, safety is value.