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Cybersecurity tips you should follow at home

To make sure your Internet security is impenetrable, Eastern Communications shares four ways to keep your family safe online.

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Cyberthreats are undeniably on the rise as we navigate the new normal mainly through the Internet. With individuals opting for cashless transactions, staying home to work, or attending classes online, being on guard is key to maintaining our digital security. 

Eastern Communications, one of the premier telecommunications companies in the country, recognizes this challenge as people are online more than ever. Its trusted partner, Trend Micro showed in its 2020 Annual Cybersecurity Report that a total of 16 million COVID-19 related cyberthreats occurred in the past year, ranging from basic to the most sophisticated attacks. 

“Work from home employees are no longer protected by their office network and children who do online learning and games are more exposed to predators. Digital transformation is a double-edged sword and people need to learn how to keep themselves cyber-safe to fully harness its benefits. One way to achieve this is to start at home,” shared Edsel Paglinawan, Eastern Communications Product and Innovation Head. 

To make sure your Internet security is impenetrable, Eastern Communications shares four ways to keep your family safe online.

Utilize privacy and security settings 

One of the basic ways to prevent cyberattacks is to always keep your privacy settings on. You can do it in your web browsers, social media apps, and even smartphones so it would block or notify you of malicious sites and downloads. It is also important to enable multi-factor authentication and One Time Password (OTP), which are secure ways to protect your family members’ online accounts from virtual thieves. Take note that OTP and even your personal contact details should not be shared with anyone. 

Shop from legitimate online stores  

E-commerce has boomed since the pandemic, and with the convenience of online shopping, more consumers have become complacent when it comes to online security. Eastern suggests teaching family members to purchase only through secure online shopping apps or websites that are running on https:// with a padlock next to it in the address bar. Otherwise, there is a high risk that the transaction and your personal information are not being safeguarded.   

Another tip as well is to regularly monitor your bank’s transaction to see if there are any suspicious charges or spending that you are not aware of so you can immediately report to your bank. 

Educate yourself and the family members

The same report by Trend Micro reveals that 88% of cyberthreat incidents are spam-related which also include phishing. It helps to stay vigilant before opening emails or clicking suspicious links that trick the users to enter their username and password leading to data and money theft. 

Kids and grandparents are also the most vulnerable members due to their lack of knowledge when it comes to the dangers of the Internet. Monitoring their online activities and teaching them not to share sensitive information such as complete address, credit card details, passwords, ID numbers, and more will lessen the chances of cybercriminals in attacking your family.   

Keep your home Wi-Fi secure

Your Wi-Fi network at home allows every family member to get access to the Internet and once its security becomes compromised, intruders might use your bandwidth or even infect your devices with malware. Although it is commonly advised, Eastern still reminds everyone to use strong Wi-Fi passwords with at least 8 characters, combination of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and special characters. That way, cyber attackers will have a harder time to infiltrate your network. 

Enabling wireless encryption also helps restrict illegal access. To do this, just open your wireless security settings and choose WPA2 as your security method. That way, your family can enjoy and utilize your home Internet to the fullest without the worries of cyberthreats. 

Eastern Communications’ Eastern Home is a secure network and reliable home Internet service that makes doing many things online possible. It offers several plans with unlimited data and no data throttling for as low as Php 998. To top it all off, Eastern Home offers 24/7 customer support for all connection concerns. 

While staying home and doing things online keeps everyone from contracting the virus, Internet security should be prioritized as well to keep every family member safe from malicious attacks in these uncertain times. 

To learn more about Eastern Home, visit eastern.com.ph/eastern-home or contact 5300-1000. 

BizNews

Xendit launches payment gateway services to individual business owners

When individual sellers integrate their business with Xendit, their customers can make direct payments via direct debit through Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and UnionBank of the Philippines (UBP), e-wallets such as GCash, GrabPay, and PayMaya, or Over-the-Counter via 7-Eleven and Cebuana Lhuillier. Meanwhile, sole proprietors, corporations, and partnerships can also process credit card payments.

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The ongoing pandemic has brought out the creative side of many Filipinos, who have found ways to supplement their incomes by selling various products or services on social media. Xendit is making it easier for individual business owners to settle payments with access to a world-class platform that makes billings simple, secure, and easy.

“The pandemic has seen a rise in individual sellers who utilize social media to sell their goods and services. The digital nature of transactions means payment methods need to adapt. We want to empower these rising contributors to the Philippine economy with a platform that handles payments for them while they focus on their business,” says Alyzza Acacio, Philippine SME Task Force Lead of Xendit Philippines.

When individual sellers integrate their business with Xendit, their customers can make direct payments via direct debit through Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and UnionBank of the Philippines (UBP), e-wallets such as GCash, GrabPay, and PayMaya, or Over-the-Counter via 7-Eleven and Cebuana Lhuillier. Meanwhile, sole proprietors, corporations, and partnerships can also process credit card payments.

Since Xendit handles payments on the individual seller’s behalf, entrepreneurs can focus on fulfilling orders and growing their business. They no longer need to coordinate with each customer for payments because transaction statuses are updated in real-time on the Xendit dashboard. 

Xendit’s mission is to make payments simple, so that even entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) unfamiliar who are not as technically savvy can integrate with the platform easily. Xendit is available in platforms such as Wix, Shopify, or WooCommerce. Those who rely solely on social media for business can generate payment links that customers can access. Sellers also have access to their transaction history on a centralized dashboard to monitor sales and payments.

“We need to continue to support the Filipino micro-entrepreneurs and small business owners to embrace the digital age; they have experienced the ease that online selling and marketing and smartphones have brought them closer to their customers. The next step is to help them grow their business by helping them manage day-to-day tasks in their enterprise and improve their financial literacy as they experience and use fintech products and platforms more and more,” says Ana Mijares, Senior Trainer for the Go Digital ASEAN initiative.

To welcome SMEs, Xendit is offering up to P1.6 million worth of waived transaction fees for new sign-ups. The platform is also waiving P1 million in fees for individual sellers.

Opening its platform to individual sellers is just one of Xendit’s many ways to empower SMEs using technology. Its Level Up accelerator program supports entrepreneurs through masterclasses and challenges that give them the tools and know-how to scale their businesses. The program also includes giving P3.5 million in free transactions for 1,000 startups for one year through its video challenge

Xendit is the simplest and most trusted name in digital transactions in the region. It powers SMEs as well as the Philippines’ largest enterprises. Xendit is committed to building a solid payment infrastructure for the country and the rest of Southeast Asia.

“We launched an SME task force at the beginning of the year to help create solutions for Filipino businesses that may have been affected by the pandemic. We hope to continue our support for Filipino MSMEs so they can grow their business and help the Philippine economy,” says Yang Yang Zhang, Managing Director of Xendit Philippines.

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Strategies

10 Security misperceptions that need to be addressed immediately

The list is based on the experience of Sophos Rapid Response, a team of expert incident responders who deliver fast assistance in identifying and neutralizing active threats such as malware infections, compromised data, or unauthorized access, among others.

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Photo by Mimi Thian from Unsplash.com

With June marking National ICT Month in the Philippines and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) adopting the CHIP (Connect, Harness, Innovate, and Protect) framework for digital transformation and underscoring the value of protection,  Sophos compiled   a guide for Filipino businesses so they can avoid  today’s most commonly held security misperceptions.

The list is based on the experience of Sophos Rapid Response, a team of expert incident responders who deliver fast assistance in identifying and neutralizing active threats such as malware infections, compromised data, or unauthorized access, among others.

Misperception 1: We are not a target. We are too small or have no assets of value to an adversary 

Sophos Advice: Many cyberattack victims assume they are too small, in a sector of no interest, or lacking the kind of lucrative assets that would attract an adversary. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. If you have the processing power and a digital presence, you are a target. Despite the media headlines, most attacks are not perpetrated by advanced nation-state attackers. They are launched by opportunists looking for easy prey and low-hanging fruit, such as organizations with security gaps, errors, or misconfigurations that cybercriminals can easily exploit. 

Misperception 2: We don’t need advanced security technologies installed everywhere 

Sophos Advice: Some IT teams still believe that endpoint security software is enough to stop all threats or don’t need security for their servers. Attackers take full advantage of such assumptions. Any mistakes in configuration, patching, or protection make servers a primary target, not a secondary one, as might have been the case in the past.

Based on the incidents that Sophos Rapid Response has investigated, servers are now the number one target for attacks. Attackers can easily find a direct route using stolen access credentials.  Suppose your organization relies only on basic security without more advanced and integrated tools such as behavioral and AI-based detection and a 24/7 human-led security operations center. In that case, intruders will likely find their way past your defenses.

Misperception 3: We have robust security policies in place 

Sophos Advice:  Having security policies for applications and users is critical. However, they need  to be checked and updated constantly as new features and functionality are added to devices connected to the network. Verify and test policies using techniques such as penetration testing, tabletop exercises, and trial runs of disaster recovery plans. 

Misperception 4: Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) servers can be protected from attackers by changing the ports they are on and introducing multi-factor authentication (MFA) 

Sophos Advice: The standard port used for RDP services is 3389, so most attackers will scan this port to find open remote access servers. However, the scanning will identify any available services, so changing ports offers little or no protection on its own. 

Further, while introducing multi-factor authentication is essential, it won’t enhance security unless all employees and devices enforce it. RDP activity should occur within the protective boundary of a virtual private network (VPN). Still, even that cannot fully protect an organization if the attackers already have a foothold in a network. Ideally, unless its use is essential, IT security should limit or disable RDP internally and externally.

Misperception 5: Blocking IP addresses from high-risk regions such as Russia, China, and North Korea protects us against attacks from those geographies 

Sophos Advice:  Blocking IPs from specific regions is unlikely to do any harm, but it could give a false sense of security if it’s the sole means of protection. Adversaries host their malicious infrastructure in many countries, with hotspots in the US, the Netherlands, and the rest of Europe. 

Misperception 6: Our backups provide immunity from the impact of ransomware 

Sophos Advice: Keeping up-to-date backups of documents is business-critical. However, if your backups are connected to the network, then they are within reach of attackers and vulnerable to being encrypted, deleted, or disabled in a ransomware attack. 

Storing backups in the cloud also needs to be done with care. The standard formula for secure backups to restore data and systems after a ransomware attack is 3:2:1. Three copies of everything, using two different systems, one of which is offline. 

Having offline backups in place won’t protect your information from extortion-based ransomware attacks, where the criminals steal and threaten to publish your data instead of or as well as encrypting it. 

Misperception 7: Our employees understand security 

Sophos Advice: According to the State of Ransomware 2021, 22% of organizations believe they’ll be hit by ransomware in the next 12 months because it’s hard to stop end users from compromising security. 

Social engineering tactics like phishing emails are becoming harder to spot. Messages are often hand-crafted, accurately written, persuasive, and carefully targeted. Your employees need to know how to spot suspicious messages and what to do when they receive one. Who do they notify so that other employees can be alerted? 

Misperception 8: Incident response teams can recover my data after a ransomware attack

Sophos Advice: This is very unlikely. Attackers today make far fewer mistakes, and the encryption process has improved, so relying on responders to find a loophole that can undo the damage is extremely rare. Automatic backups like Windows Volume Shadow Copies are also deleted by most modern ransomware and overwriting the original data stored on disk, making recovery impossible other than paying the ransom. 

Misperception 9: Paying the ransom will get our data back after a ransomware attack 

Sophos Advice: According to the State of Ransomware survey 2021, an organization that pays the ransom recovers on average around two-thirds (65%) of its data.  A mere 8% got back all of their data, and 29% recovered less than half. Paying the ransom even when it seems easier and covered by your cyber-insurance policy is therefore not a straightforward solution to getting your data back. 

Misperception 10: The release of ransomware is the whole attack – if we survive that we’re OK 

Sophos Advice: Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Ransomware is just the point where the attackers want you to realize they are there and what they have done. 

The adversaries are likely to have been in your network for days if not weeks before releasing the ransomware, exploring, disabling, or deleting backups, finding the machines with high-value information or applications to target for encryption, removing information, and installing additional payloads such as backdoors. Maintaining a presence in the victim’s networks allows attackers to launch a second attack if they want to. 

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Strategies

5 Things an online store needs to keep customers coming back

Looking to create more suki for your business? As part of its commitment to empower everyday entrepreneurs, GoDaddy shares five things you need to help keep your customers coming back.

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More people have come to rely on online stores for their needs—from food and essentials to home improvement. While the shift of customers to online has made starting up a business more appealing to entrepreneurial Filipinos, ensuring sustainability and growth is another matter to consider.

“Entrepreneurs acknowledge their need to quickly learn to navigate the digital space to ensure their business can survive and thrive. With more businesses going online, having a strong online presence, and building relationships with customers are critical for gaining support. Having your suki doesn’t only mean repeat business, but also people who vouch for your products and services with their friends and family,” said Norman Barrientos, GoDaddy Director of Marketing for Southeast Asia.

Looking to create more suki for your business? As part of its commitment to empower everyday entrepreneurs, GoDaddy shares five things you need to help keep your customers coming back.

Strong Brand Aesthetic

“Entrepreneurs tend to think brand design and aesthetic are only for big businesses, but in today’s online market space, it’s important to create a lasting impact on your customers from the first time they click on your business website,” said Barrientos.

Having your own e-commerce website easily showcases your products and services and enables customers to place their orders from one place. Thinking about designing this well may be a bit intimidating at first, but it need not be.

Regular Relevant Content

As businesses shift to selling online, the digital market space can be quite crowded. You need to make your business stay on your customers’ top of mind as they browse through the internet, with many brands working to get the attention of potential buyers.

You can do that by continuously creating content that is considered as novel, useful and engaging. Having novel or new content on your website and social media channels can help to maintain brand recall. While useful content that educates and informs people shows your brand’s relevance; and engaging content helps cultivate a strong relationship with your customers.

Fast and Easy Transaction Process

Convenience and ease are keys for a positive shopping online experience. If your online store is able to provide a convenient and hassle-free purchasing journey, you’re likely to get more repeat customers. This requires a website that makes it easy for customers to view all their product options, immediately choose and add all they need to their cart, and then check out with their preferred shipping method and mode of payment within minutes. 

Great Customer Service

Customers’ patience for getting a response to their request for say, a product replacement or feedback on their queries about package customization has its limits. Showing that you care about their questions and concerns and providing quick, reliable customer assistance can build trust and relationships with customers. This can further lead to business patronage and recommendations.

Website Security Protection

When making online transactions, customers want to know that the business is concerned around the safety of their personal information. GoDaddy E-Store plans include a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate which ensures that personal information like passwords and credit card details, are protected as the information passing to and from your website is now encrypted. This way, your data is further safeguarded while being transmitted. Having this layer of protection helps to give customers increased confidence to continue doing business with you.

All of these elements contribute to providing your suki with a pleasant online shopping experience that can help customers keep coming back to your business. With GoDaddy, your one-stop shop for online business solutions, you can build a strong online presence while nurturing customer relationships.

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