Phoenix TS IT Security Blog

The Latest Developments & More on Information Security Around the World

The Impact of the iCloud Breach on Password Mangement

iCloud BreachSeptember 17th, 2014

In light of the exposed iCloud hack, it’s an appropriate time to readdress password management online. If you have yet to take password management more seriously since the revelation of the Heartbleed virus and multiple other breaches, it’s about time you take control.

Managing access to online accounts will not ensure total security against malicious hackers, but it’s the first line of defense against intrusions. One roadblock is better than none at all. Let’s quickly revisit creating passwords, storing them, and the other avenues that bypass password access such as security questions. (more…)

edX’s Intro to Linux Course Gains Ground with Meetup Groups

Linux CommunitySeptember 16th, 2014

The new edX Introduction to Linux course sparked a remarkable stir within the tech community. A course, offered by the Linux Foundation for $2,400, is now available for free. Countless people signed up for the free online course.

Despite the immediate enthusiasm, skeptics point to the low retention rates and other issues prevalent with MOOC courses available through Coursera, Udacity and edX.

How do you attempt to attack these MOOC weaknesses? Take a look at the Charm City Linux meetup group in Baltimore, MD. They provide a setting for Linux users of varying experience levels to come, study, and learn from one another as they tackle the course.

(more…)

“New” Features of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch

 September 15, 2014iPhone-6-nfc-feature

The iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch have most likely been blowing up your Facebook and Twitter news feeds, and it will most likely only get worse when the devices are actually available for purchase.

The iPhone 6 unlike any other smartphone I have seen is available in two different sizes. The nice thing about this is that if you like a smaller phone you have the option between a 4.7, or 5.5 inch screen.

Besides that though I, along with many others are struggling to figure out what is so new about what Apple has done. If they think that they are the first people to come up with a smartphone with these capabilities they may have been sleeping under a rock.

(more…)

Create Smartphone Amnesia with Avira Antivirus App

Avira Antivirus Security

September 10th, 2014

Past blog posts highlight the rising prevalence in mobile malware. As people continue to use mobile devices (tablets, smartphones) we cannot overlook the importance of protection. Data breaches continue to pile up, people grow concerned, but they must not take the lazy route by simply ignoring cyber security.

Download and install the Avira Antivirus for Android or Apple devices. The app is free and easy to use with multiple convenient security features.  (more…)

Why is RAM so Important and What Does it Do?

computer-ram

September 8th, 2014

People tend to log more than just a few hours researching various hardware and software packages that different companies advertise. This is necessary because after all you are buying a piece of equipment that will most likely store a majority of your personal information and hopefully last you a few years. For those two reasons alone people tend to put as much effort into researching computers, as they do cars and other more expensive investments.

On the other hand, a strong population of people are so loyal to certain brands (cough.. Apple) that they do not research optional products as much as they could/should and tend to over pay for what they can get elsewhere.

Many people consider memory, or RAM (random access memory) to be the most important aspect of a computer. Rightfully so, RAM has a lot to do with the speed, and overall performance of your computer and when it comes to memory more is never a bad thing. So, why are people paying over $1,000 for MacBook Pro’s when they have half the memory of computers, such as  a HP Pavilion that only costs a little over $600.

I will explain more in depth what RAM is and the different forms of RAM that should be considered when purchasing a computer. Using listings from Best Buy’s website I will continue to compare the differences between a Mac and a HP and try to come to a conclusion as to why people pay nearly double for a computer that performs half as well as others. (more…)

Highest Paying IT Jobs: Why You Should Work with Big Data

Data Center

Flickr photo by Jim Kaskade

September 4th, 2014

One simply cannot deny the fact the Big Data is the new “hotness.”

If you are just starting out in your career or looking into making a career change, see how some of the many roles made possible by Big Data can fit into your overall goals.

Check out some of the highest paying Big Data jobs below and then learn how you can capitalize on this emerging gold mine.

Perhaps you could find yourself being a Big Data lifer. (more…)

Network Configuration in Linux

 September 3rd, 2014Network Manager

Network configuration differs in Linux compared to Windows and Mac. This post addresses network configuration on Linux systems. Although I don’t use Ubuntu, openSUSE or RHEL(Red Hat Enterprise Linux), it’s important to test out each distro and see the differences, specifically when it comes to network configuration.

Without the proper understanding for configuring your network connections, you’re limited in access to resources online. I ran into this issue recently after switching to Arch Linux.

The most consistent and widely used tools for network configuration is Network Manager. This tool handles connections through the GUI as opposed to the command line.

(more…)

Strides in Data Analysis at Baltimore Startup RedOwl

The “Most Innovative Company” of the year was founded right here in Maryland, Baltimore to be exact. The homegrown RedOwl Analytics is one of the many companies to join the throng of new tech startups in the area, including ZeroFOX and Virtru.

The company received numerous accolades recently for their unique approach to data analysis for corporations, which has the potential to be an asset to almost any organization. They managed to stand out among hundreds of other tech startups in Maryland alone.

But what is RedOwl actually offering and why do orgs need it?

 

 

(more…)

What is Critical Infrastructure?

Critical Infrastructure and SCADAAugust 18th, 2014

We continually read about articles, blog posts, and directives from the White House addressing the importance of Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP).

Yet what are critical infrastructures and why is it important to protect them from cyber attacks?  (more…)

Is Wickr the Best Bet for Secure Secret Messaging Apps?

Screenshot_2014-08-12-17-00-48August 13th, 2014

After attending a Meetup recently on encryption techniques for journalists, I realized the need to examine various encryption tools for text messaging, email, chat, and other forms of communication.

I tend to avoid sending sensitive information (social security numbers, credit card info, saucy selfies) over chat, email, text, or social media. That should not prevent me or others from practicing good security awareness.

Despite the seemingly insignificant informal nature of text messages, more people use text or SMS messaging as a form of communication as opposed to email, phone calls, or other avenues. Also, human error and negligence often contributes to security lapses.

This article highlights the encrypted text messaging mobile application called Wickr. This app and similar rivals such as Redact, CyberDust, and TextSecure, do not have significant user bases, but they are options for individuals who rely on secure text as a form of communication.  (more…)