AAD is Microsoft’s cloud-based identity and access management service. It is used by organizations to enable their employees, guests, and others to sign in and access the resources they need. There are two such as:
Internal resources, such as apps on your corporate network and intranet, and cloud apps developed by your own organization.
External services, such as Microsoft Office 365, the Azure portal, and any SaaS applications used by your organization.
Azure AD also allows organizations to securely enable the use of personal devices, such as mobiles and tablets, and enable collaboration with business partners and customers.
Azure AD is available in four editions such as Free, Office 365 Apps, Premium P1, and Premium P2.
Azure Active Directory Free – The free version allows you to administer users and create groups, synchronize with on-premises Active Directory, create basic reports, configure self-service password changes for cloud users, and enable single sign-on across Azure, Microsoft 365, and many popular SaaS apps.
Office 365 Apps – The Office 365 Apps edition allows you to do everything included in the free version, plus self-service password reset for cloud users, and device write-back, which offers two-way synchronization between on-premises directories and Azure AD.
Azure Active Directory Premium P2 – The Premium P2 offers all the Premium P1 features, and Azure Active Directory Identity Protection to help provide risk-based Conditional Access to your apps and critical company data.
As in we have entered the New year 2021 although the pandemic time is still going on but there is a relief that the vaccine is out and its dosage has been started. So we hope we all get the vaccine and we start engaging in our day to day normal life activities as it was before the COVID19 days.
It seems that Mark Zuckerberg’s security norms still needs some more modifications as its recently acquired WhatsApp the king in messenger platform has been in news due to some data leakage reasons yet again.
In the recent notification issued by WhatsApp where they have mentioned the recent update on their application which has taken the world with a storm, as it show cast the vulnerabilities it lacks.
So here at DocTooLss we compare our three Messengers which are in news and compare with eachother:
WhatsApp has kept end-to-end encryption. Plus, E2E on WhatsApp is available on every single mode of communication that the app enables such as messages, video calls, voice calls, photos, and anything else you share is E2E encrypted on WhatsApp.
What does E2E means?
E2E meaning that you and the recipient are the only people who can read the messages you send to them. WhatsApp can’t decrypt the contents of your messages, calls, photos, etc, thus ensuring your security and privacy.
“WhatsApp uses the E2E protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems, which is the name behind Signal messenger. That’s a good thing, because the Signal protocol is open source, widely peer-reviewed, and is generally considered one of the best protocols for implementing end-to-end encryption in messaging platforms.”
What is the issue with WhatsApp?
Although WhatsApp uses E2E encryption but the company does not encrypt backups (cloud and local). Also, it does not encrypt the metadata which is used to carry communication between two endpoints. This is one of the major criticisms of WhatsApp’s security model. While metadata does not allow anyone to read your messages but it lets authorities to know whom and when you messaged someone, and what was the duration for it.
What is Metadata?
Metadata is “data that provides information about other data” such as author, date created, date modified, file size, video logs , call logs , and chat history etc.
Incase of Telegram which does offer some protections to its users but however, there are some multiple pain points in the way Telegram encrypts your messages and other information.
Such as Telegram supports E2E encryption, but it’s not enabled by default and enabling it is not a cake walk as the only way to use E2E encryption on Telegram is by its secret chats feature.
The regular chats happening on Telegram are not E2E encrypted but messages sent in a secret chats are E2E encrypted. This means that the messages are encrypted on your device and but they are decrypted on Telegram’s server.
Note: So all the powers remains with Telegram that has the encryption keys on the server-side and can, in theory, access your normal chats.
Signal uses the open-source Signal Protocol to implement end-to-end encryption. And just like WhatsApp, the E2E encryption covers all forms of communication on Signal.
Why to choose Signal over WhatsApp and Telegram?
Signal has an edge over the both as WhatsApp which encrypts all the messages and calls (and that’s enough for most users), but Signal goes one step further and encrypts the metadata too.
There are some incredible amazing privacy features with Signal that is going to make your messaging experience even more private and secure. Such as one can lock Signal with a passcode or biometrics. There is 2FA (Two-factor Authentication) and an option to block screenshots within the app and the recent screen.
IMPORTANT: Not even that recently Signal has added a new feature to blur faces automatically before sending images. which is one of the USPs for Signal Messenger application.
Wait we are not done, Signal by default encrypts all the local files with a 4-digit passphrase. And if you want to create an encrypted local backup then you can do that as well. The app now also supports encrypted group calls .
So if you have read our complete blog, you are able to understand that how Signal is cut above WhatsApp and Telegram.
Although WhatsApp is loaded with lot many features and to us messaging means WhatsApp and its a part of our lifeline today even from Generation Z to Baby Boomers all are on WhatsApp. So it will take lot of time to move out of WhatsApp to Signal and till that time WhatsApp would have rectified its issues and load up with many more goodies so lets hope for the best and leave the rest .
As we know that there are many services which are offered by AWS , lets pick few and try to understand their usage and utility it has for us:
AWS EC 2 (Virtual Servers on Cloud)
EC2 stands for Elastic Compute Cloud
It is one of the most famous offerings by AWS
It is a IaaS platform
It is basically renting of VMs
Storing data on Virtual Drives (EBS , ELB) and Distributing load across machines
Scaling of service using an auto-scaling group (ASG)
There are wide variety of Amazon EC2 Instance types comprise varying combinations of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity that gives you the flexibility to choose the appropriate mix of resources for your applications.
Each instance type includes one or more instance sizes, allow you to scale your resources either up or down and in or out to the requirements of your target workload.
EC2 Image Builder is a fully managed AWS service that makes it easier to automate the creation, management, and deployment of customized, secure, and up-to-date “golden” server images that are pre-installed and pre-configured with software and settings to meet specific IT standards.
The guided steps by EC2 Image Builder:
Provide starting artifacts
Add and remove software
Customize settings and scripts
Run selected tests
Distribute images to AWS Regions
Features of EC2 Image Builder
Increase productivity and reduce operations for building compliant and up-to-date images
CASB stands for Cloud Access Security Breaker, which is a software tool that acts as a barrier between on-premises and a cloud provider’s infrastructure which can be a Azure, AWS , Google Cloud , IBM cloud etc.
The technology is needed to secure cloud services which are being adopted at a large pace by different organization’s. CASB vendors understand that for the protection of cloud services is different since the data is yours but stored in a systems that belong to someone else.
With the emerging outbreaks of the pandemic COVID19 the world has come to a standstill. Due to this, there has been a disconnect between cybersecurity executive and their organization’s security analysts.
There was a study done by the research giants Gartner who in consultation with the leaders have come up with the Road Map for the year 2019-21.
As we go down the map we realize the four phases “Monitoring”, “In Planning” , In Pilot and “In Deployment” .
We at DocToolss have often talked about Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) , Virtualized Firewalls. The terms which we will be further talking about in our future blogs would be Statis Application Security Testing (SAST), Threat Intelligence Services, Network Sandboxing, User and Entry Behaviour Analytics, Signature Endpoint Detection or Protection and Database Audit and Protection etc.
If we further drive deep in the Road map curves, we will find out about cloud technology though we haven’t talked about it much in our past blogs but will plan to do it in our future blogs.
Vulnerability management (VM) which is a program that consists of a variety of technologies that identify, evaluates, treats, and reports on security vulnerabilities in a system. There are tools that are used to identify Cyber Exposure risks across an entire organization, and aligns them with your operational goals and objectives.
In cyberseuirty terms there are some important good to know what vulnerabilities, threats, and exploits mean:
Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities. A vulnerability is a potential weakness in a security architecture that opens an organization or individual to cyberattacks.
Cybersecurity Threats. “Cybersecurity threat” refers to a combination of tools and methods involved in a cyberattack. These threats are not inherent to the network. Instead, they leverage vulnerabilities on the network.
Cybersecurity Exploits. Exploits are those when a cybersecurity threat is applied to a vulnerability to conduct some form of malicious activity. Impacts of these exploits may vary by threat and vulnerability type.
LifeCycle of VM
Find below the phases of the Vulnerability Management Lifecycle:
PHASE 1 – The Cloud Platform that provides multiple technologies, including scanner appliances, agents, sensors, and connectors to help you detect and discover both on-premise and cloud-based host assets.
PHASE 2 – The scanners, agents, sensors, and connectors work together to identify host assets throughout your entire enterprise architecture.
PHASE 3 – The primary objective of the assessment phase is to find vulnerabilities on the host assets in your VM subscription.
PHASE 4 – Regardless of the data collection techniques you use, all findings are securely stored in the Cloud Platform, where reporting tools and features allow you to identify the vulnerabilities that pose the greatest risk to your organization, and share these findings with your patch and operational teams.
PHASE 5 – The remediation tools and features built-in to the VM application, will help you to prioritize detected vulnerabilities and identify the vulnerabilities that have been successfully mitigated.
PHASE 6 – Verify any vulnerabilities that have been patched or fixed. This task is performed automatically every time a scanner appliance, agent or sensor provides new assessment data to the Cloud Platform.
Note:The above information on VM lifecycle has been taken from Qualys Training sites, for more information , please click here.
Azure the cloud platform introduced by the software giants Microsoft. Azure the latest cloud platform among the others famous cloud platforms such as AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Google Cloud. Azure was launched a decade ago in the market.
Azure provides a wide variety of services to its users that can be used without purchasing and provisioning your own hardware. Azure provides solution and rapid development to its resources that may not be possible in an on-premises environment. To people who are new to understand the word on-premise meaning services available on your desktop not on the cloud.
Azure provides a variety of services in its kitty such as compute, storage, network, and application services that allow users to focus on building great solutions without the need to worry about how the physical infrastructure is assembled.
What are the building blocks of Azure?
Azure App Service and Web Apps that consist of Web Apps, Logic Apps, Mobile Apps, API Apps, and Function Apps.
Azure Services includes many services in its cloud computing platform such as:
Compute services – This includes the Azure Virtual Machines—both Linux and Windows, Cloud Services, App Services (Web Apps, Mobile Apps, Logic Apps, API Apps, and Function Apps), RemoteApp, Service Fabric, and the Azure Container Service.
Data services – This includes Microsoft Azure Storage (comprised of the Blob, Queue, Table, and Azure Files services), Azure SQL Database, DocumentDB, StorSimple, and the Redis Cache.
Application services – This includes services that you can use to help build and operate your applications, such as Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Service Bus for connecting distributed systems, HDInsight for processing big data, Azure Scheduler, and Azure Media Services.
Network services – This includes Virtual Networks, ExpressRoute, Azure DNS, Azure Traffic Manager, and the Azure Content Delivery Network.
These are the following cloud offerings classified in three categories :
We will keep adding more information to our blogs time to time in the meantime if you need to contact us for any business services, please contact below or click here to check our website for any services.
Not a week ago that we don’t hear about a breach or identify theft, there are security devices such as Firewalls, Switches, Routers, NIDS/NIPS, VPN concentrator, SIEM, DLP, NAC, SSL/TLS accelerator, Proxy, Load Balancers, Wireless Access points, bridges , Mail/Media Gateway , Hardware Security Modules which are used to either block the threats or delay it.
Routers are used to connect the networks and operate at Layer 3 of the OSI model. A router stores information about network destinations. A border router is an outside connection of a LAN to an external WAN.