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Category: Tech

Effective Ways To Use Technology In Business

Technology is benefiting more and more businesses nowadays than ever before. There are plenty of advantages to using technology and companies of all sizes and industries should be looking at technology to help run their businesses more efficiently. Here are some effective ways to use technology in business.

Use Social Media To Reach Customers Globally

Social media is a very powerful tool when it comes to marketing and sales. There are a variety of social media platforms now that businesses are using to grow a following not just nationally but internationally. With users all over the world, people are using social media as a way to connect and find new interests. This is a great opportunity for a business that wants to branch out and possibly take on a global market. It is now more difficult to grow your following, so having the right individuals or team to solely focus on the social media side of the business is crucial

A business looking to use social media should do some research into what platform would work best for them. Twitter is more a newsfeed whereas Instagram is a visually stimulating platform, ideal for those who use images to sell their products or services.

Promote With A Website

Having a website is a must-have for every business as that’s how many potential clients or customers check out a new company that they’ve just come across. A website is also the place where a business fully owns the content that they share. The website should be high-quality, well designed and has an easy to navigate layout. There should also be a contact page and links to social media pages. This gives anyone who’s visiting the site, plenty of ways to contact the business through their preferred line of communication. Having a website boosts a company’s legitimacy as many find it strange if a business doesn’t have an online profile.

Monitor Projects With Digital Analytics

When it comes to monitoring the success rate of a project or campaign, the data received isn’t as accurate or detailed as it is with today’s technology. There’s now online analytic software like Google Analytics which gives a detailed breakdown of your website is performing. It’ll give information on your visitors, how long they engage on a page, their demographics and interests. Social media platforms are also offering the same thing, and this is providing businesses with an opportunity to fine-tune and tailor their product or service so that it hits the target audience even better next time.

There’s also plenty of other systems available that help achieve success much more easily, like Spiro for example. Spiro offers AI-powered reports to help organise contacts, reach more prospective clients and close deals.

Streamline Finances With Software

When providing invoices and tracking expenses, sometimes there can be delays or simply cases of human error where certain finances get forgotten about. However, using one simple piece of software can help streamline all of these avenues of finance so that fewer mistakes are made and it’s all conducted within a professional realm. Most of these interfaces can be controlled via computer and mobile, so it also gives you the opportunity of managing finances on the go.

Productivity Management

Productivity within the workplace can also now be monitored thanks to project management applications. This is great because it means that no one can get away with not pulling their weight. Everyone in a team can see what everyone else is doing, and that’s also great for keeping communication clear, rather than mistakes being made because not everyone was on the same page. A project system is great for those working in teams and will hopefully keep productivity levels constant.

Improve Your Security

As more of us get on board with technology, there also becomes more of an opportunity for scams and cyber attacks. For any business, this can be dangerous, especially if they’re dealing with confidential information. Protecting your wireless networks with passwords, encrypting files and having a solid security system in place for your servers and network is crucial. This is something that should always be monitored and looked at to improve. As technology improves and advances, so do those individuals who seek to cause major damage to companies

Technology has now become very dominant in all aspects of our lives, and without it, the opportunities for success may not be as widely available as they are now. So don’t be afraid of using technology in business, it could end up benefiting you hugely.

Nail Your Next Presentation With These Killer Tips

You never know when you might be required to make a presentation, so it’s always worth having a few great tips and tricks up your sleeves ready for when the next one is sprung on you. Your manager might ask you to prepare a presentation to give during your next team meeting or in the coming pitch to a client. Some employers even get applicants to create a presentation to present in their job interview. It’s also regularly asked of students in high school and college, and a portion of their final grade in a subject might rest heavily on their presentation skills.

So, as you can see, it really is worth brushing up on these skills if your current presentation skills are fairly weak. To get started, you might want to use a few of these useful tips.

Make Your Slides Look Great

First of all, you need to make sure that your slides look amazing. If they look quite plain and dull, then your audience might get bored of them pretty quickly. There will be nothing intriguing about them that will make them want to read all of the content on them. It’s easy to brighten up your slides, though. Reading The 78 Best Free Google Slides Themes will give you an idea of the kinds of themes you can use to make the slides look as entertaining or professional as you need them to be. Make sure you stick to the same color scheme on each slide, as using too many colors and patterns could make them look very messy and there may not be much flow between them.

Follow The 10-20-30 Rule

Have you ever heard of the 10-20-30 rule before? This was devised by Guy Kawasaki, who is something of a presentation expert! It basically means that there should be no more than ten slides in your presentation; it can’t last for more than twenty minutes, and the font that you use shouldn’t be smaller than thirty point. This will help you get to your point quickly, without including any information that isn’t really necessary and might end up boring your audience.

Add Some Humor

One surefire way to keep hold of your audience’s attention is to add some humor to your presentation. Even if it is a professional presentation for work, you should still try to keep it light by adding a few jokes throughout. You might even want to add some to the content of your slides for your audience to read themselves. If you do add enough humor, you should find that the audience end up on your side quickly and will be a lot more open to what you have to say. That will also help you relax as well, as knowing that the audience like what you have to say should help remove some of your original nerves.

Concentrate On Your Main Message

It can be all too easy to end up waffling about matters and topics that aren’t all that related to the main topic of your presentation. Make sure you don’t do that, though, as this could be very distracting for people watching your presentation, and their minds might start to wander elsewhere. So, whenever you are speaking, make sure that it is only ever about the main message that you want to get across in your presentation.

Tell Stories

It will always pay off to try to appeal to your audience’s human side, and the best way you can do this is to tell some stories and anecdotes. People love listening to stories and they will connect with you a lot more than if you simply read out facts and statements. One way to use stories in your presentations is to use some real-life examples. Just make sure that they are related to the topic of your presentation, though, or else they might seem pointless to your audience.

Don’t Force Your Gestures

Using body language throughout your presentation will help you come across as very relaxed and natural. Some people try and force some gestures to try and come off as feeling relaxed when in fact they are actually quite nervous. This will only make you look even more nervous, so it’s best not to force anything and instead just let yourself make your regular natural body language and hand gestures.

Hopefully, all of these tips will help you do a good job of your next presentation. It could help you get a new job, promotion, or sign a new client!

Your ISP May Know You Better Than Your Mother: How?

They say your mother knows you best. After all, she’s been with you right from birth to adulthood. I, however, dare to disagree with this well-known fact by stating that ISPs might know you better than your mother. The question is, how? Before I get into the technical nuances, let’s start with the basics.

What is an ISP?

ISPs, or Internet Service Providers, are corporations or institutions that provide internet services to customers at a fee. They give all kinds of internet access be it DSL, dedicated high-speed interconnection, dial-up, cable modem or any other connection.

How Do ISPs Work?

The working of an ISP is quite simple. When you want to access a site on the internet, the browser of your access device converts the domain name of the said site into an IP address which is sent to the ISP, usually by a router. Your ISP will then convey your access request to the ISP of the site you intend to visit. The ISP of the site sends back a link through which you can access the site. ISPs can also pay other ISPs (upstream ISPs) to offer internet connectivity which usually has a more extensive network than your ISP.

Data and ISPs

Now that we are up to speed with ISPs, we have the hot button issue, that is, your data and ISPs. Are ISPs collecting your data? Are they spying on you? Can they provide your browsing history data to law enforcement/government? Can they sell your data to third-parties? Is there any way you can protect your data? A simple answer to all of the above questions is Yes, but it’s much more technical than you think. Let’s break it down for you.

First things first, your ISP has access to all the data you transmit or receive through the internet. With all this access, they track and monitor said data to observe how the information is being used, to provide security against cyber-attacks and to prevent the abuse or misuse of data. The service providers can, therefore, tell what sites you visit, how often you visit these sites, frequency of visits, and the duration you spend on the site. To be on the safe side choose a VPN service to encrypt your connection and protect your privacy. Check this review of Private Internet Access for a start.

Visits to unencrypted websites are akin to a data gold mine for the ISPs since it is in these instances that the ISPs get the most data from users. Unencrypted sites use Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) which is unencrypted as opposed to the much more secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS).

To put it simply, when you visit an unencrypted website, your ISP can view the full content of the site on visits and the complete URL. This is alarming, seeing as research confirms that 8 out of 10 lifestyle websites are unencrypted. The solution to this problem should be fairly straight forward – a transition from unencrypted to the more secure HTTPS. Well, not entirely since all third party associates and partners on the site must support HTTPS. For your reference, addresses of sites prefixed with ‘https’ mean that they are secure. Secure sights prevent the ISP from accessing the full content and or URL of the site in question. ISPs have been known to collect data, and over time create a detailed profile of someone’s internet activity.

In most cases, ISPs can’t be compelled to share the data they have collected over time on an individual, though it is common practice for some to sell data to advertisers and other third parties. In the US for instance, the law allows ISPs to share non-identifying data.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

Now that we have covered the nuances of ISP data dealings, a salient query is: do the subscribers of these ISPs have any way to protect their data and internet activity? It is noteworthy that private browsing features like incognito browsing don’t offer much respite as the ISP can still access one’s data. Google provides excellent add-ons, as does the EFF, that automatically convert HTTP to HTTPS in your web browser.

The magnum opus of internet security remains the VPN services. What VPNs do is they encrypt your internet traffic and activity, hence preventing your IP address from being accessed by anyone. With some of these VPNs, the user might incur additional charges, especially subscription-based VPNs. This is, however, a small price to pay for protection from over-ambitious ISPs.

Conclusion

Mothers are an embodiment of love, resilience, and most importantly, safety. ISPs on the other hand, not so much. Sadly, the latter might have in their possession more information about you than the former. Take the necessary step to ensure the ISPs don’t compromise your privacy and security.

OWASP Attack Surface Detector Project

When I did a short work stint at Secure Decisions in 2018, one of the projects I got to work on was helping to create the Attack Surface Detector plugin for ZAP and Burp Suite. I left that position before the project got published, but I am happy to see that it was a success.

Here it is in all its glory.

From the OWASP description:

The Attack Surface Detector tool uncovers the endpoints of a web application, the parameters these endpoints accept, and the data type of those parameters. This includes the unlinked endpoints a spider won’t find in client-side code, or optional parameters totally unused in client-side code. It also has the capability to calculate the changes in attack surface between two versions of an application.

There is a video that demonstrates the plugin, and yes, that is me doing the voice-over.

Kali Linux Dockerfile

Since recently discovering there is now an official Kali Linux docker image, I’ve been fiddling with it and tweaking my own setup to get it to how I like it for the things I use it for. I have a work version and a personal version. What follows is my personal version, used mostly for R&D, CTF challenges, and bug hunting in my free time.

My Kali Dockerfile (for Mac)

# The Kali linux base image
FROM kalilinux/kali-linux-docker

# Update all the things, then install my personal faves
RUN apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y && apt-get dist-upgrade -y && apt-get install -y \
 cadaver \
 dirb \
 exploitdb \
 exploitdb-bin-sploits \
 git \
 gdb \
 gobuster \
 hashcat \
 hydra \
 man-db \
 medusa \
 minicom \
 nasm \
 nikto \
 nmap \
 sqlmap \
 sslscan \
 webshells \
 wpscan \
 wordlists 

# Create known_hosts for git cloning things I want
RUN mkdir /root/.ssh
RUN touch /root/.ssh/known_hosts
# Add host keys
RUN ssh-keyscan bitbucket.org >> /root/.ssh/known_hosts
RUN ssh-keyscan github.com >> /root/.ssh/known_hosts

# Clone git repos
RUN git clone https://github.com/danielmiessler/SecLists.git /opt/seclists
RUN git clone https://github.com/PowerShellMafia/PowerSploit.git /opt/powersploit
RUN git clone https://github.com/hashcat/hashcat /opt/hashcat
RUN git clone https://github.com/rebootuser/LinEnum /opt/linenum
RUN git clone https://github.com/maurosoria/dirsearch /opt/dirsearch
RUN git clone https://github.com/sdushantha/sherlock.git /opt/sherlock

# Other installs of things I need
RUN apt-get install -y \
    python-pip

RUN pip install pwntools

# Update ENV
ENV PATH=$PATH:/opt/powersploit
ENV PATH=$PATH:/opt/hashcat
ENV PATH=$PATH:/opt/dirsearch
ENV PATH=$PATH:/opt/sherlock

# Set entrypoint and working directory (Mac specific)
WORKDIR /Users/wchatham/kali/

# Expose ports 80 and 443
EXPOSE 80/tcp 443/tcp

Build it

docker build -t yourname/imagename path/to/theDockerfile 

(don’t actually put ‘Dockerfile’ in the path). Do change ‘imagename’ to something apropos, such as ‘kali’

Run it

docker run -ti -p 80:80 -p 443:443 -v /Users/yourname/Desktop:/root yourname/imagename

The above examples require you to replace ‘yourname’ with your Mac username

-ti
Indicates that we want a tty and to keep STDIN open for interactive processes

-p
Expose the listed ports

-v
Mount the defined folders to be shared from host to docker.

Hope that’s useful to someone!

Hat tip: https://www.pentestpartners.com/security-blog/docker-for-hackers-a-pen-testers-guide/

Protect Your Phone In These 3 Ways

For most people, their phone is pretty much a constant companion throughout their daily lives. But if you are keen to make sure that you are going to be able to keep it as such, then you need to know that you are looking after it properly. Most people don’t really think too much about how to protect their phone, but it is something that all of us could benefit from looking into to some degree. As it happens, there are a lot of things you can do to make sure that your phone is truly and fully protected, and in this article we are going to take a look at just a few of them. Here are three of the best ways in which you might be able to ensure that you protect your phone as well as possible.

Track It

One of the biggest concerns with phones is that they can get lost. When this happens, it can be a surprisingly disastrous affair. For most people, it will mean that their life will be significantly uprooted for a while, and you will at the very least have to worry about trying to find it again as soon as possible – or replacing it, should it come to that. One of the best solutions for this particular problem is to find a way to track your phone, which you can now do easier than ever. So long as you have some Gadget Trackers attached to it, you will always be able to find it, no matter how far it has gone. You might not always be in a position to retrieve it, but you can at least know where it is – and more often than not, it is pretty close to home anyway, and you will be able to find it and get it back – which could save you a huge headache.

Cover It

You should also think about getting something for the screen, so that you don’t have to worry about it becoming scratched. This is important for a number of reasons. Most of all, you will be able to keep its value fairly high, which could be important if you ever hope to sell it on after you are done with it. But it will also mean that the usage of it for you personally is much better, as you won’t be having to worry about scratches and cracks and so on. You can easily get a screen protector these days, and it is definitely a good idea to get one – along with a case too, for some added extra protection.

Insure It

You never quite know what is going to happen to your phone, so insuring it is often one of the best things you can do. If you insure your phone, you should find that you are able to have more confidence and less worry surrounding it, and if nothing else that makes using it much nicer. Of course, you should shop around for an insurance policy which you feel is actually going to work out well enough for your purposes.