All You Need To Know About Cloud-Based Applications

In 2018, Cisco estimated that in 2021, 94% of business workloads and computing processes will be run in the cloud. Cloud-based applications are becoming very popular in a certain area of business because the cloud approach has advantages such as scalability, higher performance, and improved cost-efficiency.

Additionally, the use of a solid infrastructure, access to SaaS and other cloud-based development platforms, and reduced risk exposure to data loss has made it increasingly popular in recent years. 

Why More Businesses Are Using Cloud Computing 

Businesses use cloud-based applications to help them grow at a faster rate than using in-house legacy computer infrastructure. Cloud-based technology systems enable organizations to adopt marketing strategies at a faster pace.  

Enterprise cloud-based technology applications are what businesses need to kick-start enterprise growth and they can be used in various ways. They let you get more done, faster, and on any device, making it easier for you to engage with your customers. 

Since cloud-based technology applications are a perfect option for small businesses, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about cloud-based applications so you’ll get an idea about why every business should use them. 

What Are Cloud-Based Applications? 

Cloud-based applications are those that run directly on a company’s infrastructure. All employees access them using an individual application identifier (AID). Cloud applications can also include backup and recovery services, internet connecting functions, and communications software. Typically, these applications are stored in elastic areas of servers in different locations. 

Cloud-based applications are directed shared resources that are hosted by a third party. The web server hosts the web applications directly.

There is a significant difference in functionality between these two types of applications. But despite it, many people assume cloud-based applications are the same as web applications. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are several important differences to consider before selecting a cloud-based application or a web-based hosted application over another. 

Why Use Cloud-Based Applications? 

The popularity of cloud-based apps has increased dramatically in the past few years. You can use an app to contact your doctor or find out about a new school or place to live. But there are also many other less obvious advantages of cloud-based software. 

Cloud-based applications save you time and money while making your business more efficient.

They make it easy to complete work-related tasks from anywhere in the world.

Nowadays, the main internet in your mobile phone is called the cloud.

All your favorite applications — Gmail, Facebook, Outlook, etc. are stored in the cloud. They are ready for you to use whenever you want without having to install anything on your computer or phone.

It’s all about buying more time. It allows you to work, study, or stay productive when you’re too busy to get up and go somewhere.   

Cloud-based computing allows companies to save huge amounts of money by employing technology instead of paying for expensive servers and hardware that might break down or get damaged during a blowout.

It enables startups to build products quickly without having to worry about the infrastructure because the software works out of the box and is automatically updated as needed. 

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Advantages and Disadvantages

Here are some advantages of cloud-based applications: 

1. You can keep your data protected from external access, which makes it ideal for business use.  

2. Cloud-based applications operate faster and at less cost in the short term, while retaining the flexibility to modify your software in response to changing business requirements and customer demands.  

3. Using a cloud-based application gives you a small, fully staffed staff to deal with problems on your behalf. As a result, you get free time to do things you want to do more easily. It gives you access to inexpensive computing power and storage—whether rented or bought. 

4. All of your data is available from anywhere from any device. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world or what computing device you use. That means your old information is safely backed up rather than lost in some physical warehouse.  

5. A cloud-based application allows you to update your software without having to reinstall it on all your computers. That means your systems are less likely to crash as well because they stay updated automatically. 

And here are some disadvantages of cloud-based software: 

1. The application runs in the background, and thus its performance can be slower than traditional servers.

The application might not be a good cloud solution if it takes a long time to launch, or if it has problems opening files or transferring data between computers. 

2. Despite the widespread use of these applications, there are still many people who don’t understand how they work.

A lot are still clueless whether they will be able to use them. 

3. Apps might not be available when you need them because you need to pay to use them. You also lose control over how it will be used and the rights it comes with.  

4. A cloud application does not enforce a central control system, so anyone with access to the Internet can view any data on any computer anywhere in the world.

That means companies can sell information about you without your knowledge or consent. However, this is a potential risk only.

It is unlikely to happen. There are many precautions cloud services take to avoid this possibility from ruining their reputation as trusted service providers.  

Is a Cloud-Based Application Secure? 

Yes, all cloud-based applications are secure. All the data that a customer store in their account is also safe from unauthorized access.

In the cloud, there is no way for hackers to gain access to data that hasn’t been marked as deleted or protected.

If hackers gain access to your computer or the internet directly, they can access your data. You need to make sure you are not using shared computers and the internet at work or other places where hackers can access your data.  

Should Your Business Use Cloud-Based Apps?

Cloud-based applications enable companies to easily keep control of their data and assets while reducing the complexity of processing orders and completing transactions.

This decrease in complexity can translate into a significant increase in performance.

As a result, orders placed using cloud-based applications will typically arrive on time or shortly after, resulting in an increase in sales price.

For this reason, it is important to fully vet any potential cloud-based application before relying on it for your business needs.  


There are several reasons cloud-based applications (CBAs) are a great solution for small business owners.

  • It is easier to manage workers than traditional on-site systems.
  • Workers keep their files in a separate location from the main office computer. This makes data sharing easier and reducing human error in the event of a hack.
  • Data security and privacy are taken seriously throughout all stages of the project life cycle.

Teamstack makes the whole process of accessing cloud-based applications safely and easily.

Teamstack is a cloud-based system that lets you manage groups, users, permissions, and authentication methods more easily. The service offers real-time synchronization of data, letting you always have access to up-to-date information.

Only users with authorization can access the service because security is ensured through multiple-factor authentication. MFA is a type of authentication process wherein users must confirm their identity through two or more authentication factors.

IP Address Blacklist And What You Need To Know

Internet Protocol or IP address is a numerical label identifying a device on a local network or the internet. It has rules that govern the data format sent through a local network or the internet. An IP address is an identifier that enables communication between devices on a particular network. It contains information that allows the device to send information.

Let’s discuss in this article the relevance of IP address, what is blacklisting, and how to avoid being blacklisted.

What is an IP

An IP address is a set of four numbers; for example,

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) produces IP addresses mathematically and allocates them.

The IANA is a branch of the (ICANN) or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which is a non-profit organization. Its primary function is to allow the internet to be usable by everyone and maintain its security. When you register a domain name on the internet, you have to go through a name registrar who pays a certain amount of money to ICANN for registration.

Types of IP Addresses

There are four main types of IP addresses: public, private, dynamic, and static.

Public IP addresses are addresses where one primary address represents the entire network. All connected devices share the same IP address. The ISP provides a public IP address.

On the other hand, a private address is a unique IP number assigned to each device connected to your home internet. It includes devices such as your smartphone, computers, and tablets. Other devices such as smart TVs, gaming consoles, Bluetooth devices also have their unique IP addresses.

A dynamic IP address is a temporary address. It changes automatically and regularly.

It is only active for a specific time frame and then expires. Static IP addresses remain consistent and cannot be changed. It is assigned a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server.

There are two types of website IP addresses: hared IP addresses and dedicated IP addresses.

Individual websites or SME websites that do not have many visitors or have a limited number of pages usually use shared IP addresses.

Dedicated IP addresses enable you to have a unique IP address to access your website.

What is IP reputation

IP reputation helps to locate IP addresses that send unwanted requests. If a request comes from an IP address with a bad reputation, you can use the IP reputation tool that rejects it. T

The IP reputation of your email depends on the following:

  • the quality of the contents of the message,
  • the quality of the contact lists,
  • and the history of the previously made submissions of that IP address

An IP reputation can help you prevent the following attacks:

  • Compromised web-server
  • Virus-infected personal computers
  • Known spammers and hackers
  • Centrally managed and automated botnet
  • Mass email marketing campaigns
  • Anonymous proxies
  • Phishing proxies

An email marketing provider can make your deliveries from IPs with a good reputation. You can also use a dedicated IP and have an exclusive channel for sharing the IP pool with others.

What Does Being Blacklisted Mean?

IP blocklisting is a way to filter out malicious or illegitimate IP addresses from accessing your networks. Blacklists contain a list of individual or group IP addresses that you want to block. You can combine these lists with intrusion prevention systems (IPS), firewalls, and other tools to filter traffic.

When you create and apply blacklists, you can filter malicious traffic according to policies. You can set your policies by defining the rules within your server software or hardware routers. The rules will determine what is treated as an attack and then prevents your computer from connecting to that traffic again.

When you blacklist an IP address, emails from that address will be redirected to the spam folder, and any emails you send will be bounced back until you remove the address from the blacklist.

Various network security tools can allow you to add new addresses to the blacklist. You can achieve this through external reference lists or the results of event analysis.

Challenges of IP Blacklisting

IP blacklisting is not a foolproof method of preventing IPs from accessing your network. Modern attackers are constantly coming up with multiple ways to get around blacklisting. They include:

1. Changing IP addresses

Attackers can periodically change their IP addresses to avoid being added to the blacklist. They can have a variety of different IP addresses and swap them each time one is blacklisted. This makes it hard to track them.

2. IP spoofing

An attacker can use IP spoofing to attack a network layer and make it look like they were connecting using a different IP address.

This is achieved by tricking monitoring systems that the credentials are legitimate even though they are compromised.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

3. Botnets

The majority of attackers use massive botnets that are sent to the Internet of Things (IoT) devices or end-user devices.

They can control these devices by compromising them or renting a botnet as a service on the dark web. Many attackers are using numerous IP addresses due to the size and increased availability of botnets. IP blacklists cannot protect against this kind of attack since attackers constantly change IP addresses as devices join and leave the botnet.

4. False Positives

False positives can cause problems when implementing blacklists. Although they are not security-related, they can affect productivity.

5. Inaccurate IP detection

When multiple people share the same IP address assigned dynamically, you may not know the end-user using the address. Blocking one user due to malicious actions can also prevent a legitimate user from accessing your network.

Why Practice IP Blacklisting?

IP blacklisting is one of the most effective yet simple forms of access denial. You can actively manage the IP blacklist database to limit access to your organization’s services. Various reasons may cause you to blacklist an address.

1. Malware on Your Device

The most common reason for blacklisting is when your device has been infected with a virus.

This can happen when you check your emails or surf the web and encounter a virus without knowing.

Your IP is then blacklisted to protect the integrity of any networks or websites that you attempt to connect to.

In this case, you need to have the malware removed and contact the business or service that has blacklisted you to explain the issue.

2. Illicit activities

Various networks can blacklist you if you have engaged in any illicit business or unlawful activity.

Your internet service provider can also blacklist you.

Illegal trade, cyber-crimes, or darknet activity are potential threats to others.

3. Inappropriate Website

Operating a website whose content is deemed inappropriate may get your IP blacklisted..

Inappropriate content can be black market trade, pornographic material, or sensitive subjects such as arms deals or weapons. Government agencies or internet service providers can actively block a site to prevent it from being accessible.

4. Using certain types of applications or software

A business or internet service provider can block a particular web application, program, or browser.

It could be a result of various reasons like potential security flaws.

Some software that may lead to IP blacklisting includes unknown operating systems or third-party web browser applications.

5. To Prevent spying

Various live streaming providers may keep an IP blacklist database to avoid the authorities or government agencies from viewing their content and services.

Tips to Avoid Being Blacklisted

Various reasons can cause your IP address to be blacklisted.

An improperly secured email infrastructure can increase the risk of being infected with a virus.

Here are measures you can take to avoid being blacklisted.

1. Set strong passwords

Spammers or attackers can easily take over an account that has a weak password. They use dictionary attacks that consist of a list of words that are commonly used as passwords.

Avoid obvious passwords and use password that has both lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers.

2. Do not allow Relaying

Attackers usually exploit open relays, and it’s crucial that you make sure your server does not relay mail.

Relaying occurs when mail is sent through your server, and it’s not to or from a local account.

3. Set up an SPF record

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an anti-spoofing method. It determines if the mail received was sent from an authorized domain.

4. Enable SSL

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a technique for encrypting the connection between a server and a mail client.

Other tips for securing your mail server include:

  • Enabling SMTP screening• Use trusted hosts and trusted IPs
  • Configure your firewall
  • Block port 25 outbound on your network
  • Use a static IP
  • Sign message with Domain Keys Identified Mail

Teamstack can help your organization deal with security threats and avoid being blacklisted.

You can get tools such as multi-factor authentication, passwordless login, One-click provisioning, single sign-on, cloud directory, among others.

Teamstack offers best-in-class accessibility and security features that will protect your business, save valuable time and boost your efficiency.

6 Ways To Reduce IT Complexity

Technology is never-ending. It is constantly changing and evolving, and today’s IT teams are, without a doubt, enjoying the benefits of faster and better technology. However, this results in IT complexity. Enterprise IT environments are becoming more complex by the day, and the teams need to manage them and also work on innovations. They are assigned to simplify IT complexity on top of managing and developing an array of operating environments.

Mobile technology is on the rise, workplaces are currently more spread out, and IT teams are tasked with figuring out how to secure remote workers’ mobile devices, protect the network, and support their productivity. While also being able to streamline overlapping technology so they can minimize compatibility problems and reduce redundancy.

IT complexity is extremely high in most companies, and this will be an ongoing trend. However, that does not mean that a lot of complexity is necessary.

IT complexity can translate to reduced flexibility, agility, and higher costs in a company. Therefore, it is important to reduce IT complexity, which is invaluable to your company. It is not easy, but it can be done.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

When Does IT Complexity Happen?

A company needs to simplify IT since it can help prevent the build-up of invaluable IT complexity, which is often difficult to reduce. Complexity gradually builds up, and it usually stems from various causes.

Some of the most common drivers that make IT complexity occur are:

  • an improper understanding of the complexity costs
  • inadequate IT governance with decision making that is not centralized,
  • and mergers and acquisitions.

Another common factor is the historical fondness of IT organizations always saying yes to business propositions without critically looking at the long-term and companywide results of these infinite individual decisions.

As aforementioned, complexity grows over time. This is because systems that are meant to perform a specific task are modified and morphed to perform tasks that they were not meant to perform. So when different technologies overlap each other, complexity occurs.

When you get a new system, you need to get rid of the old one. When you do not, it makes your system redundant and costs money. There is little innovation and this prevents your organization from identifying new business opportunities.

Therefore, it would be best to get rid of the old systems, find out what needs replacing and replace them as needed.

Luckily, you can significantly reduce and even eliminate unnecessary complexity if you use the right approach. The impact on IT performance and costs will be significant. The effort to effectively simplify IT can reduce infrastructure and application costs by 30% or so. It will also give your IT enterprise greater agility and flexibility and possibly improve the general ability to support the organization’s business objectives.

The Dangers of IT Complexity

As mentioned earlier, IT complexity stems from multiple factors and not just a single course. They are also build-up gradually. For instance, more factors that may lead to complexity include the cloud gaining rapid popularity, leftover redundant technology from a merger and acquisition, the sudden shift to remote work, and a poorly planned innovation. All these add different specific challenges. Other than that, they also introduce threats to your organization that can affect all corners of your business. Starting with the productivity of your employees to disaster recovery and business continuity. The most common dangers that are usually related to IT complexity are,

Reduced Productivity

Most organizations always fail to eliminate old systems when they innovate and add technology, which leaves different systems performing the same function at various efficiency levels. IT is tasked with maintaining all the systems, redundant or not, and this takes away the time that can be spent on higher-value tasks and innovation.

Increased Cybersecurity Risks

It is challenging to secure a complex system because remote endpoints, third-party service providers, and more vendors have access to your network, creating and increasing security gaps and vulnerabilities. Since the attack surfaces of companies have broadened, cybercriminals have also increased their threat volume against enterprise-level businesses.

Inefficient Backup and Recovery

The more complex IT environments get, the harder it is to efficiently backup because its data may be spread across different platforms. IT has to juggle multiple infrastructures, so it is hard to have one backup and recovery strategy to cover everything.

Downtime Stopping Business Operations

Regardless of the size of your business, downtime is bad, but it is more devastating for enterprise-level businesses. The damage you sustain to your reputation, and your bottom line will depend on how long your critical systems are unavailable.

Compliance and Regulatory Issues

Each IT complexity layer leaves room for oversight and mistakes, which can lead to possible legal issues and hefty fines, and you do not want to be on the wrong side of a compliance audit, especially if you are in an industry that is highly regulated. If the third-party service providers you work with do not take compliance seriously, they leave you open to liability.

How to Reduce IT Complexity and Ensure Business Continuity

The above-listed are some of the dangers of complex IT in an organization. There are multiple reasons why it is essential to simplify IT. For instance, when you reduce complexity, it eliminates all the complex processes that are unnecessary and often prevents change, growth, speed, or increases the cost.

The reduction of complexity makes you rethink processes, which can help your company grow significantly. Reducing your IT complexity is not just about cutting costs. It also forces you to understand the source, allows your IT team time to focus on innovations, and identifying opportunities. Listed below are ways to reduce IT complexity to ensure there is business continuity if you experience a crisis.

1. Identify the Causes

As mentioned earlier, adding new systems without getting rid of the old ones is one of the top causes of complexity. Unintentional dependencies make cleanup harder as time goes by, so IT must phase out the old technology to prevent this from happening.

2. Create a Road Map for Your Business and Future Goals

It is essential to know your business’ direction because you can save yourself later expenses and time by future-proofing your technology early enough. Therefore, if you are sure of a future push in innovation, create an environment that will scale to support your goals than adding complexity in the future.

3. Automate Testing, and Reporting

Manual testing and reporting add unnecessary responsibility to your IT team and are inefficient and time-consuming. Automate any tasks that do not require human intervention and are repeatable, so you can free up time for your team to focus on innovation.

4. Maximize Visibility Using a Centralized Management Console

Your business continuity strategy must include a backup solution and data protection providing a centralized management hub to fight complexity. When you troubleshoot problems and track key performance metrics from one location, it takes out the guesswork of how healthy your applications and systems are at all given times.

5. Consolidate Infrastructure in the Cloud

Cloud-based infrastructure is a popular choice for most organizations because they realized the cost, flexibility, and security of moving to the cloud. Some organizations still maintain a part of their infrastructure on-premises, either by regulatory mandate or by choice.

6. Be Proactive with Backups

Your backup strategy does not have to be complex, even if your IT environment is. The ideal backup plan involves the 3-2-1 approach where you need to have three copies of your data, store the data in two different media, and store one copy off-site. The cloud would be an excellent choice.

The Bottom Line

Although the improvement of technology has simplified a lot of tasks, it is also pretty complex. Most IT environments today are rather complex and can be hard to manage. It is even harder to protect against loss of data and downtime in case of a disaster. Therefore, the best thing you can do for your business is to plan for business continuity proactively and reduce complexity. Doing this ensures that your company can quickly bounce back with little disruption.

It is worth noting that not all complexity is bad. We live in a highly distributed world, so complexity is inevitable and likely not to change any time soon. There is a significant difference between bad complexity and good complexity. The complexity that is derived from multiple layers of outdated systems is bad complexity. However, systems that are sophisticated and far-reaching are by necessity complex. As long as complexity is logical, that is good complexity.

It is essential to reduce IT complexity. When you choose to work with Teamstack, you do not have to compromise security for convenience, and you can choose both. Teamstack is a cloud identity and access management platform that provides your workforce with secure, convenient access. It works with 500+ applications, greatly simplifying the entire process. Get in touch with us for a consultation.

5 Signs You Need To Automate Your IAM

Most organizations rely on manual identity access management or IAM. There are multiple automation IAM technologies that an organization can choose from, enabling an administrator to monitor and provision users automatically and grant them time-based access. On the other hand, a manual IAM will require an administrator to change all these factors for every individual in the organization manually.

A manual system will lead to gaps in access restrictions and major losses in security, time, and money. This article explains common access control, identity management mistakes, and why you need automation to avoid these mistakes.

What is IAM?

As mentioned earlier, IAM is identity access management. It is a crucial security and compliance framework that encompasses policies, processes, and products to manage and regulate user identities. Access refers to the actions that a user performs. IAM also links the security and productivity of the entire enterprise because of the digital global economy. It is worth noting that the simplest IAM mistake could cause information security risks for your organization.

This system enables authorization, authentication, and identification. Compared to the manual system, it is more efficient and ensures your organization gets the return on investment (ROI). Ensure that only the right individuals can access IT resources, hardware, software apps, and computers. Some key components of this system include:

  • The system used for auditing login and access history
  • Tools that are used to monitor, delete, create, and modify access privileges
  • Database with user identities and access privileges

IT departments handle IAM functions and are responsible for cybersecurity and data management. With tools such as password management, monitoring and reporting apps, provisioning software, and identity repositories. We view API security as a vital part of single sign-on between mobile applications and user-managed access.

The Significance of Identity Access Management

With the economy being digitized, identity access management is an essential aspect of your enterprise security plans.

This system is linked directly to the security and productivity of the entire identity governance. We have witnessed compromised user standards that have allowed entry points into networks and information assets of several organizations.

This system is an essential tool because it offers an organization additional value. Its solutions ensure your information assets are safeguarded. They offer your enterprise protection from the increased threat of malware and ransomware attacks, such as criminal hacking and phishing.

It is not uncommon for most organizations to provide their employees with excessive access privileges than needed. Identity management software offers an additional layer of protection by ensuring that specific employees’ rules and access policies stay consistent throughout the organization.

This system can be as complex or as straightforward as you want it to be. It has customization options that can reveal specific records, documents, and files. An administrator in the company can also control which employees can access specific applications. The users you choose are the only ones who will view the specific information you want them to see.

This system is designed to make it difficult for an outsider to see, steal, or manipulate sensitive enterprise information. It offers your enterprise multiple benefits. It is worth noting that cloud access management is also essential because it connects cloud servers, facilitates authentication, and manages user access.

Why You Need to Automate Your IAM

As mentioned earlier, most organizations still use manual identity access management. However, this is an inefficient method, especially for fast-growing organizations. Performing user management tasks using a manual system is cumbersome, and certain essential AD tasks do not have any space for one to make errors. Listed below are reasons why there is a need for you to automate your identity access management.

More productive Employees

This system helps IT and saves employees time. When you use manual provisioning, it can take several hours or days for employees to access the tools they need to use for their job, especially if an IT administrator is swamped with many tasks. However, if you have an automated system, they do not have to rely on an It admin to perform their jobs. This ensures more productivity.

Lower IT Costs

An automated system solution usually saves IT admins a lot of time to perform other crucial tasks. IT admins are responsible for everything, including creating accounts and granting appropriate access permissions to new employees. This can be quite time-consuming. If they are swamped with work and do not immediately attend to requests from employees, they delay the organization’s productivity. This means nothing in the organization can run until they take care of it. With an automated system, employees stay productive, so you save on costs.

Compliance and Audits Are Cheaper

An excellent automated access identity system will help save your organization all the time spent on compiling paperwork, performing internal audits, and preparing for external audits. This is because it has an inbuilt compliance tracker. This saves you money and time and prevents you from making costly errors that are often a result of a manual process. It gives timely auditors and regulators and detailed reports. You can be confident in their accuracy.

Signs That it is Time to Automate Your Company’s Identity Management

It is clear that when you automate your system, you cannot only save money, but you also keep your organization’s information safe and increase efficiency. You can give your employees the necessary access they need when they need it, therefore, minimizing security risk and increasing convenience.

An automated system makes sure that no one can fall through the cracks, and no policy is ever ignored. It also saves you so much time. Listed below are signs that it is time to automate your company’s identity management.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Excessive User Rights

An administrator may grant a user the privilege to access vital file servers for a particular purpose, such as auditing. However, after the user’s purpose is served, the admin may forget to revoke that privilege. A user who has excessive rights has access to classified information, which, when stolen, could harm an organization. Therefore, it is essential to set up a secure and safe environment where only trusted users could temporarily access specific folders and files. This is a sure way that guarantees that a user only has the required rights. This is only possible when you automate your system. Some systems can help you identify which particular user has access to critical access to resources in your enterprise.

Stale Accounts Build Up

A stale account may go unnoticed for an extended period. For security purposes, it is essential to get rid of such accounts. Remove such an account from your system as soon as possible since it prevents potential attacks from malicious insiders or aggravated ex-employees. If you are using a manual system, when a user leaves your organization, the manager or HR has to notify the admin to delete the account. In such a setup, one may forget to pass the information. It could also take some time before the deletion process. However, with an automated system, you can automate the account cleanup process, which is very efficient.

Inability to Track Management Actions

A manual system cannot provide an admin with the visibility needed to see the user management actions. Manual tools cannot detect unauthorized modifications. However, when you automate your identity management, you can preview changes in management actions.

Delayed Response

If an employee’s responsibilities and roles change, an admin must move them to a different OU, add them to the appropriate groups, or modify their account’s properties. The admin has to immediately address server permissions and group memberships because these determine if the employee will have access to relevant resources.

As if that is not enough, help desk requests, account unlocks and password resets also swamp the admin.

Should the admin delay performing any of these tasks, it hinders the productivity of the team and employees. Conventional tools cannot perform these tasks. Only an automated system can do these.

High Turnaround Time When There is User Onboarding

When a new employee joins your organization, HR has to notify the IT admins. Usually, they will share the new employee’s details with the IT team by email. Creating an account for a new employee and having to define their rights can be time-consuming. There might also be a data entry error, which may give access to the wrong user. That is why you need an automated system. Automatic user provisioning eliminates repetitive onboarding tasks. This ensures that IT admins can focus on dealing with other crucial tasks.

It is worth noting that cloud identity management is optimized for integration across devices, resources, applications, and operating systems. This is essential because a cloud migration opens access to endpoints outside your enterprise control. Choose security and convenience with Teamstack. We have an excellent reputation and high standards, providing workforces with secure and convenient access via an access and cloud identity management platform. We will also provide your organization with multiple IAM solutions.

Top 10 Mobile Security Threats To Take Seriously In 2021

Mobile two-way communication has become a necessity with the increased need to access data on the go. Most employees are forced to work from home and access the business network from their mobile devices. This results in an increased need to access corporate data from our smartphones or tablets. And this could pose mobile security threats.

Because of this, most businesses can’t ignore the need to implement various measures to mitigate mobile security threats.

What is Mobile Device Security?

Mobile security involves various measures to safeguard sensitive data stored on smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices. Mobile security aims to prevent unauthorized access to vital info stored on portable devices connected to a business network.

Nowadays, various threats aim to steal private information like credit card information, bank account details, passwords, and contact lists. We expose ourselves to various mobile security threats due to lack of knowledge, ignorance, or complacency.

The first step to ensuring our mobile security is by learning about the various mobile security threats. Familiarizing ourselves with multiple security threats puts us in a position to know what’s at risk. It also protects us from mobile device security attacks.

That said, let’s take a look at some of the mobile device security attacks and various security measures.

Mobile Security Threats

1. Social Engineering

There are many types of mobile device security attacks where the attacker tries to obtain personal information illegally. However, social engineering involves psychological manipulation. It happens when an attacker first conducts surveillance on the victim to identify the vulnerabilities and weaknesses. The attacker collects background information about the victim to determine possible entry points and system weaknesses for a successful attack.

We may all fall victim to social engineering. The attacker may coerce us to give personal information without even realizing we’re doing it. Social engineering is an umbrella term for various malicious activities. With that, here are some mobile device security attacks that encompass social engineering.

2. Phishing

This is one of the most common types of social engineering attacks.

Phishing intends to fraudulently obtain our info, such as names, home addresses, or SSN. The attacker may send an email that seems to come from a legitimate organization or business. This email contains a link to an unsecured website to steal sensitive information.

It may be hard to realize this at first. The attacker ensures the email and website look legit by having a company logo or website URL and HTML code. This way, we may be tricked into thinking the email is legit and entering our details in the link provided.

To protect ourselves from phishing, it’s imperative to determine any email source before clicking on any links. We should avoid clicking on suspicious links that force us to share sensitive information. Also, ensure that the website is secure. Secure websites will always have the HTTPS prefix to show that the connection is secure.

3. Vishing

This attack is more similar to phishing, only that the attacker uses calls to gather our private details.

We may receive a call from someone who claims to be from a legit organization. The caller will try to convince the victim to give them their bank details or credit card information.

It is imperative to verify all incoming calls and call requests from suspicious numbers. Call the company’s main office using the provided number in the official directory and determine whether they have reached out.

Be very skeptical about callers asking to share login details or other personal info. Report such numbers to the relevant organization so they can take action.

4. Baiting

The attacker tries to lure the victim using enticing offers or promises of free items and goods.

Attackers conduct a profile survey to know the right spot to steal personal information.

The attacker uses free online gift cards or rewards that pique our greed or excitement. This way, we may be forced to install an app to redeem the gift card.

This app turns out to be malware. The malware steals info such as emails, passwords, or credit card details stored on our devices.

Avoid deals that appear too good to be true. We may accidentally click on forms that lead us to insecure websites, and it’s important to avoid entering any private info on the site.

Modern browsers also have security features that block malicious sites or give warnings when accessing the site.

5. Wi-Fi Interference

Our information may not be as secure since we live in an age where we are constantly connected to various networks.

Our mobile devices are as protected or unsafe as the networks they are connected to. Attackers may set up their access points within our networks, thus resembling our network SSID. This way, victims may think the network is legit and connect their devices.

We can protect ourselves from these mobile security threats by:

  • Protecting our Wi-Fi networks using robust passwords/authentication protocols.
  • Using smart wireless controllers.
  • Separating guest networks
  • Using a VPN for public connections.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

6. Data Leakage

Data leakage refers to the unauthorized transmission of data from within an organization or our mobile devices to an external point or recipient and may be accidental or intentional. An employee may accidentally send an email containing sensitive information to the wrong recipient. Phishing may also be classified as a data leakage attack as the attacker may gain access to our mobile devices when one clicks on unsecured links.

To protect ourselves from data leakage, we should start by identifying the risks and classifying our data. It would be best to create a data recovery and backup plan if data gets lost or stolen. Lastly, our data should be encrypted using various protocols to make stolen data useless to the attacker.

7. Outdated Services

Most of our device operating systems go through regular system updates recommended by the manufacturer. Outdated systems expose us to various mobile security threats and attacks as attackers are constantly changing their techniques. Obsolete systems may have security vulnerabilities that grant hackers backdoor access to our devices.

It is vital to keep our devices updated and keep an eye out for subsequent security updates. Manufacturers roll out security patches as they continue to improve their systems, and it’s vital to install these updates for better protection against various threats.

8. Poor Password Management and Hygiene

Our passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized system access. Sometimes we may get tired of remembering all our passwords for various systems that we may end up using one for all. We may also make the mistakes of recycling passwords and using weak passwords that we can easily remember, putting us and our devices at risk.

It’s imperative to set strong passwords that combine letters, numbers, symbols, and special characters for our systems. It is also essential to avoid reusing passwords by implementing new and different sites for every website, system, or mobile device.

9. Mobile Ad Fraud

Attackers exploit mobile advertising technology in an attempt to defraud advertisers and online publishers. The hacker may use techniques such as click spam, click injection, or spoofing to make quick illegal money from ads. Lack of conversion or sales performance may be an indication of ad fraud.

Poor on-site analytics and abnormally high CTR rates may also indicate ad fraud. We can mitigate ad fraud by using various tools that prevent illegal traffic from being credited to channels. This way, payments from ads are made to the proper accounts and increasing engagement.

10. Cryptojacking Attacks

Hackers may find their way into our mobile devices and install software used to steal cryptocurrency wallets or use our devices’ resources to mine cryptocurrency. Attackers hijack our devices to mine for crypto or steal from our crypto wallets, causing the machines to process slowly, increase processor usage, and overheat.

To mitigate crypto-jacking attacks, we need to:

  • Keep an eye out for slow device performance
  • Check if our devices are overheating
  • Check for coding changes on sites
  • Scan for malware
  • Check for the presence of any parallel site to the crypto site

Physical Device Breaches

Sometimes we get too comfortable or careless and leave our devices unattended to and unlocked. We may also lose our mobile devices, and hackers may access sensitive information through our devices.

It would be best never to leave our devices unattended to or unlocked to mitigate such threats when at work or in public. Using strong passwords or biometrics will also prevent unauthorized access. Data encryption also helps to make our data unreadable to the hacker in case we lose our devices.

Bottom Line

We should all create awareness of mobile security and implement new measures to mitigate mobile security threats. Robust mobile security starts with us and calls for us to avoid complacency at personal and organizational levels.

Teamstack provides security as a service tool for cloud identity and access management. Teamstack grants user-authentication protocols and techniques across desktop and mobile applications or browsers.

What is Federated Identity Management

Have you encountered the term Federated Identity Management or FIM?

Business enterprises love embracing technology if it makes it easier for them to engage in operations. However, each time a firm uses a new application, members have to input their credentials on the platform.

That is rarely an issue. However, given the many applications commonly in use, it is easy for one to forget or mix up passwords. Studies show that a majority of users within the US alone have several passwords for different applications.

Additional research also suggests that most of these individuals have problems mixing up their passwords leading to loss of data, locked accounts, and frankly, it can be just irritating. Most people prefer using a few passwords for most of their accounts, making it vulnerable for hackers and other suspicious internet users with ill motives.

People have lost sensitive organization/personal data by such means, including loss of money, leaking credit card information, etc. Therefore, making it vital for users to adopt a more reliable yet secure system for engaging online.

A solution to the problem might involve using FIM (Federated Identity Management) on frequently used applications. Another option might include the use of SSO (Single-Sign-On) under similar circumstances.

Defining Federated Identity Management

FIM is an agreement that allows for sharing of personal data between third-party applications. For FIM to work effectively, the parties must trust each other to accept sharing similar Identification data.

To better understand the concept of Federated Identity management, one must first consider the use of IAM (Identity and Access Management), Identity Federation, and its purpose.

For instance, the application of IAM includes the control of access, including permissions of resources. The whole aspect relies on transmitting authorization messages through SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) or similar XML standards that allow for easy access to separate websites.

Identity Federation links a user to several security domains by adopting an Identity Management system. Once the link occurs, a user can authenticate access to one domain and access information in another with no additional logging into the new remote application.

Examples of applications that have adopted FIM in their operations include Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Paypal, Yahoo, LinkedIn, among others.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Why Federated Identity Management (FIM) is Important

Business enterprises require FIM services to coordinate operations with partners, maintain user access, etc. As the reliance on technology increases, firms have to find alternative ways to integrate and share data without losing on a few crucial bits, including management, privacy, and cybersecurity.

Federated Identity management is crucial for several reasons:

Encourages owners to keep track of workers’ activities

Federated Identity management allows business owners to coordinate and keep track of the activities of their employees. Owners can regulate the amount of access an individual has to information, thus providing security against rogue employees with malicious intent.

Creates a seamless channel for sharing information between partner organizations

A highlight of Federated Identity Management includes its ability to permit sharing of authority credentials between third parties. Partners can share data with ease, coordinate activities, and build trust between each other.

FIM systems allow for effective business operations, increased productivity, and data security.

Creates convenience for enterprises

The ability to integrate log-in information seamlessly between individuals, companies, and corporations creates a sense of convenience. An enterprise with such a system finds it rather convenient to share data with interested members without having individual passwords and other credentials.

How does FIM work

Understanding how FIM works is essential for any enterprise considering investing its time and resources with the scheme. Under FIM, a user stores their credentials with the Identity provider (in such a case, an Identity provider is the home organization).

When the user logs in from an application, third-party platform, they don’t require validating their credentials with the service provider. Instead, the service provider relies on the Identity Provider to validate the information on behalf of the user.

Identity management relies heavily on trust between third parties such that: one party allows access, believing that the credentials given on one side reflect the same, hence the need for only single logging in the device.

Under Identity management, the user only enters their credentials once, through the home organization. Once complete, they can access alternative websites and platforms.

Here is a more simplified model on how the entire system works:

  1. A user logs in through their home network, and in the process, authenticates their credentials.
  2. Once the authentication is complete, the user attempts to log in to a remote application that uses Federated Identity Management.
  3. However, instead of directly entering their credentials on the remote application, they request that a user use the home authentication server.
  4. The home authentication server acknowledges and allows the request, giving the user access to the remote website/ application without entering new credentials.

From the above example, one notices that authentication only occurs once (on the home server). Remote applications can grant access to the user using the credentials from the authority server.

How is it different from SSO?

There are several comparisons between SSO and FIM systems. While both serve the same purpose, they are inherently different in their build, purpose, and structure.

A Little About SSO (Single- Sign-On)

While SSO remains a vital component of Identity management, it is not the same. For instance, SSO is a service that allows a user to use a single set of credentials to log into several independent platforms. An example of the application of it includes a username and a password.

The Difference Between Single-Sign-On (SSO) and Federated Identity Management (FIM)

A difference between SSO and FIM systems relates to their application. The SSOs are more singular because they offer individualized alternatives to access remote platforms using a credible set of credentials.

However, unlike FIM, SSO only allows for a single organization. Multiple enterprises can use FIM on several systems to access, share and coordinate activities.

Benefits of FIM

Federated Identity Management has several benefits for business enterprises. It is an excellent means for the management of individual business entities to connect and compare businesses operating within a similar environment, including offering complimentary services to each other.

Some benefits include:

Increased coordination of activities by multiple entities

FIM offers an excellent means of coordinating business activities and processes remotely. In a globalized economy, FMI systems can make a tremendous difference for businesses looking to expand operations, including those with outsourcing motives.

Management can access vital information on a real-time basis, aiding in decision making, overall productivity, and eventual growth in the market.

Highly cost-effective

FIM makes it quick and more cost-effective to engage with multiple enterprises within a short time.

In previous times, the entire process might have involved lots of deliberations, meetings, and other additional costs making it less viable for firms to engage in such practices. However, introducing FMI across various business platforms makes it a feasible option.

A secure form of data sharing

FIM provides a secure form of data sharing for business enterprises. Firms limit the amount of information visible to third parties by regulating the access levels of their partners.

Besides, when coupled with other cybersecurity controls (such as One Time Passwords). It can become rather challenging for hackers and other malicious users to access sensitive company data.

Advantages and disadvantages of FIM

There are several positives and downsides of using FIM systems in business operations.

Advantages include:

  • Convenience
  • A source of additional revenue streams
  • Allows for effective resource allocation
  • Low operational costs
  • Security

However, as with any other technology, there are a few disadvantages to relying on FIM systems.

Disadvantages include:

  • The initial investment costs can be relatively high. The start-up costs of governments and large corporations might be relatively low. Consequently, the start-up costs for small businesses can have a significant impact on margins.
  • Firms might adopt several federations (which might complicate their security agreements and policies).
  • It takes time to change business processes to adjust to new integrated systems.

Bottom Line

FIM is the future of enterprise connections. Businesses must understand the role of secure integrations on the productivity of an enterprise. Factors such as how it affects a particular type of business, and its overall impact on a market segment, will also play a role.

As businesses continue to connect, expert advice is crucial for IT teams, management, and employees. We suggest TeamStack, a group of professionals with lots of experience in the field and a guarantee for quality.

A little about Teamstack

Many business owners and managers rarely have time to set up FIM integrations with other enterprises, despite having an interest in the matter. TeamStack features a team of professionals whose goal is to ensure that business enterprises can access IAM systems with ease.

They also feature a helpful support team who are always on standby and ready to help with queries, suggestions, or anything related to Business Online Integration services. Check them out for quality service.

5 Benefits Of A Well-Functioning Audit Trail System

Audit trails in accounting differ from audit trails concerning IT infrastructure. Audit trails are usually used interchangeably with audit logs in software control. But then, what exactly do we mean?

The term “audit” is well known to many as thorough investigations of fraud or suspicious activity in an organization. The broad understanding of auditing is a verification procedure conducted by an auditor involving paperwork documentation, data review, and analysis.

Today businesses are digitalizing all their operations. Hence, auditing is no longer dependent on paperwork. Instead, electronic auditing is in place.

That is where the audit trails come in.

What is Audit Trail?

It implies investigation of finances and tracing back to expenditures for verification by auditors and internal finance officers.

In software, it refers to a chronological record of each activity or event that happens to data. It captures everything that pertains to data, such as the addition of information, deletion, modification, or a sequence of automated system activities.

An audit log system identifies who is responsible for those activities, when, and how they were undertaken. Every organization gets varied volumes of audit logs daily.

Large businesses can have multitudes of audit logs that make tracking complex. Hence, automation of audit trails and regular reviews becomes mandatory.

How does an Audit Log Operate?

An audit log can be an automatic or manual record.

An automatic record has automated logs, unlike a manual record that needs you to input the logs. The operations depend on the nature of your IT infrastructure. It varies as per your operating systems, applications, and devices.

Audit trails record every activity that occurs within your system. It takes details of who, when, and how the activity occurred. It also shows the response of your system to the activities that took place.

You can have several audit trails and assign them to different systems. You can tailor your audit trails to take more details of either a system, application, or event.

Who needs Audit Trails?

Audit trails of records include all individuals in a company who gets access to the electronic data. Any system that automates any changes in the computer is also part of the records. Anyone in need of accurate data records for audits or any other reason can use audit trails.

Nearly all companies, including industries and government organizations with regular internal and external audits, need to use accurate audit trail systems.

Companies benefit from data logs either in tracking transactions or IT records. Also, industries such as healthcare, finance, manufacturing, education, and agriculture rely on audit trails.

Some of the uses of audit trails include financial and accounting records, budget planning, IT helpdesk records, student records, and tax compliance.

That said, it is needful for every industry to have a well-defined and accurate trail system for maximum operation.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

What are the components of an audit trail?

Its components include information that allows backtracking of every activity to the source. Such information can include login attempts, user activities, administrative tasks, and automated system activities. Typically, the components include the following information:

i. user identification that can include IP addresses and other identifying details,
ii. timestamp (time and date of activity occurrence), and
iii. summary of activities indicating events or changes by a specific user

The components for financial audits include information related to source records, details of completed transactions, and transaction identifiers.

When is an audit trail used?

It is mainly used when there is a need to verify transactions’ accuracy in an organization. It can also be utilized to validate accounting entries and sources of funds. In software controls, it is used to prevent unauthorized access to an organization’s sensitive data or when there’s a risk of breaching data.

Importance of a well-functioning audit trail system

Audit trails are useful in many (if not all) sectors. Hence, every business should have some auditing system. We cannot emphasize the importance of audit trail enough. It ranges from law compliance to tracking transactions to enhancing information integrity and availing audit records. The primary need for audit logs or audit trails is to provide a standing ground for audits by providing reliable records when there is a need for investigation in an organization. Let’s get into the details of the importance of a well-functioning trail system.

Enables compliance to the law

It is a requirement for most industries to comply with regulatory statutes by keeping electronic records. The law can also mandate organizations to have a proper audit system for adequate storage of electronic information. Data trails will be crucial in providing evidence for industry compliance during an audit.

Gives details of individuals accessing the company’s data

An audit log system records the details of who gains entry to the company’s databases and files. It also details why someone is accessing the data and the time of access. This allows the management to have control of what and when to share specific types of information.

Retrieval of lost files

A company can always access the old version of data whenever a file gets lost. A well-functioning system allows the identification of errors that result from system malfunctioning or due to other causes.

Detection of unauthorized access and system malfunctioning

The available details from audit logs provide an easy way of determining unauthorized access. You can analyze the logs’ components to detect data breaching or any fraudulent act. A fully operational audit log system also allows you to predict a system malfunction to allow quick corrective measures.

Crime investigation

An organization can retrieve data in the audit logs to investigate a crime. The organization will direct all the recordings in the system to the source to pinpoint the causes of errors and criminal activities.

Best Practices in Performing Audit Trails

Optimize Database Performance

Organizations keep track of large amounts of data stored in their databases. The collected data is useful when an organization can retrieve and use the data to its advantage. Companies should link their database to audit log software. The linking will help the company to maximize the importance of audit trail. The connected software needs to be highly-operational to predict any system malfunctions to allow quick corrective actions. An organization can also do database optimization by boosting database visibility and automating major database administration processes.

Analyze the Organization’s Data

Data analysis gives an in-depth understanding of the collected information. The analysis allows an organization to detect fraudulent activities and other security concerns. That way, the management can devise appropriate methods to reinforce data security measures. Besides, data analysis allows organizations to improve performance by ensuring smooth operations in their systems.

Protect Organization’s Network

An organization needs to protect its network from external attackers. You can ensure network protection by integrating security software into your system. An organization should integrate an exceptional security tool to detect and prevent security threats.

Benefits of Having a Functioning Audit Trail System

1. Promotes user accountability

A functioning system records the activities of every user. This promotes appropriate user behavior because everyone is held accountable for their doings. Appropriate user behavior prevents malicious acts such as the introduction of computer viruses and unauthorized database alterations.

2. Promotes Organization’s Data Security

Data security is a top concern for every organization. Sensitive data, including personal details, financial statements, and intellectual property, necessitates data security. A company should utilize an effective system to protect its data from unauthorized access and fraudulent activities by staff and external parties. The system can also detect malfunctions that can lead to data loss.

3. Allows reconstruction of events

An excellent audit log system allows organizations to understand the operations of users, including cyber attackers. The information retrieved can be used by organizations to devise ways of strengthening their systems to avoid future threats such as hacking and system failures.

4. Detection of System Interference and Errors

A functioning audit trails system indicates upcoming system interference, failures, and errors. Such detections allow an organization to respond accordingly to allow a smooth continuation of its operations.

5. Identification of intruders

An organization’s database needs to be accessible to only authorized parties. Getting a functioning audit log system allows an organization to detect intrusion by any outsider. Intruder identifications is a regulation by most states to avoid unauthorized access to personal information and promote confidentiality.

Bottom Line

The success of any organization lies in maintaining data security to promote data safety and confidentiality. In most organizations, it is the responsibility of IT users and management to ensure data integrity and safety.

However, ensuring data security across departments in an organization can be complicated and cumbersome. That is why audit trails by Teamstack should be your priority to enhance your data security.

Teamstack offers a well-functioning audit trail that is highly effective for organizations. The Teamstack’s audit log feature secures data for every employee in your organization. It informs you of all the login attempts and requested credentials across your systems.

It also allows you to detect any malicious acts, whether by internal or external users. The audit information will include IP addresses and the location of the users. This presents an opportunity for top-notch data security in your organization.

What Are Data Breaches And Why Do They Matter?

Recently, there seems like no day passes by without news about data breaches. On 19th May 2020, EasyJet reported data breach activities that exposed about 9 million travelers’ personal information. Hackers can quickly get you through the internet, text messages, Bluetooth, or the online services you use, meaning that everyone is at risk.

Even small businesses are increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks since most people are unaware of how modern security threats operate. Understanding how cybersecurity happens and its causes are the first steps to keeping your company safe. Read on to gain more insights.

What Is A Data Breach?

It’s a security incident where unauthorized individuals gain access to an organization’s protected information. The stolen data may include trade secrets, credit cards, personal health information, social security numbers, or national security matters. It generally happens due to user behavior or weakness in technology.

Connecting gadgets to multiple features create loopholes that encourage cybersecurity. Some digital tools are even in operation with minimal security testing. Even after setting up the technology appropriately, some poor digital habits can compromise your organization’s security. All it takes is for a single team member to fall for phishing traps.

Hackers mostly sell the information on the black market to make profits. They can also use the data to commit fraud, particularly with medical or educational information. With the stolen data, the criminals can target employees and trick them into making payments.

How Does A Data Breach Occur

For targeted attacks, the hackers first research a company’s security, people system, or networks to look for weakness. The attacker then makes initial contact with the organization through social attacks. It means using system, application, or infrastructure weaknesses to infiltrate an organization. They can also trick employees into opening malicious attachments or baiting them into sharing a company’s information.

Once the cybercriminal gets access to a single computer within an organization, they can attack the entire network and gain their way to confidential data. It’s worth noting that a data breach isn’t always a result of an outsider hacker. Sometimes it can happen due to some inside activities.

When a team member uses a colleague’s computer to access files without authorization, a data breach has already occurred, even if they won’t share the information. Again, a trusted staff member can purposefully access and share sensitive data to harm an individual or the entire company. Other times, an unencrypted device with sensitive information might get lost or disposed of improperly. When such information lands in the wrong people’s hands, it might lead to a security breach.

Causes of Data Vulnerability

Without comprehensive security at the user end and the enterprise level, most companies are at risk of cybercrimes. Beware of the following causes of a data breach to learn how to protect your company.


If your software, hardware, servers, or operating systems contain security flaws, cybercriminals can use them to send malware. It involves sending malicious software into an organization’s network, creating easy access to your company to steal vital information. The attackers achieve this by luring your employees into opening malware attachments or redirecting them to vulnerable sites.

Physical Data Theft

If your building is unsafe or insecure, hackers can work their way into your company to access your system. They can physically steal devices like laptops, tablets, hard drives, smartphones, CDs, DVDs, desktops, or thumb drives. The severity of a data breach will depend on the nature of the information stored in the devices.

Weak Credentials

Hacking is the most common cause of security breaches, and it mainly happens if you have weak passwords. The hackers have several software tools that they can use to guess your credentials. Such inventions have made it possible to work through all the possibilities of your password faster. If you have a simple whole word password, it might only take few seconds until they get it right. You are also very vulnerable if you use the same credentials for multiple accounts.

Applications Vulnerabilities

Outdated software, poorly designed or implemented network systems gives cybercriminals a free pass into your company’s sensitive information.

User Error

Sometimes, employees might make mistakes that can compromise your company’s security. One example of such mistakes is including the wrong person in a Cc email field while attaching sensitive files.

Others might leave documents online without password restrictions. Additionally, when employees bring their mobile phones to work, they can easily download malware-laden applications giving hackers access to work-related emails or personally identifiable information (PII) stored in the gadget.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Social Engineering

Cybercriminals use social engineering attacks to fool staff into causing a data breach. They impersonate a trustworthy entity to coax organizations into handing over sensitive data.

Too Many Permissions

If you fail to keep a tight reign of who should access your business data, there is always a chance that someone may try to misuse the information. Remember that it might be very tempting to sell data into the dark web due to the high financial gains. You might give the wrong people access authorization or allow outdated permissions for hackers to exploit. For instance, those who have left your organization but still have access to your systems can compromise your company’s security.

Effects of A Data Breach

Organizations need to focus on learning how to prevent a data breach since it can result in some very damaging consequences like;

Financial Loss

One of the most immediate consequences of a data breach is financial loss. Based on the breach’s nature, businesses may have to compensate the affected customer or pay legal fees. You might also spend more money investigating the matter, investing in new security measures, or even paying penalties for non-compliance.

Reputation Damage

News travel very fast in today’s world, and those who might never have heard of your brand are likely to hear of a security breach in the shortest time possible. If the incident puts customer’s data at risk, they may lose trust in your company. People’s perception of your company will change, and it can impact your ability to attract new customers or employees. Worse still, the current customers might choose to go to a competitor who takes security issues more seriously.

Operational Disruptions

When a security breach happens, it heavily disrupts business activities. You might have to shut down operations entirely to investigate the issue until you find a solution. Depending on the severity of the case, investigations can take days or even months. It will thus affect your company’s productivity.

Loss of Sensitive information

If the data breach results in the loss of sensitive data, it might lead to more devastating consequences. For instance, if you lose a patient’s medical records, this can affect their conditions risking their life. Again, exposing highly confidential government information can pose a significant threat to the government and its citizens.

Legal Ramifications

As a company, the law requires you always to protect personal data. In case of a breach, whether intentional or not, you may face legal actions. In some cases, the authorities may even bar you from performing some operations. Class-action lawsuits may lead to hefty penalties, which may be too high for the company to bear.

Tips To Avoid Data Breaches

The best way to prevent data breaches is by training your workers on data security guidelines. Show them how to identify potential data security leakages and develop a policy to retrieve, send, handle and dispose of data. e You also need to show them the need to have unique passwords and caution them against recording or writing them in areas where others can access them.

Also, regularly update your operating systems and application software. Further, use firewalls, anti-spyware and anti-virus software tools to protect data from getting into the wrong hands.

Limit access to the most vital company details. If employees can access all files via their computers, it’s easy for hackers to access important information. For instance, mailroom employees shouldn’t access customers’ financial details. You can also separate user accounts to control the number of employees who can use a specific database. Further, limit administrative access to those tasked to perform particular duties.

In case you are unsure about how to prevent a data breach, you can hire an expert or a tech company offering similar services. This way, you don’t have to worry about any loopholes that you may have left unknowingly. Besides, if you don’t have enough technical staff, a managed IT services provider can remotely monitor your systems around the clock.


Your organization’s data is a precious resource. Protecting it doesn’t have to be extremely expensive or complicated, but you must do it right. You can use some or all of the above strategies to strengthen your company’s data security practices. With such dreadful consequences of cyber-attacks, businesses need to develop a strong defense and an incident response plan to minimize hacking risks.

Make use of tools like Teamstack. It’s a cloud identity management system that pairs with numerous apps, including zoom and G Suite, to prevent unauthorized access to company data. Teamstack has several tools that allow your team members to log into applications without compromising security.

What Are The Best Ways To Remember Online Passwords?

With all the websites we login into on daily basis, forgetting online passwords becomes a major challenge.

Almost everyone forgets a password or uses similar passwords on different platforms. This can happen due to the several forms that we have to fill when visiting different sites online.

Strong Yet Hard to Remember

Almost every time you visit one of the many websites we use daily, the common advice is to create a strong password. In most cases, creating strong passwords is important as it helps to protect your account.

People tend to have passwords, with many of them being very complex passwords. However, it becomes tricky to remember all the passwords. Most internet users use different passwords, more than they can even easily remember.

Notably, passwords for your most important accounts should be unique, using a method that creates secure but easy passwords to remember.

Initially, the key to your online passwords is creating strong passwords which are more challenging to actually create a distinct character set that you can remember easily.

In this case, you could use similar passwords for different sites, which can include something like a birthday, favorite song, or even your telephone numbers.

However, with this, it becomes easier for the hackers to guess the passwords since it is just a matter of time for them to guess and get the correct passwords.

If you use a similar password on all your sites, then a password-stealing Trojan that slips past your antivirus can effectively breach all your secure sites.

Read more about password cracking in this article.

Every internet user should use a complex, unique password for every single website.

One way to manage that is via a password manager.

Pros and Cons of a Password Manager

Password managers offer both pros and cons. The benefits include the creation of complex, random and lengthy passwords, auto-logons and the ability to work with multiple devices. Unfortunately, most password managers are difficult to set-up, will not work with all websites and trigger unexplainable crashes. Furthermore, they do not support all devices and browsers.

We’ve discussed in length in our previous articles 5 reasons why a password manager is not safe for you and the problems with password managers.

These tools work on all devices from desktops, laptops, and smartphones to even tablets. They are considered to generate unique unpredictable passwords and those that are easy to remember and you can automatically use those saved passwords to login into every account of your choice.

Tips to make an online password memorable and tough-to-guess

Arguably, to this point you are probably sick and tired of hearing how important it is to create a strong password and how to follow certain steps on generating secured online security.

But you should acknowledge the importance of keeping this in mind since creating a strong password is the key to security to all your online accounts’ safety. For this reason, here are some of the tips to remember to select an online password that is memorable and tough-to-guess.

Create a tip sheet

Using a tip sheet gives you relevant clues regarding the passwords you should avoid based on the ease of predictability. Here, you are advised to never write down your passwords anywhere that someone else can easily have access to the passwords.

Having a cryptic hint that only you understand can help you to memorize the password and jog your memory in case you forget the password.

If you write down your passwords, disguise them.

In this case, you can have password hints that include the first letter of your passcode and a memorable hint that can help you to remember the full password.

The disguise can also include hints that rhyme with your passcodes, maybe just an acronym that could jog in your mind. If you choose to use this approach, ensure that the passwords and the disguise you use are not similar in any way.

On the other hand, if you do need to write it down keep them out of your computer. There are other better hiding spots, including among other letters alongside a list of your phone numbers. Just ensure that it is not clear in a way that another person can understand that it is a password. If possible don’t include the passwords that will unlock your phone and other digital devices.

Use Shortcuts

Notably, using the website name or rather its logo color can help to create a memorable and secure online password. For instance, with Facebook, a person can use the initials FB as the first letter or last in the password. Using it as a trigger is another option.

In that case, the letter F could be used to stand for favorable food, and then you can build your password with that in mind.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Create a personal code

The main trick here is to replace letters with other characters and numbers. Or maybe purposefully misspell words, using acronyms and abbreviations.

With a few code tricks, you can generate a strong memorable, and distinct online password that is difficult to predict and compromise.

Here, you can replace letters with special characters. You can even avoid certain letters altogether.

Besides, it is important to remember that a password is a secret and so whichever the words, the spelling is not the most important thing.

Choose Four Random Words

A short phrase of several random words is another option in making an online password memorable. In this case, you can use the entire word and replace some letters with special numbers to enhance password security. It is advisable to choose something silly such as an inside joke, favorite food, animal, or even a color.

Generate a phrase based on a memorable sentence

One recommended way you can use to remember complex passwords is by constructing a memorable sentence and developing an acronym.

In this case, you can come up with something that you consider meaningful, such as an inside joke that gives you specific hints.

For instance, when I was 3 I loved my pink doll. This could create something like www3ilpkDoll. Here, adding the number and capitalizing one of the letters strengthens the password.

Avoid patterns and common passwords

Choosing some common password is simply like giving hackers a place to run the business.

For instance, a password like 12345 makes your account vulnerable since such a password is easy to predict. Therefore, try as much as possible to not fall into such a habit. Always avoid common passwords and patterns since this can help in enhancing the security. The trick here is to come up with unique and memorable online passcodes.

Make it poetic

Everyone has a favorite song or a poem that cannot be easily forgotten. Whichever the song or poem is, you can use the verse and turn it to be a password. These earworms are sometimes stuck in our minds, so you can possibly use them to create unique online passwords.

You can use combinations such as a catchy phrase from your favorite album and pick additional characters from the name of your best song.

Ideally, you should focus on using something that is important to you, but remember to avoid the easy solutions like a birthday.

Use a secure browser

In the current technological developed internet world, most internet browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome have features that allow you to save passwords and usernames.

Use this strategy at home and never while in public or on a shared computer.

Teamstack solutions

At Teamstack, we have state-of-the-art software solutions that can help your organization manage login credentials and passwords.

Our Single-sign-on and multifactor authentication systems provide a convenient way for users of a computer system to log in and access vital data and applications. Learn more about Teamstack here.

Mobile Security Threats and Ways to Avoid Them

Mobile security has become a significant concern due to the increased usage of smartphones and tablets. Some of us have separate devices for work and personal use. Older persons and children have also adopted mobile devices, reducing the number of individuals who do not have them.

Although mobile devices enable us to communicate, check our emails, download and send files, watch videos, take pictures, and much more, the numbers of threats facing our phones keep increasing every year.

Businesses have incorporated mobile technology and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trends in their operations. Therefore, our employees do not just come with their devices to work; they live on them.

Accessing corporate data from our mobile devices and connecting with clients has become a routine, and over the past three years, mobile device attacks have increased by over 41%.

As a result, protecting our devices from mobile security threats is becoming an intricate puzzle.

As we make smartphones and tablets part of our lives, hackers seek every way to attack them. Cyber-attacks’ nature continually evolves, making mobile devices a critical part of cyber-security efforts because businesses can’t neglect mobile device security.

This article explains mobile device security, how mobile security threats occur, and the different types of threats we should know about.


Mobile device security refers to safeguarding sensitive information stored in or transmitted through mobile devices, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other portable gadgets, against threats and vulnerabilities.

The designed measures help protect these devices against data breaches if unauthorized access or unintentional loss of a mobile device.

How Mobile Security Threats Happen

Although most of us expect Android and iPhone devices to be secure by default, in reality, it is up to us to adjust security configuration settings.

When we fail to change security configuration settings, hackers can access any nearby device in a flash of a second and either see everything on the mobile device or install malware that will enable them to breach data at their comfort.

Types of Mobile Security Threats

Cybercriminals use threats to execute mobile device security attacks that compromise or steal data from our mobile devices. These threats come in any size and shape we can think of, but in most cases, they fall under the following categories:

1. Application-Based Threats

The applications of our mobile devices serve as the root of most mobile gadgets’ vulnerability. These attacks occur when we download malicious applications that appear legit or allow unknown applications to access our device’s data without analyzing whether it is safe to do so or not. Once installed, these apps skim data from our devices without our consent.

2. Web-Based Threats

Web-based threats are understated and happen unnoticed. They happen when we visit affected websites that seem okay, but in reality, they are not. Attackers may send us an email or a random text that looks legit, but the email or text message contains a mischievous attachment or link.

When we click on the link or give personal information, the attacker gets unauthorized access to our mobile gadgets or steals our credentials to trick us or automatically install malicious content in our devices.

3. Network-Based Threats

Network-based threats happen when cybercriminals target mobile devices that we connect to unsecured or public Wi-Fi networks. In some cases, hackers put up fake free Wi-Fi networks to trick mobile device users.

These networks ask us to create an account with a username and a password to allow cybercriminals to compromise our data and credentials.

4. Physical Threats

Physical threats happen when we lose our mobile devices or someone steals them.

Failure to use a strong password, biometric authentication, or PIN or install unencrypted applications and services exposes our mobile gadgets to a wide range of mobile security issues.

This threat is mainly dangerous to businesses because hackers can easily access the hardware they store their private data.

Mobile Security Threats and Ways to Avoid Them

Although it is scary that attackers can use any of the threat categories mentioned above to inaugurate an attack on our mobile devices, our daily mobile behavior and usage can enable them to succeed in attacking our devices quickly.

The following are the most common ways we expose our devices and credentials to mobile device security attacks and tips on how we can guard ourselves:

1. Malicious Apps

Applications that we download from various sources other than official app stores, such as Google Play Store and Apple App Store, leak data due to lack of appropriate protection policies. Additionally, hackers release mischievous apps to steal the data we have stored in our devices and sell it to other parties when we download them. Data leaks can also happen through malware-infected applications that disperse specific operating systems’ codes, secretly moving data across enterprise networks.

Tip: To minimize the risk, only download applications from trusted providers, such as Apple App and Google Play Stores. Besides, we need to ask our employees to evaluate the permission request the apps make before downloading. If the app requests to access our location data, microphone, or camera, we should avoid the download.

2. Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

Many companies have adopted remote working, thus increasing the number of free Wi-Fi networks in public places, such as restaurants, airports, and libraries. We find these useful because they allow us to save our mobile data. However, most of these networks are unsecured, meaning hackers can easily access our mobile devices and breach our data.

Tip: If possible, we should never connect our mobile device to unsecured Wi-Fi connections and never use any connection that requires you to create a personal account and password. If you must use these networks, never use them to access our accounts, including banking apps, social media accounts, or purchase anything online. We can also ask our employees to create unique passwords for every new account they sign in using their devices.

3. Browser Exploits

As the name suggests, browser exploits abuse any recognized security mistakes in our mobile device’s browser. They work against other applications that operate alongside our browsers, such as PDF readers. Thus, if we see our browser’s homepage unexpectedly change, we might have become browser exploits’ victims.

Tip: We should always ensure we keep our browsers patched. Additionally, we should use an updated antivirus tool on our mobile device systems, especially those we frequently browse the Internet with, such as laptops. Besides, we can install other browsers such as Google Chrome instead of Internet Explorer because Internet Explorer is a significant target for mobile device security attacks due to its market dominance.

4. Lack of End-To-End Encryption

Most of us recently spend more time at home and work remotely due to measures imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we have embraced the use of video conferencing tools on our mobile devices. Although this usage helps us participate in business meetings and keep in touch with our colleagues and families, it poses many risks, mostly if we use applications that do not encrypt conversations or function using weak algorithms.

Tip: We should always ensure we use applications and tools that guarantee our data and identities’ safety to ensure third parties cannot access our communications.

5. Inactive Apps

Apple and Google frequently remove apps from their stores without explanation. However, we can assume that the companies based this removal on privacy breaches and security threats.

Tip: Our workers and we should remain proactive in checking whether the apps installed on our devices are still active.

6. Viruses and Trojans

Viruses and Trojans also attack our mobile devices. They come attached to programs that look legit. They then hack our devices and mine data stored in them or information they can access, such as our banking details. Trojans and Viruses send premium text messages, and excessive data consumption causes app crushing and battery drainage. Other effects include pop-up adverts and spam texts, overheating, and installation of unknown apps

Tip: We can run an official antivirus app and reset or devices to factory settings to erase any corrupted data.

7. No Password Protection

Despite the many ways to secure our mobile devices, some do not have a password to lock mobile devices.

If these devices get stolen or lost, thieves get easy access to all the information we have stored in the gadget.

In contrast, those who have created a PIN or password typically used easy-to-crack codes, such as 8888 or birthday year. Besides, we use the same passwords to sign in to different accounts, including job and personal accounts.

Tip: If your employees use personal devices to access company data, create identity access management systems to allow them. Additionally, use a strong password for confidential and business log-ins. It also helps to use different passwords for different sign-ins, and never disclose passwords to third parties.

8. Phishing

Phishing is tactic hackers use to trick us into thinking that the received email comes from a credible source, such as a utility company or a bank.

They send us emails, SMS, or direct messages to access our details, including hobbies, financial records, and work history.

Tip: We should never open or reply to an email or message unless we know the sender. Besides, never click on any links or download attachments and delete the messages immediately.

9. Lost or Stolen Device

Losing a mobile device remains one of the most challenging threats to fight. This is because it enables attackers to acquire the data they need.

Most employees stay logged-in in enterprise apps. However, attackers can monitor employees’ sites using their devices and apps connected to the company’s data. They can then steal these devices to access our business data.

Tip: Use your BYOD policies to ensure workers know what they can do if they lose their gadgets.

The Bottom Line

Although mobile devices face many security threats, we can take various actions to protect ourselves, our data, and our employees. We can reach out to Teamstack, a Cloud Identity Management specialist, to keep our employees’ and company’s data safe.