Lessons to Learn in Light of Twitter’s API Breaches

twitter api attack

Back in December 2021, an API attack on Twitter took place, leaving 5.4 million users with leaked data the following July. The data was put on sale via the black market and it was once again put up for sale recently, showing just how disruptive these phishing attacks can be. Today we’re going to discover what an API attack is and why you need to be aware of this advanced type of social engineering that could put your data at risk in the future.

What is an API?

API stands for application programming interface, which is what allows a program to communicate with another one in a standardized manner. APIs can be used to send money through a single shared application or to control a smart appliance in your home via an app. APIs work in this way:

  1. A command is sent to an application with your mobile device. 
  2. The application will then connect to the Internet and share the command and the data associated with it. 
  3. A server will then receive the data and interpret it to carry out the requested actions.
  4. The device receives the data and shows it to the user.

APIs are generally standardized, which means they should usually remain secure as they only send the needed information. However, a phishing attack like this terrible Twitter hack could result in vulnerabilities in the system.

The Twitter API Hack

When one of Twitter’s APIs was exploited, it allowed the hackers who carried out the attack to identify who owned individual Twitter accounts. It used the API to submit phone numbers and email addresses, and the issue didn’t get fully resolved until January 2022. Millions of users were the victims of this attack, leaving their personal information out in the open and lowering trust in this popular social media site.

How Serious Are API Attacks?

While you might not think you need to worry about API attacks if you run a smaller website or system, they are something that everyone should be taking seriously. Twitter is not the only company to become a victim of data theft, as so many businesses use API functionality. APIs are built in a way that can build trust with the systems they connect to, allowing hackers full access to your company’s data if they perform an API attack. This can then be used for further social engineering attacks, causing havoc and disruption for your business and clients.

How Can You Prevent an API Attack?

The first step to preventing an API attack is to educate your team about them as much as you can. You should minimize access to sensitive accounts, protecting your passwords and account access with password management tools and two-factor authentication where possible. Try to teach your team about phishing attacks and the complex methods that scammers now use, so they can recognize the signs of these in the future.

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Our team is here to help support you and reduce the chance of API attacks in the future. Contact us today to discover your options or to discuss any questions you have on this topic.

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How the Technology Industry is (or is not) Affected by Inflation

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Many economic analysts report that inflation is currently on the rise in the United States. Inflation is the rate of increases in prices over a certain period of time. Inflation is normally a broadened term, like the overall increase in the cost of living in a country, but it can also be calculated more specifically, such as the increase in goods and services. With inflation, the value of the dollar also decreases. 

Unfortunately, inflation continues to negatively impact businesses across all industries. Consumers are spending less money in order to save more, resulting in companies adapting to diminished sales and resources. Many companies have turned to incorporate various strategies that allow them to receive the most out of their investments. There are several ways to maintain a decent IT budget without spending too much. Continue reading to learn more.

Investments in Technology Can Overturn Inflation

Investment management and financial services company, Morgan Stanley, recently issued a list of deflation enablers. Deflation enablers are companies that assist organizations in reducing costs, improving productivity, and optimizing overall performance. Automation platforms, such as Appian, Salesforce, ServiceNow, and UiPath, allow companies to be more efficient by saving time and labor costs. Creating manual processes ultimately eliminates the need for people to perform them. Supply chain efficiency software, such as C3.ai, Palantir, and Snowflake, utilizes cloud-based data warehousing allowing its clients to consolidate all of their data which employees can access.

Working Together to Combat this Economic Issue

Incorporating the necessary resources effectively can help withstand inflation. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses have adopted the strategies of remote operations and downsizing of the company. Due to a large amount of money being spent on real estate, organizations consider reinvesting that money elsewhere within the company, such as in IT solutions and sales. 

As mentioned previously, many IT providers are mentioned in Morgan Stanley’s list of deflation enablers. This is because automation and cloud-based platforms reduce costs and relieve employees of menial tasks, allowing them to focus on other opportunities that improve the productivity of the company.

4 Corner IT can assist you and your company with all things automation-related. We also can assist you in getting the most out of your technology solutions in other ways. Our managed IT services will give you and your business the support needed to succeed in a competitive and fast-paced business environment. To learn more, please contact us today at 954.474.2204.

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Tip of the Week: Maintaining Software that Fits Your Business

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Businesses use different types of software to fulfill various tasks and functions throughout the workday, but there are certain practices you can implement today that can help you better manage your software solutions. Here are three ways your organization can take better care of its software infrastructure, regardless of industry or business size. 

Be Wary of Shadow IT 

If you don’t provide employees with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively, they will more often than not go out of their way to find tools themselves. This can lead to unregulated software on your infrastructure that is not monitored or maintained by your business, also known as “shadow IT.” The easiest way to prevent shadow IT from becoming a thing for your business is to make sure your staff have access to all of the solutions they need right from the get-go. This might mean providing them with an entire productivity suite or specialized software based on their role within your organization. 

Appropriately Manage Subscriptions 

In today’s age of “as a service” offerings, it’s easy to purchase a solution for one project but forget to cancel it when the project is done and over with. These additional subscriptions that are entirely unnecessary can add up if you aren’t paying attention. We recommend that you perform an audit on the regular to ensure that you aren’t paying for services that are not being used on a regular basis. 

Apply Software Patches and Security Updates 

Software developers frequently have to issue patches and security updates to their creations to offset the progress made by hackers or to cover up oversights during the initial development cycle. It’s your responsibility to make sure any patches or updates are applied in a timely manner; failing to do so could put your business at risk of security issues down the road.  

One way many businesses have managed to successfully keep tabs on their software infrastructure is to implement Software-as-a-Service offerings for the majority of their operations. SaaS helps businesses by providing them with an affordable and scalable infrastructure for their software needs, including an easy way to manage licenses and subscriptions. We also recommend you implement a software management platform that gives you the ability to see, at a glance, all of the applications in use on your infrastructure at any given moment. 

4 Corner IT can help your organization implement any SaaS offering or software management platform. To learn more about what we can do for your business, reach out to us at 954-474-2204. 

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In-House or Remote, Automated Tools Bring Value

Automation, as a concept, is a valuable capability… whether an employee is working remotely or is located in the office for regular operations. Indeed, many businesses are now encouraging their team members to do both. Let’s review how a hybrid workplace can have a positive experience with automation in place… and why it’s essential for security’s sake.

What Can Be Accomplished Through Automation?

There are many business processes that automation can make more efficient simply by removing the limitations inherent in human involvement (not to mention that the human worker can spend their time on other tasks).

For example, data can be processed much more quickly than an employee could ever do manually, making automation an excellent asset for that reason alone. Of course, this is far from the only advantage that automation can provide to your hybrid workforce. Another primary reason to use automated solutions is for the sake of your security.

Automated Security Brings Benefits to Remote and In-House Team Members

Automatic Security Helps Fight Automated Attacks

Sometimes, you have to fight fire with fire. Modern cybercriminals have embraced automation and other artificially intelligent threat vectors. To stop these attacks effectively, systems that can independently evaluate and mitigate potential threats will be critical.

Automated Tools Provide a Bird’s-Eye-View of Your Defenses

In addition to taking the majority of the workload off your team members where handling threats are involved, an automated security system can help by providing critical insights. By observing any devices used to access company resources, your business can use these tools to evaluate where the most significant vulnerabilities lie. This way, you’re given insights into how your security needs to improve.

Automated Tools Can Save Your Team a Lot of Time

Regardless of how you’ve decided to use automation in your company, your team will have less on their plates to distract them from their actual responsibilities. As a result, more time can be dedicated to producing revenues and other, more desirable outcomes.

We can help you manage your operations in such a way that automation serves you to your most significant advantage, as well as putting numerous other benefits into place. Give us a call at (954) 474-2204 to learn more.

Applying Life Lessons to Improve Your IT

Update System Upgrade Software version technology concept on virtual screen.

Sometimes it can be challenging to manage your IT solutions, but much of the advice that applies to technology is just general advice for living a good life. Let’s take a deeper dive into these ideas and see if we can use specific life lessons in a business IT setting when it comes time to improve your IT.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Your IT infrastructure will present you with unexpected circumstances, so the best you can do is not let them catch you unawares. Your servers could fail someday, or a hacker could infiltrate your network and put your data at risk. You might even experience structural damage to your building, rendering it inoperable.

But believe it or not, you can prepare for these kinds of events. You need to understand that the unexpected can happen anytime, so you must implement preventative measures and plans to handle them when they do surface.

Don’t Skimp on Quality

There are certain parts of running a business that you can get away with spending a little less on, like the office K-Cups or generic brand snacks, but IT is certainly not one of these things. The lower the quality goods you purchase for your business, the more you are likely to spend in the long term finding the appropriate solution. You might even wind up paying more to replace hardware or purchasing new solutions entirely.

You should prepare to plan your expenses around the kind of business you want to run. This means implementing only what works best for you and not the accepted norm. Neither company is the same, so their IT shouldn’t be, either.

You Don’t Have to Know Everything

Just like life often is, implementing your IT solutions can be a long and confusing ordeal, one that is full of inaction and incorrect choices. While you might have a broad idea of what your IT infrastructure should look like, it can be hard to make the correct choices. This is fine and expected for someone who might not be an IT professional. Nobody knows everything, and you can’t expect yourself to.

There will always be parts of running a business where there is an apparent knowledge deficit, so make sure that you rely on experts in these fields whenever possible. You might choose to rely on an IT provider to improve your IT in your office, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Better to get it done right the first time!

To learn more about the services we offer and how we can help improve your IT, give 4 Corner IT a call at (954) 474-2204.