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Written by Solène Gabellec
on October 28, 2019

Cyber security is a major issue for everyone—from individuals who just want to avoid getting their identities stolen to multinational conglomerates with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. However, there’s a misconception that network security and data breach prevention always requires massively complicated and expensive cyber security resources.

While proper cyber protection tools are critical, and it’s not a good idea to skimp on security breach prevention, there are many security resources out there that individuals and companies can use to protect themselves without spending a dime. These tools might not be the only ones you want to use to protect yourself or your company from network security threats, but they can prove incredibly useful for mitigating data breach risks.

What are these free cyber security resources? There are far too many to cover them all, but here’s a short list of some of the ones that are amongst the Knogin team’s favorites:

Cyber Security Resource #1: Nomoreransom.org’s Ransomware Recovery

Information security means more than just preventing data leaks—it also means being able to maintain access to the data you need on a daily basis. For businesses, the transaction data for accounts payable/receivable, inventory information, and customer profile data is crucial for their ongoing operations. Without access to this data, business grinds to an immediate halt.

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts all of the data on a computer or computer network, rendering it unusable to the owner. Once the encryption is complete, the user is given an ultimatum: “Pay up or lose your precious data forever.” The victim is forced to pay a ransom to get the encryption key to the ransomware so they can access their data again (though payment doesn’t guarantee delivery of the key, or that the attacker won’t hit the victim with another attack in the future).

Nomoreransom.org is a free cyber security resource that seeks to help individuals and businesses who have been struck by ransomware with both useful ransomware prevention advice and a set of ransomware decryption tools. While prevention and preparation is the best way to deal with ransomware (especially setting up remote backups of critical information), nomoreransom.org’s list of decryption tools can help some who have been affected by ransomware recover from the attack without having to pay the ransom.

Cyber Security Resource #2: Haveibeenpwned.com’s Email Security Breach Notification

Haveibeenpwned.com has a very simple tool for checking if your email account has been compromised in a recent data breach. To use it, all you have to do is visit their site and enter your email address into their search tool. From there, the tool will search a list of recent information security breaches to see if the email has been compromised.

The site also offers tips for avoiding being “pwned” by using strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and other security breach prevention tips.

Cyber Security Resource #3: Wheregoes.com’s Shortened URL Previews

Shortened URLs are a common tool for businesses to take long URLs and turn them into something less visually intimidating. However, cybercriminals often take advantage of shortened URL redirects to disguise their malware-laden hyperlinks as ones leading to legitimate websites. Carelessly clicking on these malicious shortened URLs can lead to data breaches and other information security problems.

So, to enable better security breach prevention, it’s important to know where a shortened URL leads before clicking on it. This is where the wheregoes.com shortened URL checker comes in handy. This URL checker shows users the “entire path of redirects and meta-refreshes that lead to the final destination” of a shortened URL—preventing nasty surprises.

Cyber Security Resource #4: Opswat.com’s File Checker

Avoiding the download of suspicious files is a basic tenet of information security breach prevention. However, it can be hard to determine whether or not a file is suspicious before you download it. This is where OPSWAT’s file checker tool can come in handy.

To use the tool, simply enter a file, URL, IP address, HASH, or CVE into the tools analyze bar. OPSWAT’s MetaDefender solution will then check the file for free—though they will share their findings with the cyber security community (something you agree to by sharing the file in the first place).

This can go a long way towards helping you avoid network security breaches by allowing you to check the validity and security of files before trying to execute them.

These are just a few of the free cyber security resources that you can find online. Do you need help identifying cyber security threats early? Sign up for Knogin’s free cyber security tool to get started!

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