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‘CAMA Allows Electronic Share Transfer, Virtual Meetings’

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The Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 now permits electronic share transfer and private companies to hold their general meetings virtually, the Head of Legal, Compliance and Governance, Advans Lafayette Microfinance Bank Limited, Jennifer Halim-Ubahakwe, has said.
She said this in a statement titled ‘CAMA 2020 allows electronic share transfer, virtual general meetings’ last Friday.
She described the new CAMA as Nigeria’s most significant business legislation in three decades, saying it introduced new provisions that promoted ease of doing business and reduced regulatory hurdles.
Speaking on the impact of the reduction of filing fees for registration of charges for those aspiring to register their businesses in Nigeria, Halim-Ubahakwe said the provision introduced a significant reduction in the fees payable for the registration of charges.
“It is a good incentive for potential and established businesses in Nigeria, especially for those in the lending market, as it saves cost and allows for ease of doing business,” she said.
Prior to the repeal of CAMA 2004, the fees for filing and registration of charges as applicable to both private and public companies were N10,000 on every N1million (1 per cent) and N20,000 on every N1million (2 per cent) respectively, the statement said.
It said, “By section 222 (12) of the new CAMA, 2020, the total fees payable to the commission with respect to the filing, registration or release of a charge with the commission should not exceed 0.35 percent of the value of the charge or such other amount as the minister may specify in the Federal Government gazette.
“The Act introduces a framework for rescuing a company in distress and to keep it alive, which gives some assurance and comfort to founders and investors as against allowing such entity to become insolvent.
“SMEs can leverage on the company voluntary arrangement and the administration provisions of the new Act.”
“Under company voluntary arrangement, the directors may make a proposal to its creditors for a negotiated arrangement towards the satisfaction of its debt or a scheme of arrangement of its affairs to prevent the company from being wound up.”

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AWS Security Audit: Things To Keep In Mind, Checklist, and Tools

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AWS security audits are important for any organization looking to assess its IT Security. AWS security audits involve both a technical and non-technical review of all major systems, networks, databases and applications. The audit also includes an assessment of the organization’s risk tolerance level in order to prioritize remediation efforts. 

AWS security auditing is also essential when it comes time to ensure compliance with industry standards like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act), PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and ISO 27001/27002 (International Organization for Standardization Security Standards, ISO 27001 specifically.

This blog post will provide you with some tips on things to keep in mind, a checklist, and tools and processes that your company can use for performing security audits on your AWS environments.

5 Things to keep in mind during security audit for your AWS

  1. Security assessment of the existing environment.
  2. Security assessment for new/future services and products.
  3. Review AWS managed security service (ex. IAM, encryption) availability, performance & capacity limits.
  4. Security assessments at the application layer include web applications servers like Apache or Nginx running on ECWs and databases like MySQL or Oracle Database running in RDS instances.
  5. Security audits for any other technologies that are used by your organization can be performed as well. 
  6. You should also ensure network segmentation between cloud resources and create a secure baseline configuration with an eye toward best practices around networking, operating systems deployment processes, patching processes, monitoring tools, etc.

A security assessment is not a single snapshot of the environment. It’s an ongoing process that enables continuous monitoring, discovery and improvement by identifying vulnerabilities, threats or exposures to assets before they become issues.

AWS security audit checklist

  • Perform risk assessments in order to understand the business impact/criticality of assets being reviewed.
  • Perform AWS penetration testing to discover potential vulnerabilities and misconfiguration issues in your AWS environment
  • Identify current controls & their effectiveness/scope – e.g., existing access control lists (ACLs) around VPC subnets or network ACL rules controlling traffic between ECWs.
  • Ensure PCI DSS compliance checklist is completed by third-party service providers who manage payment card information data.
  • Determine if AWS managed services meet data protection requirements as outlined in the ISO 27001 and 27002 standards.
  • Identify data flows, compute usage and potential attack vectors.
  • Conduct a network penetration test to identify possible security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by an attacker to gain access into your AWS environment.
  • Review configuration management dashboards for all servers/networks/applications and ensure configurations are set correctly (e.g., SSL certificates with right expiration date) – third-party tools like CloudSploit can help here.
  • Ensure you understand what is happening on the wire where it counts: between ECWs, RDS instances or across VPCs (VPC peering etc.) – NetFlow logs from EBS volumes or Elastic Network Interfaces (ENIs) can be helpful here.
  • Monitor network activity and look for anomalies – e.g., unusual traffic flows coming from an ECW to a known bad actor IP address or application-level data exfiltration attempts.
  • Review AWS CloudTrail logs to see who is trying to access what, when they are doing it, where the requests are originating from/going to etc.
  • Create alerts on security metrics that show abnormal behaviour (e.g., increase in failed login attempts into RDS instances). These patterns should then be cross-referenced with other sources of information like VPC flow logs or network ACLs & firewall rules around subnets.

AWS security audit tools

1) AWS Security Hub

This new service is a centralised location to monitor, track and act on all security-related events for your AWS environment. This includes notifications about third-party configuration issues with services like Elastic Load Balancing or Amazon API Gateway as well as vulnerabilities in other software packages running within ECWs (e.g., Apache Struts). Other data sources include the following: VPC flow logs, CloudTrail event histories, network ACLs/firewall rules around subnets etc. Run automated remediation tasks directly from this console when required too!

2) CloudWatch Events

Get notified via email & Slack of critical changes to your systems that require immediate attention – e.g., an administrator has just deleted an important ECW or security group.

3) CloudFront Access Logs

Get notified via email & Slack of unauthorised access to your SaaS services – e.g., someone has just launched a DDoS attack against one of the databases hosted on an RDS instance!

4) AWS Config Rules

Periodically check that all CloudWatch alarms for metrics like “CPU usage” and “free EBS volume space” are working as expected. Automatically remediate if they’re not (e.g., launch another ECW, increase alarm thresholds etc.)! Or simply use Amazon Inspector which will do this for you automatically (see below).

5) Amazon Inspector

This service provides deep insights into what’s running within any given AWS environment – including any vulnerable software packages or misconfigurations that could lead to a security breach.

6) Amazon Macie

This service uses machine learning and big-data techniques to automatically discover, classify & protect sensitive data stored within your AWS environment – e.g., PHI/PII data belonging to customers (e.g., Social Security Numbers). It can help you meet compliance requirements outlined by industry standards like HIPAA, PCI DSS etc..

7) AWS Config Rules

This new feature allows you to validate configuration settings across all ECWs in an AWS account for services like Amazon SNS/Kinesis/DynamoDB and resolve issues before they affect production environments (e.g., workflows executed against the affected resources will fail if rules are violated).

Each of the above services/tools should be used to help you continuously improve your AWS security posture – by allowing you to identify & fix configuration errors before they affect production environments. If one service isn’t sufficient enough, simply use two or more in conjunction with each other!

Summing Up…

If you want to be sure that your organization is safe from hackers, then it’s important to do an AWS security audit. A lot of companies are now realizing the importance of this and have been doing these audits as a precautionary measure. In today’s world where technology has taken over our lives, we need to make sure that we don’t make any mistakes with data security because there will always be someone looking for vulnerabilities in order to exploit them. So, keep your business safe!

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6 Steps to Ensure WordPress Security

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As a WordPress site owner, you are constantly checking for new and updated security practices to ensure maximum safety for your site and its customers. After all, WordPress is no stranger to security vulnerabilities popping up now and then, thus compromising your business. However, there is a significant role played by users of the platform not following the best security practices approved by experts in the field. If you are looking for WordPress malware removal, follow this guide – https://www.getastra.com/blog/911/wordpress-hacked/

Here are a couple of strategies you can follow to enhance WordPress security.

  1. Secure your hosting platform

Your host needs to follow certain approved security practices from its side to ensure that your site isn’t placed in any compromising situations. Along with this, it is ideal that you possess enough technical knowledge to understand and make informed decisions regarding ramping up of security.

Server hardening is the key to maintaining rigid security levels. Here, multiple layers of hardware and software security measures are required to improve the IT infrastructure handling the WordPress site and allow it to defend against all kinds of threats. This means the latest operating system (OS) and security software that’s tested for malware and scanned for vulnerabilities.

We’re also looking at efficient firewall systems, systems that can detect intrusions, and software that is strong enough to protect the site even when WordPress is being installed or constructed. Always make sure that all such software and the hosting platform itself is compatible with the latest database management systems for maximum security and performance.

The right levels of configuration for the system will be based on secure networking and file transfer encryption protocol (SFTP instead of FTP) to barricade sensitive content from prying eyes.

  1. Username and Password

This is a repetitive instruction, and yet, frequently violated despite being one of the simplest and most effective ways to strengthen your WordPress site security. Complexity is your friend and the hacker’s enemy. Google has facilities like ‘Strong Password Generator’ that can be used for this purpose, although there is some criticism regarding its security against brute force attacks.

An important provision for using – and remembering – such complex login credentials is storing them in secure channels i.e, password managers. You can either store them online or in a locally encrypted database on the computer. Also, create a unique WordPress username after deleting the default ‘admin’ user (if this exists) – do this by adding a new user under ‘Users’ in the dashboard and then provide it the ‘Administrator’ credentials. Remember to choose ‘attribute all content to’ when deleting the default user and choose your new user for changing the author of the posts on the site.

  1. Keep updating

WordPress security hardening is synonymous with updates – be it WordPress or the extensions such as themes and plugins used. Updates always include important security fixes, enhancements, and bug fixes, making it necessary. 55.9% of hacking attempts generate from backdoors established in outdated versions or extensions.

Only install trusted plugins, especially those under ‘trusted’ and ‘featured’ categories; you can also download it directly from WordPress’ official repository. Make it a point to limit the nulled WordPress plugins and themes installed on your site as well.

  1. Lock down the WordPress admin access

There is the contrast of being widely available for your customers while being as obscure as possible in terms of admin access. This also makes it difficult for them to find backdoors for entry. Two ways of doing this is limiting login attempts and changing the default wp-admin login URL. There are free plugins that allow you to take both of these measures such as lockout durations, IP blacklisting or whitelisting, login attempts, etc. Keep a tap of your Google webmaster security tab for any issues too.

Add basic HTTP authentication – you can lockdown your admin using this method as well. Using this on membership or ecommerce sites might not be optimal, but it is a good measure against bots targeting the site.

If you’re using a cPanel host, you can also enable the password-protected directories from the control panel manually.

  1. Utilize the 2-factor authentication process

To cover for the risk of being discovered in terms of login credentials, we have the 2-factor authentication process which could be as a one-time password (OTP), SMS, or captcha.

  1. Use HTTPS for encrypted connections – SSL certification

Installing an SSL certificate and running your site on HTTPS is another simple way to ensure basic security at very little costs and maximum benefits. It allows your browser or web application to securely connect with another website and is useful regardless of whether you accept credit card information. Beyond added security, you also get improved SEO rankings from search engines like Google, and can bypass security warnings from Google Chrome, building trust and credibility with your visitors.

These are a few steps with which you can improve security of your WordPress site – for more efficient methods and minimal effort from your side, check out Astra Security!

 

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NITDA To Develop Multi-Billion Naira Data Privacy Sector In 2021

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says the agency is set to develop a multi-billion naira data privacy sector for job creation in 2021.
The NITDA’s Director-General, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, made this known on Monday in Abuja at the virtual news conference to open the 2021 National Data Privacy Week.
Data Privacy Week is a global event held every last week in January, while this year’s celebration falls between Jan. 25 and Jan. 28.
Inuwa said that boosting the data privacy sector would be through consolidated implementation of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).
According to him, the NDPR established in Jan. 25, 2019 by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami is designed to guide the use of data in public places.
“It will also meet the global principles on data protection, especially the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR),’’ the director-general said.
He said that the NDPR recorded huge success between 2019 and 2020, through sustained public awareness, training, workshops for Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCOs) and Data Breach Investigation Team (DBIT).
He further said that data privacy was challenged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis which led to mental health crisis, thereby impeding compliance and enforcement of the regulation.
“We are going to redouble our efforts in the direction of enforcement and compliance as data protection has become a pivot for the continued growth of the digital economy,’’ Inuwa said.

Inuwa, however, said that the agency was going to create more awareness on the regulation, further work with the media to upscale its publicity and build capacity of officers on data protection management in collaboration with stakeholders.
“Our current effort at enforcement is salutary but not nearly enough, we are considering all options to ensure we do not kill businesses while also ensuring businesses do not kill Nigerians through wanton abuse of their data,’’ he said.

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