Can Your Virtual Assistant Be Hacked?

Can Your Virtual Assistant Be Hacked? Virtual Assistants 101

Almost everyone notices the benefit of using a virtual assistant. In recent years, they have become increasingly popular and can be used to provide answers to just any question you have.

They offer a wide range of benefits. And if you want them to provide an answer to a question, they’ll need to listen to your voice—an approach that has raised lots of questions about privacy. People ask if virtual assistants can be hacked, but there is more to learn.

All virtual assistants are equipped with top-level security features. But this doesn’t mean that hacking is not possible. With millions of smart devices installed in homes, they can attract hackers. And in fact, security experts say attackers can gain access to a virtual assistant by simply deploying certain tools—and it is essential that you secure yourself.

How Can a Virtual Assistant Be Hacked?
A virtual assistant is often controlled by speaking to it. And this helps the owners handle a few tasks because their assistants hear their requests and provide answers when they are asked to do something.

Unfortunately, these channels have also been leveraged by hackers. Instead of speaking directly to the technology, they use ultrasonic waves or lasers to issue voice commands from a distance.

A laser can be used by simply pointing directly at the device’s microphone, and you can issue commands. It will create small movements in the microphone’s diaphragm, which the virtual assistant will interpret as a sound. And according to research, these attacks can be carried out from several distances, up to 110 meters away. For instance, hackers may also leverage ultraviolet lasers, which can not be seen.

However, most hackers find ultrasonic waves more effective. They are usually silent, meaning that you could be around your device yet unaware that it is being accessed using ultrasonic. In addition, they can penetrate obstacles, meaning they can be performed from several distances away, traveling through physical obstacles—even outside your home. Virtual assistants can hardly identify the difference between real voice commands and ultrasonic waves.

A virtual assistant will respond with audio regardless of what you use to issue a command. Unfortunately, this is not much of a hurdle for hackers to get by. Their first command is to lower the volume.

What Can a Hacker Do With a Virtual Assistant?
The havoc that can be executed with a virtual assistant depends on what you connect your device to. If your virtual assistant is connected to your security system, hackers can leverage it to access your home. And this is, in fact, why many smart locks request PINs.

Also, if your assistant is connected to your car, attackers could use it to unlock your car security and even move your car. Hackers will leverage it to make online purchases if it is linked to your payment details.

Some virtual assistants require you to download apps using voice commands. A hacker could leverage this to download malicious apps that can help them spy on your activity or steal sensitive information.

How Can You Secure a Virtual Assistant From Hackers?
Whether you suspect unusual activity on your devices or not, protecting your virtual assistant against hackers is a very important thing to do. The methods are quite easy. But some may make your device less functional.

1. Consider Network Segmentation
Network segmentation plays a key role here, making it easy to track breaches and potential threats on your network. So what is network segmentation? It is a network security strategy that involves segmenting physical networks into different sub-networks to deliver unique security features and controls for clarity and ease of management.

Once you can subdivide your network, you can easily monitor activities in your systems, pinpoint network inefficiencies and bolster your security infrastructure. In addition, compartmentalization allows network administrators to adapt security controls with greater precision, and two ways you can implement segmentation is through physical or virtual segmentation.

Just as the name implies, physical segmentation means using dedicated hardware to create closed-off networks. With it, each network segment would require a separate internet connection, firewall, and physical hardware. This method is also known as perimeter-based segmentation.

Virtual segmentation flips the perimeter and allows the creation of numerous virtual structures for easier supervision, offering virtually similar advantages to the physical approach and distribution to prevent flaws in the system.

Network segmentation helps to enforce security policies and create boundaries between teams to prevent data breaches while also helping to enhance network traffic distribution and boosting overall performance.

2. Avoid Connecting Your Virtual Assistant to All Your Devices

Your virtual assistant is meant to assist you with various things, including controlling the lights, thermostats, and other devices. However, it would help if you connected them to only very important devices. Reconsider your decision to connect to your car and critical security devices and only opt for devices that pose less security threat in an attack.

3. Hide or Turn Off the Microphone
Hackers usually need your device’s microphone to control it with a laser. Hence, you can prevent laser-based attacks by turning off the microphone and keeping it away from windows.

Turning off your microphone isn’t always feasible, but you should consider it, especially when you are away from home. That will make it difficult for hackers to hack your systems when you are not at home.

Here Are The Benefits of Business Fibre Enterprise Ethernet For Business Owners

For a business to function, having a dependable and quick internet connection is essential. Most likely, you’ve heard the term “enterprise ethernet” used in connection with this but are unaware of what it means.

Read on to learn more about enterprise ethernet and its benefits. As a business owner, you might want to consider this service.

What is enterprise ethernet?
A strong corporate fibre network built with the future in mind is what business NBN enterprise ethernet is all about. It is a tool built especially for companies bringing their operations online and needing the extra data and security that goes along with it. When discussing fibre internet, the term “enterprise” refers to the type of internet that was originally only available to very large businesses.

What are its benefits?
Flexibility
Having a flexible internet plan is essential for scaling up businesses because businesses can evolve in a matter of days. This opportunity is provided by business enterprise ethernet, which was created to give a flexible response to corporate expansion.

Your service can be adjusted to your business demands, from hiring more people to implementing bandwidth-intensive applications. This keeps productivity and collaboration high throughout periods of expansion and helps minimise administration problems when switching between services.

Same upload and download speeds
Anything over 25 Mbps is considered good internet speed. Most internet activities, including emailing, video conferencing, and online gaming, can be supported at this speed.

On the other hand, fast home internet means having a download speed of 200 Mbps and an upload speed of 20 to 25 Mbps.

Cloud-based applications that offer upload speeds as quick as their download speeds have been introduced in the many offices. To allow simultaneous uploading and downloading activities such as cloud computing and video conferencing, businesses need the internet.

This is supported by business fibre enterprise ethernet, which provides equal upload and download speeds. These can be adapted to your particular company requirements depending on how much of your operations rely on web applications.

For more information, you may check the website of Swoop.

Data prioritisation
There will be times when the network’s capacity is exceeded by data, which could lead to congestion and delays. Priority data, on the other hand, is different from other data in that not all data are created equal.

According to the NBN: “Enterprise ethernet’s priority data options can help you manage your data when it matters. At times data over the NBN network exceeds the capacity of the network, causing congestion. With enterprise ethernet’s priority data option, your business applications can be prioritised ahead of other residential and business data using the NBN network.”

In order to prioritise your business apps during periods of high download volume and allow you to have more consistent network performance, priority data is used to help categorise your business applications. Your traffic will be prioritised using business fibre enterprise ethernet, resulting in less congestion and more reliability.

Great customer service

With technology, things don’t always turn out as they should. When there is no direct contact information given, it can be frustrating for someone trying to troubleshoot internet issues. Because business NBN powers enterprise ethernet, your company will have access to enterprise-level customer support services.

This makes it easier to manage end-to-end fibre connections, gives you the option to escalate problems to the telco’s restoration team, and guarantees that business owners like you get priority for quick fixes.

Wrap up
Business fibre enterprise ethernet is a form of internet service that provides the user with high speed internet connection.

Business fibre is a type of broadband infrastructure that provides faster speeds for businesses. Business fibres are able to provide higher bandwidths over longer distances than other types of broadband, which means they can be used in larger buildings or across towns.

How To Choose The Transcription Service

In today’s competitive online world, all transcription services claim to be the best and offer excellent quality service at affordable rates. That’s neither new nor incredible. That is just misleading. If all you do is an online research, it will be quite a challenge to weed out chatterboxes from quality organizations. So, here are few measurable and beneficial pointers that will help you select right service for you.

Understand your requirement:

Whether you are a medical practitioner looking for advanced and sophisticated medical transcription or a business that may want to hire a vendor for market research project underway, you need a transcription service that fits your need. Do you always need to opt for a specialist? Or can a general transcription service provider fit the bill as well? You need to understand what you want before you start exhaustive online research. You must be clear about certain details. Here are primary criteria to weigh your company and project for this particular requirement.

• Specialization and type of project
• Urgency
• Expected turnaround time
• Online or local service
• Budget

Specialization and type of project will let you know whether you need undivided attention of best and brightest medical transcription professionals or a small company with a personal touch can get the job done. Urgency of your project will decide amount of time you can invest in research, selection and free trials.

Understand transcription services:

If your project is a considerably sized and crucial one, every minute spent in a targeted selection of right company can be well worth it. You don’t always need the largest transcription company in USA or the best transcription service in Illinois. Here is what you need to look for.

• Specialization: Two types of services are available today. There are specialized ones and general ones that cater to primary transcription sectors like academic, business, conference, market research, journalist, and legal transcription services. Choose right one from bunch.

• Turnaround time: Reliable transcription services offer flexible turnaround times to match your needs. Whether you want it STAT or you have a specific deadline, flexibility of service is very important.

• Industry compliance: This is applicable to medical transcriptions. You need to confirm that the transcription company is 100% HIPPA compliant.

• Quality staff: Emphasis on quality professionals is an understatement. There is just no good alternative to quality professionals. You might want to contact prospective companies and seek clarification on it.

So, select the best transcription service with great reviews and testimonials or take a chance on new one. Right service is supposed to offer accurate output in predetermined timeframe.