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Coronavirus/ Global health – Defending against Cyber attacks and Securing remote access

In the current scenario of Covid-19, sharing comments around defending against cyberattacks and securing remote access from CyberArk. 

Securing remote access (Rohan Vaidya, Director of Sales, CyberArk India)

“As the number of employees working remotely increases rapidly, providing them with secure access to company systems, applications and data from outside their employer’s corporate network at short notice can often result in complications.

“Without a private internet connection, remote users requiring access to critical systems must rely on a combination of VPNs, MFA and remote access control solutions in order to authenticate and access what they need. Traditional enterprise identity management systems and access control solutions, for example, are typically designed to authenticate company employees and corporate-owned devices in controlled environments. Unfortunately, they are no longer well suited for securing third-party staff and external devices, particularly those that are still running on Windows 7, which are likely to be more vulnerable to security risks after Microsoft ended its support for the system earlier this year.

“These security systems can be easy to bypass and are not designed to provide granular access, which is often essential to make use of an organisation’s most critical internal resources. Even with ample time to plan and implement a solution – which under the current circumstances most companies don’t have – securing remote access is a difficult proposition for many organisations.

“Providing secure remote access also requires regular, proactive auditing of access privileges, which are likely to change substantially from day-to-day or week-to-week in the near future, particularly for third parties. These requirements render conventional identity management schemes based on user IDs and passwords fairly impractical in this context, as they do not cater for constantly changing credentials and access rights.”

“Businesses must consider privileged access security, which provides greater visibility of – and control over – remote access to enterprise networks, as more and more employees work remotely. Privileged access management employs biometrics, zero trust and just-in-time provisioning to reliably authenticate remote vendor access to the most sensitive parts of the corporate network. In the current environment, where endpoint devices have disparate levels of security and the office environment can be a café, car or home office, cyber security needs to match the flexibility of modern working to best ensure business continuity.”

Coronavirus / Global health – defending against attacks (Rich Turner, SVP EMEA, CyberArk)

“When critical situations arise that prey on human concerns, there are often added cyber risks in the form of bad actors trying to capitalise on people’s fears. The current global health crisis is no different, with the WHO warning of hackers launching carefully coordinated phishing emails purporting to offer updates on the situation. In the Czech Republic, reports also indicate that hackers are targeting hospitals fighting the outbreak with ransomware attacks, showing the lengths hackers will go to in pursuit of monetary gain.“Attackers will continue to exploit vulnerabilities in the human psyche through social engineering and phishing-based attacks, and many will succeed in infiltrating corporate networks across a range of different industries. Businesses must meet this challenge by adopting privileged access management to prevent the lateral spread of an attack. By proactively managing and rotating high-value ‘privileged’ credentials and limiting user access to only the information and tools needed to perform their immediate role, an attacker’s route to critical data and assets can be contained, reducing their ability to exfiltrate information or disrupt operations.”

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