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Corona Statement

Dear Customer and/or Partner,

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting people all over the world and forces businesses to far-reaching health and safety measures. We want to assure you we remain committed to providing the best possible service despite the challenges we all currently face.

At SecurIT, our people are the heart of our business. This means that we take no risks concerning the health and wellbeing of our people, customers, their families, and society at large. We shall, therefore, fully comply with all relevant measures that we are asked to take by government officials and health experts.

We have taken several measures to minimize the risk of infection with the COVID19 Virus for both our personnel and third parties.

Below some of the measures:

· We have closed our offices in Amsterdam and Greenville, and all our employees work from home.

. Our support organization can be contacted as usual.

· All (physical) internal and external meetings and appointments have been canceled. Where possible, we meet and get in touch through electronic means.

 We strive to continue to serve our customers as usual and to ensure that the service for your customers will continue optimally.

Take care and stay safe.



In light of recent news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, many employees may suddenly need to work from home. If employees can’t access applications and information securely from remote locations, their productivity will decrease and the security of key corporate assets will be at risk. Together with our partner Ping Identity, we are prepared to help IT organizations with the following immediate steps to ensure employees can be productive anywhere in the world.  
1 Put multi-factor authentication everywhere
52% of data breaches are due to hacking, and of those, 80% are due to weak or compromised passwords.1 Multi-factor authentication (MFA) can reduce password risk by 99.9%.2 Putting MFA everywhere is a no-brainer, especially on VPN connections and for employees that use personal devices (BYOD) when they work from home.
2Leverage intelligence so that added security doesn’t add friction
As more employees work outside the corporate network, intelligent authentication helps you make better decisions about who should have access to resources. Continuously evaluate risk scores based on user behavior and location to better understand when to grant access, when to step-up authentication or when to deny access—all without impacting employees’ productivity.
3 Being on the network shouldn’t automatically grant access
Organizations enable VPNs for remote access, but this often allows employees to access more than they need. Since 23% of sensitive data breaches are caused by internal employees,3 someone shouldn’t have access to everything just because they’re on the network. To mitigate risk, enforce least-privileged access and establish Zero Trust security for apps, APIs and data.
4 One password is not only more secure, but it’s also more productive
On average, employees spend 10.93 hours per year entering and resetting passwords.4 This slows down remote employees as they sign on to applications to get their work done, like collaboration apps for instant messaging and video conferencing. Federated single sign-on (SSO) and self-service password reset gives employees back all those hours and lets them get back to work. Better yet, strong authentication methods, such as biometrics and FIDO2 keys, can make passwords a thing of the past.
5 Put digital business resources at workers’ fingertips
There’s a streamlined app for just about every business task. But employees may struggle to find all these tools—or just forget to use them now that they’re not in their usual work environment. They may also find them difficult to access, since some are on-prem and some are in the cloud. With a dock for SSO to all digital resources in one place, employees can easily find, access and use apps to get more work done from anywhere.

We want to help you get your work-from-home workforce secure and productive, right now. Get fast, free, cloud SSO and MFA for unlimited apps and unlimited identities. 

1 Verizon 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report
2 Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, 2018
3 Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics Security Survey, 2019
4 Ponemon 2019 State of Password and Authentication Security Behaviors Report


The trend toward a mobile, distributed workforce, including working from home, has been underway for many years. Unfortunately, sudden events like COVID-19, the disease caused by Coronavirus, can shine a harsh spotlight on the need to provide more comprehensive workforce access and productivity solution than what many companies have in place currently. Organizations like Google, Microsoft and Amazon have already encouraged employees to work from home. And JPMorgan Chase, as a precautionary measure for contingency planning, asked 10% of its entire workforce to work from home to test their global remote access capabilities.

Working from home is no longer just a perk to offer employees, but a critical alternative to keep your business running. 

To fully enable a productive remote workforce, organizations need to make working from home seamless. They need to offer a smooth user experience while making sure that systems and data remain secure. In order to evaluate whether your remote working procedures are effective, here are a few questions to consider:

  • Is your organization moving towards an enterprise-wide Zero Trust strategy, or are you still relying on your network as your main security perimeter?
  • Does your organization have strong, intelligent authentication mechanisms in place beyond passwords?
  • Is your organization prepared for a majority of your workforce to work remotely? Can they use their own devices?
  • Can your organization control access beyond the network to the application, data and API layers?

Think Beyond Network Perimeters

For many years, virtual private networks (VPNs) have been the default solution for enabling remote access to work resources. However, the notion that a VPN should legitimize employee access to all of a company’s resources is outdated. In fact, VPNs have been the source of some high profile hacks and were even the subject of an NSA advisory.

Instead of solely relying on VPNs, organizations need a strong identity foundation. That means implementing Zero Trust principles, where by default no network traffic is trusted. Instead, everyone and everything must be verified via centralized authentication services relying on capabilities like single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA). By implementing strong, centralized authentication, organizations are less susceptible to the inherent weaknesses of VPNs. In addition, with an identity foundation based on Zero Trust, organizations can control access beyond the network to assets like applications, data and APIs.


Reduce Passwords Wherever Possible

In terms of security, strong authentication becomes even more critical when your employees are working from home. Passwords alone are not enough, it’s time to augment or replace them with smarter, more secure authentication factors. Using other factors can also result in increased productivity. For example, location tracking can be done in the background and continuously verify employees without interrupting their work.

Multi-factor authentication can mitigate many of the security and productivity issues that come with employees accessing critical business resources from home. It does this by layering various combinations of authentication factors:

  • Knowledge: Something you know (e.g., password, security questions, etc.)
  • Possession: Something you have (e.g., Yubikey, smart card, etc.)
  • Biometric: Something you are (e.g., fingerprint with TouchID, facial recognition with FaceID, etc.)
  • Behavioral: Something you do (e.g., how you type, hold your phone, etc.).

Leveraging easier, more secure factors than passwords gives enterprises the option of reducing password use or going completely passwordless. To reduce password use, organizations often extend the length of user sessions from days to weeks, only requiring password entry during this extended session when a new device is used to sign-on. Organizations can also implement rules around longer sessions, such as only extending session length for users logged in from known locations like a corporate office. 

The next stage of maturity is passwordless login, where an alternative factor (fingerprint, authenticator app, security token, etc.) becomes the primary method of authentication. Further down the path of maturity is a bypass of both the username and password in a “zero login” scenario, enabled by storing a cookie on the employee’s device.

When talking about passwordless authentication, we would be remiss if we didn’t also mention Fast Identity Online (FIDO), a global alliance committed to solving the world’s password problem. By design, the FIDO standard for authentication does not allow passwords to be used under any circumstances. FIDO authentication methods includes device biometrics, security keys, and Windows Hello to increase resistance to advanced phishing attacks, password theft and replay attacks for web authentication.

Examine Your BYOD Strategy

Companies that are shifting to remote work out of necessity may not have the budget or time to issue employees trusted, pre-configured corporate devices. Allowing employees to bring their own devices (commonly known as BYOD) is not only a growing trend but perhaps the only option available in the short term. In order to make BYOD a reality and ensure employee productivity, enterprises require central authentication services that can easily integrate with and leverage signals from mobile device management systems (MDMs).

The integration of your user base and applications with your MDM can be accomplished with a strong identity foundation. Ensure that your central authentication services include easy admin set-up and quick user adoption. From there you can implement MFA to realize the benefits of user-friendly authentication methods (fingerprint, facial recognition) and contextual identifiers (detecting jailbroken devices, user location).

Implement Smarter, Adaptive Access Policies

Network, password and device security are crucial aspects of employee access, but there’s still more to secure. Organizations may be using outdated web access management tools to manage authorization policies for critical legacy or mainframe applications, but they struggle to secure modern resources like single-page apps (SPAs), mobile apps and SaaS. They also may not be giving enough consideration to securing the data or API layers. Enabling adaptive access security is crucial to ensuring your workforce has the right access without introducing unnecessary friction.

The first step toward adaptive access security is to create a centralized authentication service that can extend across all your resources, whether they live in the cloud or on-premises. Once those centralized authentication and authorization policies are in place, you can introduce fine-grained authorization at the data level and analyze API traffic to learn, detect and block potential threats. But this shouldn’t come at the cost of productivity. Smart policies based on dynamic risk scoring can grant access to a user, require step-up authentication if necessary or deny access altogether.

Embrace Identity Intelligence

For a majority of organizations that have embraced the cloud, mobile and “as-a-service” products, the days when the network was the security perimeter are in the past. Organizations need an identity solution that can operate at the speed and scale they’re used to. They also need a solution that can integrate with their existing technology stack and support open standards to future-proof their investments in new technologies.

Identity intelligence enables this vision by connecting all the resources within your enterprise, receiving contextual signals from multiple systems and working across the silos that have grown over time. It’s the ability to ensure secure access without introducing barriers. It serves as the organizational brain that can enforce smart policies with split-second decisions leveraging various sources such as devices, user directories, AI and fraud signals. With intelligent identity in place, your organization can break down the barriers between remote and office work and deliver exceptional employee experiences.

How SecurIT Can Help

Large enterprises in North America and Europe trust SecurIT to enable their remote workforces at scale. They use our intelligent identity solutions to speed up their businesses and allow their employees to get things done, no matter where work happens. SecurIT helps them to ensure that all of your resources are covered. No matter what product you are looking at/for. We help you to get started.

To support organizations in this transition, we’re offering up fast, free usage of selected Ping products. For organizations new to Ping, we are offering cloud-based single-sign-on and multi-factor authentication. And for existing PingFederate workforce customers, we are offering free multi-factor authentication. These products can be deployed rapidly across unlimited users and applications, keeping your work-from-home employees secure and productive.

Deploying Multifactor Authentication: First Steps in Identity Security

Your enterprise needs to begin deploying a multifactor authentication solution on your network. No compromises. Full stop.

These strong statements come with the backing of mountains of cybersecurity and identity management expert research. As much as enterprises still rely on password-based single-factor authentication, it just doesn’t work. Indeed, hackers specifically target these systems because they represent easy marks. Moreover, single-factor authentication leaves you vulnerable to insider threats or even non-human automated attacks.

But how should your enterprise go about deploying multifactor authentication? Which factors should you employ in your identity security policies? Does step-up authentication make sense for your environment? Can you balance identity management with effective business practices?

We answer these questions below.

Why Single Factor Authentication Doesn’t Work

Oftentimes, cybersecurity inertia causes as much damage as evolving digital threats. Enterprises become comfortable and familiar with their current identity and access management solution. Therefore, they continue to use it even as hackers discover and deploy new methods of subverting or exploiting.

Unsurprisingly, this applies to single-factor, password-based authentication. For years it served as the foundation of identity management. Only in the past few years have cybersecurity experts and enterprises realized its inherent weaknesses. The latter, though, continues to struggle with the change.

According to researchers, passwords offer very little in terms of actual identity security. Even inexperienced hackers can crack them or purchase software that automates cracking them. Worse, hackers can now use publicly available information, such as through social media, threat actors can often guess users’ passwords. Distressingly, given the horrible password practices most users embrace, hackers often guess right.

Compounding matters further, users tend to reuse their passwords on multiple accounts, including their work accounts. As a result, any data breach could give threat actors more weapons in their credential stuffing attacks.

Obviously, these facts argue strongly for deploying multifactor authentication yesterday. But how can you do it most effectively?

Why Deploying Multifactor Authentication Matters

The principle rule of thumb regarding authentication is the more steps between access request and access granted, the more secure your enterprise.

Two-factor authentication, therefore, proves much more effective than password-only authentication for exactly this reason. However, more talented threat actors can circumvent the second step in two-factor authentication. In most cases, they can interfere with SMS messaging and trick employees into giving their passwords away without realizing it.

That’s why deploying multifactor authentication—with three, four, five, or more steps, offers so much more identity security in the long term.

Of course, the most dedicated and experienced hackers could subvert your identity security with MFA. However, this would cost them time and effort they could invest in attacking weaker targets; hackers prefer to follow the path of least resistance. Deploying multifactor authentication thus works as cybersecurity protection and as a deterrent.

Here’s how you can get the best identity and access management today.

Get the Right Solution

Deploying multifactor authentication begins with selecting the right IAM or privileged access management (PAM) solution for your enterprise. Privileged access management especially helps protect users’ identities through strong authentication, including your superusers. In fact, many serve as the innovators of MFA factors.

However, not every solution is created equal. Put another way, your distinct business use cases pose unique identity management challenges which not every solution can accommodate. Additionally, the demands of your privileged users naturally differ from those of other enterprises; the number of privileged users, their involvement in your business processes, and what databases they access regularly should affect how you begin deploying multifactor authentication.

Thus, you must select a solution that fits your needs. Don’t skimp on the self-assessment.

Deploy the Right Factors

Multifactor authentication can involve any number of potential factors. These can include:

  • Geofencing.
  • Time of Access Request Monitoring.
  • Physical Biometrics.
  • Behavioral Biometrics.
  • Hard Tokens.
  • SMS Messaging.

This list only scratches the surface of potential multifactor authentication.

However, not every multifactor authentication factor makes sense for every industry or enterprise. For example, SMS text messaging may not offer proper security for more remote workforces; hackers who obtain users’ devices could easily subvert that factor. On the other hand, most mobile devices offer built-in physical biometric readers; this obviously facilitates biometric authentication.

When deploying multifactor authentication, you need to consider what endpoints your users employ in their business processes. Additionally, you need to consider your IT environment and what factors make the most sense for securing it.

What About Step-Up Authentication?

No one disputes the identity security benefits of deploying multifactor authentication. Where enterprise decision-makers tend to balk is the effect MFA has on the user experience.

Indeed, additional steps at the login portal can negatively impact user convenience. In worst-case scenarios, the additional authentication factors can actually inhibit business profits and lengthen response times.

Many cybersecurity experts argue enterprises must sacrifice convenience for true identity security. After all, if your business suffered from the analog equivalent of digital threats, you would probably put up as many checkpoints as possible before granting entry.

Fortunately, step-up authentication offers a means to balance both security and convenience in user authentication. Step-up authentication asks for more authentication factors as the sensitivity of the access requests increases.

For example, a user logs in to the network by inputting only two factors. However, let’s say that the user then wishes to look at a more restricted file. The step-authentication system asks for a third and possibly fourth factor to verify the user first, even though they logged in to the network.

After that, the user requests access to sensitive proprietary data. The system, in turn, asks for more authentication factors, often the most extensive (such as physical biometrics or a hard token).

As you can see, step-up authentication only becomes apparent as users engender further risks. In addition, you can employ step-up authentication only on your privileged accounts, which can do the most damage in the wrong hands.

Deploying multifactor authentication should become a major concern for your enterprise and a top priority. Now’s not the time to let your identity and access management stagnate. Your enemies never stop innovating. Neither should you.

Original post

Customer Identity And Access Management (CIAM) in the Time of Coronavirus

Officials from the Trump administration warn that the era of social distancing might continue for several weeks. Others suggest it could as long as a year or longer. In either case, online retail and remote customer relations continue to dominate the economic landscape. Additionally, so many businesses have chosen to work from home, forcing all customer relationships to go digital. Therefore your business needs to consider its customer identity and access management (CIAM) in the time of coronavirus. 

After all, we can say with no hyperbole that managing your CIAM during the coronavirus could make or break your business in the coming months. 

What is CIAM?

CIAM functions in a similar manner to more traditional identity and access management (IAM). Both provide identity security to their user bases, defending against credentials abuse and authentication failures. However, whereas IAM works to secure and verify employees and third-parties, CIAM does so for customers. 

Thus, CIAM provides recognizable capabilities such as single sign-on, login authentication protections including multifactor authentication, and session monitoring. Simultaneously, CIAM provides distinct capabilities that traditional IAM would never consider implementing. 

These include social sign-on, which uses social media credentials to log in, and password reset self-service in case customers lose or forget them. Since these capabilities could create security vulnerabilities for employees, you need a secure means to provide it to customers.

Furthermore, CIAM can help create a streamlined and personalized digital experience that benefits customers. Unlike employees, you can’t force customers to jump through hoops to verify their identity; attempts to do so only drive away potential customers. In fact, consumers will often judge a company and its products based on the online experience; they could decide to abandon their carts following a poor digital customer experience.

Finally, CIAM helps enterprises collect information on buying habits and purchasing interests. Thus it can facilitate targeted marketing campaigns and personalized experiences. These solutions can securely store this information so hackers cannot steal and exploit it. 

So CIAM clearly provides benefits to consumer-facing enterprises. Why does it matter so much in the time of coronavirus?  ALERT: Cyber threats don’t rest, even during global pandemics.

CIAM in the Time of Coronavirus        

According to Marketing Week, 91 percent of brands predict an increase in their use of online services during the coronavirus outbreak. Customer demands on digital marketplaces and retail spaces will put significant pressure on your workflows. 

Additionally, the coronavirus may have an impact similar to what happened with the SARS pandemic of 2003. This pushed more people to embrace digital commerce, which has become a vital aspect of consumer-facing business’ bottom line. Now, they potentially face the same paradigm shift, but on an even higher scale. 

CIAM can actually help with scalability, assisting with growing your digital environment to match the newfound demand. It can also, as described above, help collect and store customer identity information which can assist with much-needed personalization. Personalization, after all, can help transform first-time customers into recurring customers.

Perhaps most importantly, CIAM during the coronavirus pandemic fortifies the digital perimeter; it helps keep bad actors out of sensitive databases. Hackers prefer to take advantage of troubled times and crises to facilitate their attacks; several studies indicate that they are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of people’s fears. 

Moreover, according to Ping Identity, 81 percent of consumers would stop engaging with a brand online after a data breach. Meanwhile, 63 percent of consumers believe companies are responsible for protecting their data. The long-time viability of your business hinges on its ability to fully authenticate their customers.  

Posted by Ben Canner in Best Practices

CyberArk provides free subscriptions for Alero

As organizations move quickly to do their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 people are working remotely more than ever before.  At CyberArk we have taken action to protect the health and safety of our global community of customers, partners and employees – including having our employees across the globe work from home.

It’s not always easy for organizations to move to full remote work, especially having to balance productivity and security. Sudden, unexpected changes in the amount of work being done from home affects the workflows of remote users – especially those requiring privileged access – and most of the time, organizations don’t have the ability to properly scale. Additionally, attackers are working to capitalize on people’s fears and desire for information, which underscores the need to safeguard critical systems and assets.

Utilizing technology to overcome these challenges can help make these trying times a bit easier. Whether that’s making greater use of video chat and conference calling or allowing secure access to internal systems from anywhere, technology is helping business to continue with as little disruption as possible.

Recently we launched a new use case for CyberArk Alero to address the needs of all remote users (employees and vendors) by providing secure remote access to critical systems managed by CyberArk.

We’ll be offering qualified customers the use of CyberArk Alero at no cost through the end of May in hopes that it will help ease some of the burden associated with the changing work environment.  There are many ways that we, as individuals and as a company, are working to help our communities during this trying time.  As business continuity plans are being tested, we hope to help organizations keep business running securely while putting the health and safety of all of us first.

The offer
Together with CyberArk, we offer the deployment of Alero free of charge for up to 100 users (until 31 May). The deal also includes free 2-day consultancy to set up this SaaS-based solution. These are necessary to prepare Alero for you and to prepare your IT environment remotely.
There are some technical preconditions:

  • CyberArk v10.3 or higher is required;
  • Licenses must be assigned to external users
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    Detailed information about the Alero SaaS solution can be found on the CyberArk website

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please contact us. One of our engineers will determine whether your environment is suitable for this. We can set up a plan for the installation in consultation.

How to Secure Your Remote Workforce During The Coronavirus Crisis

It is undeniable; the coronavirus global pandemic has radically changed everyday business processes. Now many enterprises once focused on their physical premises must contend with a remote workforce unlike any they employed previously. How can you secure your remote workforce during the coronavirus crisis? 

Of course, your business may not feel concerned about cybersecurity at this exact moment. Instead, you may believe it a low priority compared to other challenges including the means of communication among your employees, managers, and third-parties. Alternatively, you may emphasize changing your budgets to accommodate the change in workflows over security.

However, cybersecurity must become a top priority for your enterprise. With an increasingly remote workforce, the digital perimeter becomes proportionally porous and dangerous. Also, maintaining necessary visibility becomes an increasing challenge. Further, remote workforces pose new threats to your overall network security if not prevented promptly. Next-gen endpoint security in particular offers enterprises the means to secure your workforce regardless of their location. Moreover, it helps maintain visibility and defends against remote threats. 

Here’s how you can secure your remote workforce during the coronavirus crisis. 

How to Secure Your Remote Workforce in a Critical Time

1. Embrace the VPN

Even during times of crisis, hackers don’t relent. In fact, they embrace chaos and confusion to further their malicious goals. Additionally, hackers have the infrastructure to take advantage of these events since they tend to work from home already. 

In any case, hackers will continue to try their cyber attacks even as your enterprise embraces an increasingly remote workforce. Thus you need to defend yourself against the most common types of infections. In more social times, public Wi-Fi represented one of the most common vectors of attack for remote workforces. However, any unsecured Wi-Fi connection can suffer from the same issues; namely, they don’t provide the necessary layers of encryption for protecting sensitive data as it moves from device to device. 

Thankfully next-generation endpoint security often includes virtual private networks (VPNs). VPNs encrypt data in transit; thus, they ensure that only the sender and recipient can see sensitive data even when sent across unsecured connections. However, your enterprise needs to find the endpoint security and VPN provider that can match your individual use case.

2. Pair Your Endpoint Security with Strong Authentication

To secure your remote workforce during the coronavirus, you need to consider the structure of your digital perimeter. 

The digital perimeter comprises all of your IT entry points, which includes every user and every device. On the user side of things, you need to deploy a strong authentication protocol. Authentication and identity verification ensures that only legitimate users can access your network; therefore, external threat actors can’t enter and insider threats can’t cause damage above their station. 

One aspect of authentication in regards to remote endpoint security involves device identity management. In addition to every user, every device has its own identity and its own baseline behaviors. If an “employee” logs in with a different device, that should merit investigation by your IT security team. Alternatively, if a recognized device gives the right credentials but begins acting in a strange way (like automatically uploading unknown files) that too should merit investigation.

Device identity functions as an endpoint security layer to overall identity and access management policies. Moreover, it can act as a continuous authentication factor in a multifactor authentication policy, helping to weed out hackers posing as your remote workforce. 

One important thing to note when determining how to secure your remote workforce: the more factors, the better. Of course, two-factor authentication (Multifactor authentication/MFA) is better than single-factor authentication, but three or four factors provide even greater assurance. Additionally, factors do not need to be intrusive or upfront at the login stage.  ALERT: Cyber threats don’t rest even during pandemics.

3. Prepare to Secure Every Device of Your Remote Workforce

Many enterprises embrace a bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) culture in their on-premises environment. After all, working off a device they know increases employee productivity and job satisfaction. Yet that doesn’t mean BYOD comes without risk, especially when added to the complication of remote workflows. 

Without proper visibility, you may not know what data is stored on each device. In fact, your employees may not realize the data they have stored on their devices. Thankfully, next-generation endpoint security can enforce Data Loss Protection (DLP) capabilities. This keeps a close eye on your sensitive data, ensuring that it doesn’t leave the network without permission. Also, DLP prevents users from storing enterprise data without permission, especially to notoriously porous public cloud databases.

Looking at the big picture, your endpoint security needs to provide a consistent level of cybersecurity in each device as it connects to your network. Thus you may need a solution that enforces mobile security and mandates that each work-device deploys your selected cybersecurity capabilities before granting access. 

Ultimately, you may never have the power to completely secure your remote workforce. However, you can’t guarantee you secure your on-premise workers either. Every next-generation capability you deploy increases your security and decreases the target on your business. Make sure that you embrace other endpoint security capabilities such as firewalls, antivirus, and application control. Make cybersecurity a priority in the same way you must prioritize your physical health.

Get endpoint security now, before you face a digital threat. Waiting until after a threat occurs only invites more attackers. Make the right call for these difficult times.

Posted by Ben Canner in Best Practices

Hackers are using coronavirus maps to infect your computer

As coronavirus threatens to become a global pandemic, everyone’s keeping a close eye on how it’s spreading across the world. Several organizations have made dashboards to keep track of COVID-19. But now, hackers have found a way to use these dashboards to inject malware into computers.

Shai Alfasi, a security researcher at Reason Labs, found that hackers are using these maps to steal information of users including user names, passwords, credit card numbers, and other info stored in your browser. Volume 0%01:2100:0304:28

[Read: Google now displays health info from the NHS directly in search results]

Attackers design websites related to coronavirus in order to prompt you to download an application to keep you updated on the situation. This application doesn’t need any installation and shows you a map of how COVID-19 is spreading. However, it is a front for attackers to generate a malicious binary file and install it on your computer.

Just to be clear, these websites pose as genuine maps for tracking coronavirus but have a different URL or different details from the original source.

Currently, the malware only affects Windows machines. But Alfasi expects attackers to work on a new version that might affect other systems too. 

Hackers are using coronavirus maps to infect your computer 10

Alfasi noted that this method used malicious software known as AZORult, which was first found in 2016. The software is made to steal data from your computer and infect it with other malware as well. 

The researcher noted that AZORult can steal info from your computer including passwords and cryptocurrencies:

It is used to steal browsing history, cookies, ID/passwords, cryptocurrency and more. It can also download additional malware onto infected machines. AZORult is commonly sold on Russian underground forums for the purpose of collecting sensitive data from an infected computer. 

A new variant of AZORult installs a secret admin account on your computer to perform remote attacks. 

Earlier this month, research from security firm Check Point noted that coronavirus related domains are 50 percent more likely to install malware in your system.

While it’s important to gain information regarding coronavirus, you should only use verified dashboards to keep a tab on it to avoid getting hacked.

Original article is from

Key Industries Most Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks This 2020

Last year has been a mess at best in terms of the growing complexity and ubiquity of cybersecurity, and experts estimate that this year won’t be any different.

 The 2020 PWC’s annual CEO survey found that top executives in North America reported cybersecurity as their top concern, with half of the respondents describing “extreme concern” over their cyber vulnerabilities. As the data breaches and attacks become more ubiquitous, with estimates equating to 1 every 5 minutes since GDPR laws came into force, organizations are bracing themselves for 2020’s cybersecurity threats.

 While cybercriminals seldom discriminate, some industries are more vulnerable than others. So, here are five of the most at-risk industries and sectors to cyber attacks and breaches this year:


 Healthcare organizations continue to be the most exposed industry to cyber attacks this year. Data breaches and ransomware attacks last year alone cost the industry an estimated $4 billion, with the industry accounting for more than four in ten breaches as well. As experts note, it has more to do with the value of healthcare data than the state of security in the industry. Public healthcare institutions are particularly susceptible as criminals target valuable personal data that healthcare providers store and process.

 IT and Telecoms

 With the rollout of 5G, more devices and sensors are expected to be connected to supply chains, communities, organizations, and localities. While this will usher a new wave of the communication revolution, experts note that it poses new risks to both consumers and businesses. As it’s a switch to all-software networks and a wider bandwidth, high-level hackers can tap into these emerging vulnerabilities and have a larger attack surface to exploit. Meanwhile, the ubiquity of sensors and devices will need a newer and tighter framework for endpoint security across industries.


 It’s no surprise that cybercriminals are targeting financial data from the banking and financial sector. In fact, a Clearswift survey in the UK found that more than 70% of financial institutions fell victim to cyberattacks last year. But as institutions and organizations deploy more stringent protocols and protections, some sectors within the industry remain vulnerable. While relatively small in scale, attacks on retirement accounts have enormous stakes. A special report on cyber attacks directed at US 401Ks and retirement plans note that wrongfully removed money from retirement accounts are difficult to recover. This is becoming more of an issue as more people are putting money into their retirement savings. An article on retirement plans notes that IRA contribution limits reached $6,000 in 2019 while allowing catch-up contributions of an additional $1,000 for those 50 and older. With the plans reaching nearly $6 trillion this year, experts estimate that it’ll be increasingly in the middle of criminal crosshairs. Especially as the holders of these accounts are much less likely to be up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity trends and therefore easier targets.


 Phishing remains one of the top attack vectors cyber criminals employ, making the human factor one of the most vulnerable parts of an organization. According to a phishing report, the construction sector is the most at risk among industries in terms of vulnerabilities to phishing attacks. Ransomware and malware directed at construction firms are particularly dangerous as highly confidential plans, blueprints, bids, financial information, and even personally identifiable information (PII) are usually stored within one system. In addition to financial loss, companies subjected to attacks face long-term consequences like lost business and bad press coverage.

 As we enter a new decade, each of the above industries will have to further adapt to the changing cybersecurity landscape to protect their data. With increased connectivity, the danger of a data breach will only increase.

Article authored by Harriet Keery

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5 identity priorities for 2020 according to Microsoft Azure—preparing for what’s next

As we reflect over the past decade, it’s remarkable how the digital transformation has reshaped the way people work and how companies do business. Let’s take one example—your users. At one time, “users” meant employees. Users now include partners, customers, even software bots and devices. What started as identity for the workforce is now identity for everyone and everything. The corporate network perimeter has disappeared, making identity the control plane for security that now provides effective access control across all users and digital resources.

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This makes identity absolutely critical to the business success of our customers. It’s not only central to security, but also to business transformation. For that reason, we want to share five areas to prioritize in 2020, and one technology to watch as you’re getting ready for what’s next. These priorities are based on many conversations we’ve had while working closely with our customers to re-architect their environments as they digitally transform.

5 identity priorities for 2020

1. Connect all applications and cloud resources to improve access controls and the user experience.

Digital natives are joining the workforce in ever-increasing numbers. They expect to collaborate on any project from anywhere using any app—and they only want to sign in once. Connecting all applications—from popular SaaS applications to on-premises applications en cloud resources—to a single cloud identity service will not only give your users single sign-on (SSO) for a better experience but also improve security.

With Azure Activity Directory (Azure AD) as the single control plane for all your apps, you get visibility and adaptive granular access controls across your entire digital estate. You also benefit from the 171 terabytes of data our cloud-scale machine learning algorithms process each day to learn behavioral patterns for each user and application, flag potential attacks and remediate them. For example, to protect users who may be at risk, you can apply simple policies like forced password reset that prevent identity compromise with minimal user disruption.

2. Empower developers to integrate identity into their apps and improve security.

Most organizations are dealing with an explosion of applications, which introduce increasingly complex security and privacy requirements. Integrating with Azure AD improves application security and privacy. But keeping up with the flood of new applications while continuing to manage an already overwhelming portfolio is a big job for Identity admins. They need help.

To be successful, Identity admins need to delegate more to their application development teams. So, we’re making it easy for developers to integrate authentication into their apps with Microsoft Identity Platform and to build data-driven applications and automation with Microsoft Graph. As an added benefit, developers can set up granular permissions that specify minimum necessary privileges for each application, so that it can only access the Microsoft Graph data necessary to complete its tasks.

3. Go passwordless to make security effortless for users.

We all know that passwords are not secure, expensive to manage, and frustrating for users. That’s why over the past two years we’ve been on a mission to eliminate passwords, partnering with the FIDO alliance and leading the charge with our own employees. The time to get ready for a world without passwords is now.

There are so many benefits to passwordless authentication. One of them, as we’ve seen from Microsoft’s own journey, is an 87 percent reduction in hard and soft costs. To help every organization get ready to go passwordless, we offer a variety of methods—from Windows Hello to the Microsoft Authenticator and FIDO2 security keys—which will work across cloud and hybrid environments. And to make it easier to get started, we’ve identified four steps to start planning your rollout based on the experience of our customers and our own IT team.

4. Enable boundaryless collaboration and automated access lifecycle for all users.

Digital collaboration, both inside and outside of organizational boundaries, has increased exponentially. Today, identity supports all your digital relationships, for example, with customers and partners or over two billion Firstline Workers who were previously excluded from the benefits of digital transformation. In the future, it will also power collaboration between people and software bots, microservices, and smart devices.

Effective collaboration requires more than simply connecting all users. It requires giving the right users the right access to the right resources at the right time. With the growth in numbers of users and applications, it’s not possible for IT to know everyone’s access needs. This is where identity governance can help. Cloud-based identity governance automates the access lifecycle through integration with HR systems like SAP Success Factors or Workday and simplifies access decisions for reviewers through the power of machine learning and analytics. It also empowers business users to manage access through access requests and workflows or delegated user management for Firstline Managers.

5. Start your Zero Trust journey to protect your organization as you digitally transform.

The customers we speak with are absolutely clear on one point: with no network perimeter, no boundaries around collaboration, and an explosion of devices and applications, the old security paradigm no longer applies. In this world, Zero Trust is both a worldview and a security strategy. It replaces the assumption that everything behind the corporate firewall is safe with three simple principles: verify explicitly, use least privileged access, and assume breach.

As Microsoft has learned from our own experience, every Zero Trust journey will be unique based on your business priorities, the technologies you already own, and the assets you want to protect. As you build on your existing investments, you can assess your Zero Trust maturity and take practical steps toward an even stronger security posture.

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The identity landscape beyond 2020

Looking beyond 2020, many exciting technologies are poised to change the identity landscape. I’d like to highlight one in particular—decentralized identity.

Greater verifiability and privacy with decentralized identity and verifiable claims.

As more transactions and information exchanges take place digitally, it’s essential to verify that people are who they are and that the information they present is accurate. This puts enormous pressure on organizations to validate the data that they collect while keeping it private and secure. It also requires people to put enormous trust in the organizations that steward their identities and collect personal information around them.

Decentralized identity will transform our digital interactions, making every online claim easily verifiable while giving people back control over their data. And it’s not just a concept—it’s real. Through a community effort with the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), we are on the path to a new W3C web standard for verifiable credentials. And we are piloting decentralized identity in partnership with the UK National Health Service, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, and Truu. Through this pilot, we were able to reduce the time it takes for doctors to validate their credentials from five months to five minutes, helping them spend more time with their patients.

Our commitment for the next decade

In this new decade, as in the last, the business priorities our customers share with us will guide our engineering investments in identity. Our team’s top priority is the reliability and security of the service. Our core innovation principles remain the same:

  • Start with industry-leading security.
  • Build a simple, integrated, and complete identity solution.
  • Support an open and interoperable ecosystem.

Even though each of your identity priorities for 2020 will be unique to your organization’s goals, identity will be a critical part of your business transformation journey. My team is committed to working closely with you to innovate our products, help you design an optimal identity architecture, and quickly roll it out to your organizations. Our plans always start with your feedback, so let us know what you need to stay ahead of what’s next.

About the author

Joy Chik is a Corporate Vice President, Identity Division at Microsoft. She leads engineering for Microsoft’s multi-billion-dollar Identity business that is building greater security and mobility into consumer and enterprise technologies that billions of people rely on every day. Her team is responsible for building all of Microsoft’s identity technologies and services, including Active Directory, Azure Active Directory, which provides end to end identity and access management solutions to secure organizations of all sizes and Microsoft Account (MSA) that secures identities for almost 1 billion consumers around the world. Joy serves on the Board of Trustees for the Anita Borg Institute and on the Board of Directors of Sierra Wireless. She’s active in charities that encourage women and girls to pursue technology careers.

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