What is Ransomware?

Siaraa Technologies

August 20, 2021

Blog

Siaraa Technologies

August 20, 2021

Blog

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a kind of malware that stops users from accessing their files, database , applications or personal files and demands ransom to be paid in order to access your system and the attackers usually target individuals , corporations , industries etc. The most common way to attack is through a malicious email , where in case if you open the link the malware starts downloading or tracing transactions through crypto currency. Ransomware is normally designed in a manner to rapidly broaden across a network and attack data base, files, sensitive information etc. and get a hold of the entire organization.

Ransomware normally works very fast. In a matter of seconds, the malicious software will collect all the important information and encrypt it quickly and it is possible that they might delete any files they cannot encrypt.

Major Ransomware issues that happened recently 

In 2021 , Italian vaccination registration system was down in a ransomware attack , hackers attacked the vaccination registration system in one of the Italy’s largest region provisionally blocking citizens from booking new vaccination spots.

They informed that hackers made nearly every file in the system’s data unreachable and that the local health system had shut down servers to avert the hit from spreading. And that’s an usual sign of ransomware hackers, who encrypt a computer network’s files in hope that they can extract a payment from the owners and later collect ransom

In 2021 , Buffalo Public Schools was victim of a ransomware attack , student names, district ID numbers, birthdates, grade levels, schools, addresses, phone numbers and parent names were out in the attack. The hackers also got into students’ demographic information, including gender, race and ethnicity, special education status and primary language. 

The ransomware attack on March 12 shut down the entire school system, calling off both remote and in-person teaching for one week. The district is still investigating whether PII data was compromised as part of the attack.

In 2021 , JBS the world’s largest beef supplier in the world , paid the ransomware hackers who breached its computer networks about $11 million. The company was hacked in May by REvil, a number of Russian-speaking hacker gangs, that lead to shutdown of meat plants across the U.S. and Australia. On June 9 JBS paid $11 million to hackers.

The chief executive of the company’s United States division, Andre Nogueira, said it was a deal to prevent future attacks. The payments were done through Bitcoin, which is very common in a ransomware attack.

In 2021, Brenntag is a world-leading chemical distribution company headquartered in Germany but with over 17,000 employees worldwide at over 670 sites. Chemical distribution company Brenntag paid a $4.4 million ransom in Bitcoin to the DarkSide ransomware gang to receive a decryptor for encrypted files and prevent the threat actors from publicly leaking stolen data.

Brenntag’s ransomware attack is still known as one of the highest ransomware payments in history and as of yet, the money has not been recovered.

In 2021 , Colonial Pipeline , an American oil pipeline system that originates in Houston , Texas and carries gasoline and jet fuel mainly to the South eastern states, went through a ransomware attack and had a huge news coverage.  The attackers demanded for 75 Bitcoin within several hours of the attack and Colonial Pipeline paid the ransom .

Chief Executive Joseph Blount told a US Senate committee that the attack occurred using a legacy Virtual Private Network (VPN) system that did not have multifactor authentication in place.

In  2020 , CNA’s network was attacked on March 21  and the hacker group encrypted 15,000 devices, including many computers of employees working remotely. The American insurance major has recently revealed that data of over 75,000 of its customers has been affected owing to the violation . CNA finally paid $40 million to ransomware attackers and restore their data. The attack is supposedly linked to the hacker group Evil Corp and uses a new type of malware called Phoenix CryptoLocker.

How to protect yourself from ransomware attacks –

Do not open any links you get on your mail ,unless you know the person who has sent you , Email is easily accessible which creates a lot of problem , hackers can take advantage of this by using phishing emails to ploy users into opening files and attachments.

Make sure firmware, anti-malware applications, functional systems, and software have the latest update. Attackers get updated so new ransomware versions come out often to ensure that your anti-malware recognizes advanced threats.

Reaching the latest hi-tech protection , various organisations do not have the well-built protection needed to hinder such attacks, because they can be very expensive and complex which leaves the data to be compromised. So it is the best decision to get the latest hi-protection to save yourself from such attacks.

Backing up vital data , it is one of the most effective way of retrieving your data from a ransomware attack. But keep in mind that your backup files should be confined and kept offline, so they can’t be a target for the attackers. Using cloud services is the best way to alleviate a ransomware attack from taking place. Always test your backups for effectiveness.

Employees are the most exposed during a ransomware attack , teach your employees about micro learning, ransomware simulation tools to protect themselves. Use structured training to teach your employees to open attachments from recipients they are not aware of.

Have strong configuration system , ensure your systems are configured with a good security level , a protected configuration setting can facilitate the perimeter your organization’s threat and seal security hole leftover from default configurations.

Using sandboxes to test malicious software , A sandbox is an isolated testing environment that lets users to run programs or execute files without disturbing the application, system or platform on which they run. Using a sandbox also facilitates cybersecurity teams to protect themselves against a malicious software. In addition ,  a sandbox for malware detection wholly safeguards against ransomware attacks .

Supervising your network , ransomware attacks are hazardous, but you can escape from an attack , if you catch them first. A strong monitoring tool attached with suitable network segmentation can enable you to end an attack.

Go passwordless or have a strong password security , On an average, people use the same password for numerous sites. Ensure all employees have strong password and change it almost regularly. Or else, it becomes attackers to access the whole data and attack it. Also, consider using multifactor authentication or passwordless for a better security.

Written By: Sampreeta Subhakanshi

Our Solution Partners

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a kind of malware that stops users from accessing their files, database , applications or personal files and demands ransom to be paid in order to access your system and the attackers usually target individuals , corporations , industries etc. The most common way to attack is through a malicious email , where in case if you open the link the malware starts downloading or tracing transactions through crypto currency. Ransomware is normally designed in a manner to rapidly broaden across a network and attack data base, files, sensitive information etc. and get a hold of the entire organization.

Ransomware normally works very fast. In a matter of seconds, the malicious software will collect all the important information and encrypt it quickly and it is possible that they might delete any files they cannot encrypt.

Major Ransomware issues that happened recently 

In 2021 , Italian vaccination registration system was down in a ransomware attack , hackers attacked the vaccination registration system in one of the Italy’s largest region provisionally blocking citizens from booking new vaccination spots.

They informed that hackers made nearly every file in the system’s data unreachable and that the local health system had shut down servers to avert the hit from spreading. And that’s an usual sign of ransomware hackers, who encrypt a computer network’s files in hope that they can extract a payment from the owners and later collect ransom

In 2021 , Buffalo Public Schools was victim of a ransomware attack , student names, district ID numbers, birthdates, grade levels, schools, addresses, phone numbers and parent names were out in the attack. The hackers also got into students’ demographic information, including gender, race and ethnicity, special education status and primary language. 

The ransomware attack on March 12 shut down the entire school system, calling off both remote and in-person teaching for one week. The district is still investigating whether PII data was compromised as part of the attack.

In 2021 , JBS the world’s largest beef supplier in the world , paid the ransomware hackers who breached its computer networks about $11 million. The company was hacked in May by REvil, a number of Russian-speaking hacker gangs, that lead to shutdown of meat plants across the U.S. and Australia. On June 9 JBS paid $11 million to hackers.

The chief executive of the company’s United States division, Andre Nogueira, said it was a deal to prevent future attacks. The payments were done through Bitcoin, which is very common in a ransomware attack.

In 2021, Brenntag is a world-leading chemical distribution company headquartered in Germany but with over 17,000 employees worldwide at over 670 sites. Chemical distribution company Brenntag paid a $4.4 million ransom in Bitcoin to the DarkSide ransomware gang to receive a decryptor for encrypted files and prevent the threat actors from publicly leaking stolen data.

Brenntag’s ransomware attack is still known as one of the highest ransomware payments in history and as of yet, the money has not been recovered.

In 2021 , Colonial Pipeline , an American oil pipeline system that originates in Houston , Texas and carries gasoline and jet fuel mainly to the South eastern states, went through a ransomware attack and had a huge news coverage.  The attackers demanded for 75 Bitcoin within several hours of the attack and Colonial Pipeline paid the ransom .

Chief Executive Joseph Blount told a US Senate committee that the attack occurred using a legacy Virtual Private Network (VPN) system that did not have multifactor authentication in place.

In  2020 , CNA’s network was attacked on March 21  and the hacker group encrypted 15,000 devices, including many computers of employees working remotely. The American insurance major has recently revealed that data of over 75,000 of its customers has been affected owing to the violation . CNA finally paid $40 million to ransomware attackers and restore their data. The attack is supposedly linked to the hacker group Evil Corp and uses a new type of malware called Phoenix CryptoLocker.

How to protect yourself from ransomware attacks –

Do not open any links you get on your mail ,unless you know the person who has sent you , Email is easily accessible which creates a lot of problem , hackers can take advantage of this by using phishing emails to ploy users into opening files and attachments.

Make sure firmware, anti-malware applications, functional systems, and software have the latest update. Attackers get updated so new ransomware versions come out often to ensure that your anti-malware recognizes advanced threats.

Reaching the latest hi-tech protection , various organisations do not have the well-built protection needed to hinder such attacks, because they can be very expensive and complex which leaves the data to be compromised. So it is the best decision to get the latest hi-protection to save yourself from such attacks.

Backing up vital data , it is one of the most effective way of retrieving your data from a ransomware attack. But keep in mind that your backup files should be confined and kept offline, so they can’t be a target for the attackers. Using cloud services is the best way to alleviate a ransomware attack from taking place. Always test your backups for effectiveness.

Employees are the most exposed during a ransomware attack , teach your employees about micro learning, ransomware simulation tools to protect themselves. Use structured training to teach your employees to open attachments from recipients they are not aware of.

Have strong configuration system , ensure your systems are configured with a good security level , a protected configuration setting can facilitate the perimeter your organization’s threat and seal security hole leftover from default configurations.

Using sandboxes to test malicious software , A sandbox is an isolated testing environment that lets users to run programs or execute files without disturbing the application, system or platform on which they run. Using a sandbox also facilitates cybersecurity teams to protect themselves against a malicious software. In addition ,  a sandbox for malware detection wholly safeguards against ransomware attacks .

Supervising your network , ransomware attacks are hazardous, but you can escape from an attack , if you catch them first. A strong monitoring tool attached with suitable network segmentation can enable you to end an attack.

Go passwordless or have a strong password security , On an average, people use the same password for numerous sites. Ensure all employees have strong password and change it almost regularly. Or else, it becomes attackers to access the whole data and attack it. Also, consider using multifactor authentication or passwordless for a better security.

Written By: Sampreeta Subhakanshi

Why Work With Us

  • Highly qualified IAM resources specialized in governance risk and compliance (GRC) use cases
  • Deep experienced across security applications and cloud platform IAM solutions
  • Competent CyberArk and SailPoint project management leaders
  • Secure IT process design, improvements and implementation based on ITIL best practices

Passwordless Authentication: Simplified

Siaraa Technologies

July 19, 2021

Blog

Siaraa Technologies

July 19, 2021

Blog

To begin, what is Passwordless Authentication?

Passwordless Authentication is a method that allows you to access into any computer based system or application without actually entering a password. You can be verified through “possession factor”  that will exclusively  recognize  the user by a pre-defined means such as fingerprint , a registered cell , a hardware token , biometric signature etc. that isn’t knowledge based. It can reduce costs and security risks for various organizations, protects against phishing , password theft etc.

HISTORY

IBM predicted that in the next five years we’ll no longer need passwords for email or even ATMs. “Biometric data — facial definitions, retinal scans and voice files will be composited through software to build your DNA-unique. (2011) Reporter Mat Honan fell victim to a Multipronged attack by hackers wrote “The age of the password has come to an end.”(2012) Heather Adkins, the company’s manager of information security, said on a TechCrunch Disrupt panel that “Passwords are dead”  she also mentioned that the company is experimenting with hardware-based tokens.(2013) Vice president of Security , Eric Grosse and engineer Mayank wrote “Along with many in the industry, we feel passwords and simple bearer tokens such as cookies are no longer sufficient to keep users safe,” (2013) Christopher Mims, writing in the Wall Street Journal said the password “is finally dying” and predicted their replacement by device-based authentication.(2014)  

Why your business should go Passwordless:

1.Consistent user experience

You will be asked to enter something as simple as a fingerprint and a registered cell phone in your name to gain access . It’s more safe as it doesn’t ask for passwords and requires only single action from the user.

2. No Need To Be Concerned  About Password Theft

One of the most significant reasons to adapt Passwordless Authentication is because you don’t have to worry about being hacked , getting your data violated or concerned about data theft. But in two-factor Authentication  the attackers gets to know about you OTP while you purchase something or gets access to your login credentials your entire work is in risk.

3. Compact Requirement For Support

Users are frequently asked to create a password that should be long and complex for improved security purposes , which becomes demanding to learn by heart. And in case you fail to remember , you are obligated to create a new one. That generates another setback that you have a series of passwords every time you login somewhere. But when you don’t have to enter a password anymore your work gets reduced and you don’t have to recall anything complex.

4. Improvisation Of User Experience

A user generally has 70-80 passwords considering that they create different passwords for each website they login due to safety reasons. People mostly tend to abscond the site which asks them to fill up login details because it’s exhausting. Passwordless Authentication offers users with a more suitable , hassle-free way with the use of a hardware token , biometric system etc for one-time only.

5. Helps to Reduce Costs In The Long Run

Due to the pressure of recollection of too many passwords , a user clicks  ‘forget password’  button  often and this costs the company you’re working with too much money. A company usually spends money on password storage , supervision and resets , and work on storage laws etc. Passwordless Authentication will be a one-time investment with less chances of identity theft and trouble to the company.

6. Effectual Defence Against Phishing and Password Records

Phishing is a cybercrime which often aims to steal the users data including your login credentials , credit card details or to install malware usually with the help of a password or passwords that are for sale at a very low price( it happens when you have previously entered your login credentials in a website. But with Passwordless Authentication you won’t even have a problem with password theft.

7. Passwordless Authentication Solutions In Opposition to Brute-Force Attacks

Brute-Force Attacks is a method of presuming your password through trial and error technique , which is quite often these days. They use various ways to crack the login details (using the most common passwords).Some moderators generally block the users after 3-5 attempts but some attackers use unusual techniques to surpass that. On the other hand Passwordless Authentication won’t ask you for such data.

8.Passwordless Authentication Strengthens Your Organization’s Cyber Security Posture

If the attacker gets the access to your password , it will gain the company’s confidential data , financial scam , share offensive posts , get into other employees personal data and manipulate it , may suffer a huge loss. With Passwordless Authentication you don’t have to worry about data theft because the hardware token gives access to a few permissible employees.

9. Frictionless Signup Procedure

Activating Passwordless Authentication is an easy , fast and secure process. It doesn’t ask for much information or takes much time to activate. Just few simple steps to access.   Passwordless Authentication is the future’ and after a few decades passwords will become extinct. Going passwordless right away mitigates stress among users. No need to remember any complex words and letters further , and lesser the trouble the better overall user experience. It limits the possibility of replication and increases the security system. Even though there is some downside , the benefits are significant.

Written by: Sampreeta Subhakanshi

Our Solution Partners

To begin, what is Passwordless Authentication?

Passwordless Authentication is a method that allows you to access into any computer based system or application without actually entering a password. You can be verified through “possession factor”  that will exclusively  recognize  the user by a pre-defined means such as fingerprint , a registered cell , a hardware token , biometric signature etc. that isn’t knowledge based. It can reduce costs and security risks for various organizations, protects against phishing , password theft etc.

HISTORY

IBM predicted that in the next five years we’ll no longer need passwords for email or even ATMs. “Biometric data — facial definitions, retinal scans and voice files will be composited through software to build your DNA-unique. (2011) Reporter Mat Honan fell victim to a Multipronged attack by hackers wrote “The age of the password has come to an end.”(2012) Heather Adkins, the company’s manager of information security, said on a TechCrunch Disrupt panel that “Passwords are dead”  she also mentioned that the company is experimenting with hardware-based tokens.(2013) Vice president of Security , Eric Grosse and engineer Mayank wrote “Along with many in the industry, we feel passwords and simple bearer tokens such as cookies are no longer sufficient to keep users safe,” (2013) Christopher Mims, writing in the Wall Street Journal said the password “is finally dying” and predicted their replacement by device-based authentication.(2014)  

Why your business should go Passwordless:

1.Consistent user experience

You will be asked to enter something as simple as a fingerprint and a registered cell phone in your name to gain access . It’s more safe as it doesn’t ask for passwords and requires only single action from the user.

2. No Need To Be Concerned  About Password Theft

One of the most significant reasons to adapt Passwordless Authentication is because you don’t have to worry about being hacked , getting your data violated or concerned about data theft. But in two-factor Authentication  the attackers gets to know about you OTP while you purchase something or gets access to your login credentials your entire work is in risk.

3. Compact Requirement For Support

Users are frequently asked to create a password that should be long and complex for improved security purposes , which becomes demanding to learn by heart. And in case you fail to remember , you are obligated to create a new one. That generates another setback that you have a series of passwords every time you login somewhere. But when you don’t have to enter a password anymore your work gets reduced and you don’t have to recall anything complex.

4. Improvisation Of User Experience

A user generally has 70-80 passwords considering that they create different passwords for each website they login due to safety reasons. People mostly tend to abscond the site which asks them to fill up login details because it’s exhausting. Passwordless Authentication offers users with a more suitable , hassle-free way with the use of a hardware token , biometric system etc for one-time only.

5. Helps to Reduce Costs In The Long Run

Due to the pressure of recollection of too many passwords , a user clicks  ‘forget password’  button  often and this costs the company you’re working with too much money. A company usually spends money on password storage , supervision and resets , and work on storage laws etc. Passwordless Authentication will be a one-time investment with less chances of identity theft and trouble to the company.

6. Effectual Defence Against Phishing and Password Records

Phishing is a cybercrime which often aims to steal the users data including your login credentials , credit card details or to install malware usually with the help of a password or passwords that are for sale at a very low price( it happens when you have previously entered your login credentials in a website. But with Passwordless Authentication you won’t even have a problem with password theft.

7. Passwordless Authentication Solutions In Opposition to Brute-Force Attacks

Brute-Force Attacks is a method of presuming your password through trial and error technique , which is quite often these days. They use various ways to crack the login details (using the most common passwords).Some moderators generally block the users after 3-5 attempts but some attackers use unusual techniques to surpass that. On the other hand Passwordless Authentication won’t ask you for such data.

8.Passwordless Authentication Strengthens Your Organization’s Cyber Security Posture

If the attacker gets the access to your password , it will gain the company’s confidential data , financial scam , share offensive posts , get into other employees personal data and manipulate it , may suffer a huge loss. With Passwordless Authentication you don’t have to worry about data theft because the hardware token gives access to a few permissible employees.

9. Frictionless Signup Procedure

Activating Passwordless Authentication is an easy , fast and secure process. It doesn’t ask for much information or takes much time to activate. Just few simple steps to access.   Passwordless Authentication is the future’ and after a few decades passwords will become extinct. Going passwordless right away mitigates stress among users. No need to remember any complex words and letters further , and lesser the trouble the better overall user experience. It limits the possibility of replication and increases the security system. Even though there is some downside , the benefits are significant.

Written by: Sampreeta Subhakanshi

Why Work With Us

  • Highly qualified IAM resources specialized in governance risk and compliance (GRC) use cases
  • Deep experienced across security applications and cloud platform IAM solutions
  • Competent CyberArk and SailPoint project management leaders
  • Secure IT process design, improvements and implementation based on ITIL best practices

Siaraa Technologies

April 20, 2021

Blog

IAM (Identity and Access Management) is termed as defining and governing the roles and responsibilities of every individual, i.e., of both; the living beings and the virtual resource present in any/every company; along with gradient scaling about the type of privileges these resources will be granted.

IAM carries the highest proportion of weight to providing every individual with a digital footprint to monitor their actions and then maintain and modify the inventory/resources accordingly. This is best defined by Gartner, “Identity and access management (IAM) is the discipline that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times for the right reasons” (Gartner, 2021)

Ideally, any IAM system(s) delivers its admin users with the control to access, tools and technologies to change any user’s role, right to access assets, and privilege at any given point of time, while also being able to keep an eye on the user’s activities, enforce policies and compliance and bestow data which is used to create reports.

Depending on multiple factors like, finance, resource, infrastructure, and knowledgeable personnel; companies choose to manage their IAM operations either internally, using external services provider or out-source it to an external vendor as managed services. Sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances like a security breach or not clearing the compliance audit, companies will have to inevitably migrate their whole IAM process from within the company to an external vendor or change the current service provider or choose to out-source it to an external vendor offering managed services.

To gain a clear perspective about how to handle the migration situation, reviewed below are all the aspects to be taken into consideration and the outcome/impact while choosing the different kind of services:

While choosing to set up the IAM services, be it internal or out-sourcing it to an external vendor, it needs to be made sure that the four fundamental domains of the IAM are incorporated during the framework setup. The four fundamental domains being (i) Authentication (The employees are provided/required to create credentials to access the resources or applications securely.) (ii) Authorization (The process through which the company decides who has access to what files/folders) (iii) User Management (This contains the entire life cycle of a user account is managed) (iv) Central User Repository (This forms the bridge between the client and the service by validating the credentials with the database)

The critical challenges that a company faces while implementing IAM:

When questioned, as to why a company (almost all of them) wants to migrate their IAM services, it is found that in most of the cases it is because of lack of resources pertaining to cybersecurity. The main reason why companies face a lag in terms of IAM is because it is not just a one-time implementation process. It needs continuous improvements and adaption to latest IT and cyber security trends. This constant attention is not met due to shortage of experienced resource and finance due to budgeting.

Secondly, when a company out-sources IAM to services provider, IAM services are managed better than the company managing it themselves especially the small-medium companies. However, the disadvantage is that there is a lag there too as these external vendors render the IAM services amongst other services. Due to this they might lack competency in terms of latest trends and fixes for them. The financial load is reduced in comparison to the company investing in IAM themselves. But it might increase the cost if and when a company faces a zero-day cyberattack and the company requests for an additional service with regards to IAM.

Whereas, migrating the IAM service to a dedicated external vendor who offers only different types of IAM services carries its own advantages and disadvantages. Wherein the advantages being:

Extensive Discrete Knowledge Source: With choosing vendors providing IAM itself as a service, the company’s asset will be more diligently managed using all the latest tools, technologies and techniques with the assistance of the experts from the IAM domain which is very distinct when compared to a resource that has vague knowledge.

Constant Update of Procedure: The company(s) might not be updated with the latest services introduced in IAM as finance and licenses might be involved. But, when it is outsourced to an external vendor, the company will be provided with the latest services offered. Even, adding the extra new features will not cost as much as buying an entirely new license.

More Space in Company Database: Creating a digital footprint for each and every asset/resource obviously encapsulates space in the company’s database. Handing the service over to an external vendor helps the company reduce that huge load on their database and hence allowing to see this use space in the database for other critical activities related to their company’s functionality.

Extricates Unnecessary Financial Burden: If and when a company wants to utilize a certain feature of IAM for a short time, then the financial burden is more as they will have to buy the entire license. Whereas, if the service is handled by an external vendor providing IAM services, then the company will be payable to for only the service they opt for and for the duration they require. The financial burden is reduced to the minimum extent, even if the company faces a zero-day cyber-attack, the external vendor will have the solution support covered most of the times.

The only disadvantage that can be observed here is that a third-party vendor will hold the entire digital footprint of your company. If the vendor’s service gets tampered with, then there is a threat that the company’s digital footprint can be accessed too.

Hence, while selecting an external vendor for IAM service, it is always advised to scrutinize their security and how well they operate in line with IT security compliance standards.

 

Our Solution Partners

Siaraa has always been committed to quality excellence and so our are partnerships. Our focus on providing the industry’s best solutions to our clients is exemplified by these agreements. SailPoint and CyberArk have been clear market and Gartner Magic Quadrant leaders and so, our fit together is an excellent one.

Why Work With Us

  • Highly qualified IAM resources specialized in governance risk and compliance (GRC) use cases
  • Deep experienced across security applications and cloud platform IAM solutions
  • Competent CyberArk and SailPoint project management leaders
  • Secure IT process design, improvements and implementation based on ITIL best practices

Five Best IAM Practices for 2021

Siaraa Technologies

March 10, 2021

Blog

Siaraa Technologies

March 10, 2021

Blog

2020 was quite the turning point for Cybersecurity. The global pandemic resulted in the shift of work as most organizations started to work in a remote environment. It gave rise to security concerns and made things much more difficult for IT experts and businesses.

Since the Covid-19 spread, the US FBI reported a 300% increase in the total number of cybercrimes. There are various events in 2020 where identity theft was common, and even the larger organizations couldn’t save themselves. One example is the CouchSurfing Company, a global hospitality company. The company’s data was put for sale on the dark web containing the personal data of more than 17 million users who use their free online lodging service. The sensitive data comprises users’ names, IDs, email addresses, and CouchSurfing account settings.

All this gives rise to the importance of identity and access management. By adopting the best practices for IAM, your business can enhance security and ensure that this year doesn’t bring the same challenges as the last. To make things easier for you, we’ve prepared this blog about the best IAM practices in 2021. Before we get into the main topic, let’s first discuss IAM in brief for anyone new to the subject.

What Is Identity and Access Management?

Identity and access management is a practice of defining and managing user identities and access permission. It manages user identities and regulates their access in an organization. Under this, businesses set individuals’ roles and responsibilities within a network framework.

By incorporating IAM policies, businesses boost their customer experience. It is yet another way which gives them success in the market. It includes combining compliance with the company’s policy and enabling security tools like:

  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Establishing single sign-on
  • Enforcing zero-trust policy
  • Stakeholder awareness

If we compare the past, the identity and access management market is critical and will flourish in the upcoming time. According to research, the IAM market will rise from $10 billion in 2019 to more than $20 billion by 2024.

 

Five Best IAM Practices

The identity access management solutions come with both authorization and authentication services. It also deploys an access policy for the customers and employees all across the digital landscape.

Below are the five best IAM practices in 2021.

DevOps Tools

A data breach occurs when there are some loopholes In the applications, and you fail to report to the IT department. The malicious agents take full advantage of such loopholes and make the business experience a data breach. The breaching incident causes a major monetary loss but the business also loses its customers’ brand and reputation in the market.

Usually, enterprises don’t maintain a record of unstructured data that includes credit card and social security numbers. It is relatively easy for cyber-crooks to access it and result in a data breach. Use various DevOps tools to keep track of unstructured data. When you record the unstructured data from the developing stage, this boosts up your security level.

Having Experienced Resources

The rapid technological change has brought significant challenges for businesses. The introduction of new technologies and IAM tools creates resource constraint issues for the IT industry, small and large. Having knowledgeable and certified resources to manage the IAM is a must for security. Businesses need IAM consultants to resolve these challenges and develop a permanent solution. The security needs are increasing beyond the IT resources and thus the demand of the consultants.

Having an external consultant to augment the staff or outsourcing the IAM management to managed services platform can provide much in-depth assistance. These consultants can offer solutions by undergoing a series of events. It includes:

  • Analyzing the potential risks
  • Conducting research
  • Managing day to day operations
  • Perform audits and assessments
  • Detects the threats
  • Choose the appropriate time to perform upgrades.
  • Validate appropriate access control

Resource augmentation may make perfect use of external talent to compliment your internal resources to address the business needs.

Integration with Privileged Access Management

Privileged Access Management (PAM) is another best practice for IAM. Being a privileged user means that you have all the administrative credentials of a system. You have the complete authority to set up, alter, and even delete any existing account. PAM within your business means minimizing the attack surface, upcoming potential threats, and insider threats that everybody neglects.

By integrating PAM with IAM, the IT stakeholders get better knowledge, control, and customer and employee accounts. This practice helps you in controlling the increasing breaching incidents. It’s found that 70% of the breaching events occur because of the misuse of privileged accounts. The IAM solution allows the organization to control the user access rights. At the same time, the PAM solution gives control over-privileged users. They both manage administrative rights and protect against severe cyber-crimes and threats.

In conversation with our clients, insider threat has been a growing concern for many organizations. Enabling PAM in integration with the IAM reduces the risk manifold.

Gateway for Cloud Providers

Many small and large businesses have embraced cloud services to reduce costs and enhance security. Shifting business-sensitive data on the cloud provides an effective way to protect from the increasing cyber-threats. However, cloud services have a shared responsivity model, which means how you protect data on the cloud is customers’ responsibility. Now several cloud providers offer IAM services to help fulfill your responsibilities. You can use these cloud provider services and further limit any third-party from accessing your sensitive data by implementing the proper controls.

When you use such cloud services, you have one central location where you manage the identities of the cloud administrators of your enterprise. Using the cloud provider service as IAM practice, you would spend less money on the organization’s security. Also, enterprise security depends on a trusted centralized model, and the users can access it from any device regardless of their location by utilizing Single Sign-On technology. Cloud services can be a safe and secure option to use and minimize the cyber-risk.

Artificial Intelligence

Cyber-crooks are getting more sophisticated than ever before. They are adopting new tactics to approach and infiltrate any organizational network. They have become so smart that even the security teams are sometimes unable to detect them. In such circumstances, business corporations are turning towards Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies. The AI technology helps in improving security access and better maintains user integrity.

When you use AI technology like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), it monitors and reveals the abnormalities found in user behavior. There is an enormous amount of data, but the ML-based system handles it efficiently. It scans the data faster than any other system capable of preventing network breach and data loss. Systems analyze the behavior changes even if the hacker gains access to the system by any backdoor. It sends an alert to the IT department, so they become cautious about the rising threat. For immediate results, the AI system denies access requests and protects your business data and integrity if configured correctly.

 

Bottom Line

Implementing these IAM’s best practices is crucial for maintaining a resilient, cybersecure environment. Businesses must know who can access sensitive data under different situations and circumstances. Allowing everyone to access sensitive data can bring dreadful consequences to you and your business. IAM services can provide significant benefits to protect sensitive data and access to it.

A well-defined enterprise IAM platform provides the right access, to the right resources, at the right time.

Furthermore, it is also vital that you have a thorough overview of your organization’s IT infrastructure. It helps you to understand better where to start and your loopholes. Follow the IAM mentioned above best practices and strengthen your business integrity.

If you would like to learn more information on being more cybersecure, reach out to our qualified sales associates if you would like assistance in any of these areas. Your security is our priority here at Siaraa, so we’re ready to tackle and resolve any of your security related concerns!

Our Solution Partners

Siaraa has always been committed to quality excellence and so our are partnerships. Our focus on providing the industry’s best solutions to our clients is exemplified by these agreements. SailPoint and CyberArk have been clear market and Gartner Magic Quadrant leaders and so, our fit together is an excellent one.

Why Work With Us

  • Highly qualified IAM resources specialized in governance risk and compliance (GRC) use cases
  • Deep experienced across security applications and cloud platform IAM solutions
  • Competent CyberArk and SailPoint project management leaders
  • Secure IT process design, improvements and implementation based on ITIL best practices

Exploiting COVID-19 Misinformation

Siaraa Technologies

May 31, 2020

Blog

Siaraa Technologies

May 31, 2020

Blog

Cyber attackers certainly have not missed the opportunity to use COVID-19 pandemic as a new weapon to threaten the privacy of individuals, companies and governments. As the world confronts the unprecedented pandemic, cyber criminals started to use COVID-19 in their social engineering campaigns and directed their focus on remote workers and online learners via exploiting vulnerabilities in various video meeting apps and online learning platforms. A perfect storm is brewing while all service providers strives to balance privacy and access.

Zoom Signals the Trend

Zoom has become a major concern to the security industry due to systemic security issues which are inherent in the system. With the pandemic restricting physical movement, Zoom has become increasingly popular with various sections of the society. The meteoric rise of the platform has only drawn more attention to the products flaws and vulnerabilities as it became common amongst households, workplace and the education industry.

With the extensive use of Zoom, the system is now exposed to various types of malicious acts. More than 2,000 malicious and 40,000 high-risk newly registered domains, mostly used for “social engineering”, was discovered till the end of March. More than 1700 new Zoom domains were reported, 25% of which have been registered from April.

These malicious domain related phishing attacks has increased more than 7 times in March. In response, Google informed that 18 million malware and phishing emails with relation to COVID-19 were blocked in the first week of April.Cyber security experts have each day discovered thousands of spam emails that contain the words “Corona” or “COVID”.

RiskIQ reported that these spam e-mails were originating from about 7,000 unique email domains and 10,000 unique SMTP IP addresses. It’s important to note that Zoom has taken a proactive stance on improving security education and within their product,  with an open letter 90-day security governance plan to address their privacy and security initiatives.

Ransomware

Compared to Q4 in 2019, average payment for “ransomware traps” has increased by 33%. Under malware category, data-harvesting malwares, and DDoS malwares such as Remote Access Trojans, keyloggers, spywares started to use COVID-19 related information as weapon to compromise networks.

Even charity organizations have been affected by these attacks. Some countries, such as Turkey, have started campaigns to help people affected by COVID-19 financially. Some municipalities were forced to deny access from abroad due to DDoS attacks to their charity platforms. Additionally,” Iran originated hackers” targeted WHO’s staff member emails during the pandemic, reported Reuters. WHO has justified that some date leakage has been occurring during these times.

Why Hackers use COVID-19 in Campaigns

“Information” has been the most valuable asset since the advent of cyberspace. Hackers exploit the cyber space to deviously extract money. They also use this cyberspace to malign a rival, individual, company or government. They resort to blackmailing for hacking the IT infrastructure to spy. Those in search of the COVID-19 information are the soft targets of the cyber criminals. Such domains and websites are used as an engine to spread malware. The most compromised are online video conferencing and e-learning platforms, as these are popularly used in the present scenario.

Most C-levels of corporations use emails to disseminate information on COVID. Hackers use this opportunity to bypass defense mechanisms of large companies especially targeting temporary remote users by compromising e-mail addresses of the company.

Both IDN homograph attacks and impersonation are used to compromise e-mail addresses and send malicious attachments via e-mails of the companies.

Protecting Industry Against the Threats

Statistics reveal 90% of attacks start with “social engineering”, is a proof that human beings are the most exploitable thus having serious impact on businesses.  43%of cyber-attacks target small businesses and 63% of them were affected by phishing & social engineering attacks. It is estimated that the cost of cybercrime for businesses in 2019 was over $2 trillion. Investments on Cybersecurity is expected to reach $6 trillion reported Forbes Councils Member Matthew Moynahan .It has become incumbent for businesses to have an effective and robust cyber security protocol.

In the present scenario, it is imperative to ensure that  the right people have the right access through Access Management methods. Secondly, authentication is the key point for preventing the data breaches, under the current circumstances  where working remotely has become a necessity multi-factor authentication (MFA) must be implemented while accessing business resources. Authentication to VPN client, Remote Desktop, FTP client, SSH or management interfaces must be securely protected via MFA solutions.

IT and Software development companies have the opportunity to work remotely when compared to other sectors. However, working remotely brings some disadvantages in businesses for which maintenance is critical.

Privilege access management (PAM) is an effective solution for controlling remote workers’ area of interest in the Active Directory environment. PAM solution helps to stave off-the-hash/ticket, spear phishing, unauthorized privilege escalation attacks and Kerberos compromises.

Our Solution Partners

Siaraa has always been committed to quality excellence and so our are partnerships. Our focus on providing the industry’s best solutions to our clients is exemplified by these agreements. SailPoint and CyberArk have been clear market and Gartner Magic Quadrant leaders and so, our fit together is an excellent one.

Why Work With Us

  • Highly qualified IAM resources specialized in governance risk and compliance (GRC) use cases
  • Deep experienced across security applications and cloud platform IAM solutions
  • Competent CyberArk and SailPoint project management leaders
  • Secure IT process design, improvements and implementation based on ITIL best practices