24 March 2020

Remote Work Becomes The Norm

The spread of coronavirus is driving an immediate change in working habits for many organisations. With a significant increase in the adoption of remote work or telecommuting, as a means to ensure the safety of employees and to contain the spread of the virus.

Working outside of the traditional office environment can be effective, if people have the right tools at their disposal. Remote work or telecommuting, will provide a testing ground for robust remote access process and procedures plus a good test for a range of technology solutions that are designed to foster collaboration and eliminate the need to sit in face to face meetings.

We would recommend organisations take the opportunity to ensure their users have clear direction regarding access to systems, networks and data from a remote location. In doing so an organisation will be better placed to understand and manage their risk exposure in setting up for the new or adapted environment.

Some Points To Consider

  • What do managerial staff need to consider or “weigh up” when granting remote access approval for team members?
  • Is the remote access policy wording for general users concise, easy to understand and pragmatic?
  • What current policy content is in place for privileged users (technical people) who are responsible for enabling remote access services?
  • Are there documented policies in place for IT service providers or contractors and/or 3rd parties, regarding their remote access arrangements?

Should you wish to discuss which policies, processes and procedures you should have in place to enable secure remote access then feel free to make contact. In light of the challenging business environment Kaon Security is happy to assist organisations in need of assistance to get their remote working arrangements in place with a free 90 minutes consultancy – delivered remotely of course!

To take up this offer please email support@kaonsecurity.com.au

SECURE Remote Access

Have your remote access solutions been tested to validate they are configured securely and fit for purpose? – talk to us about how we can assist. A “once over” will provide peace of mind and limit the chance of a security issue arising.

New Remote Working Advisory Released 17th March 

https://www.cyber.gov.au/news/cyber-security-essential-when-preparing-covid-19

Scammers Are Not Taking A Break  

We all still need to be wary of on online scams and attacks that have recently been used in other countries. Current examples in circulation include:

  • Scammers using text messages regarding testing facilities that incorporate malicious links.
  • Phishing emails with Covid19 news which are aimed at stealing personal information.
  • A free coronavirus tracking map download which contains malware. 

To Click Or Not To Click?

Given the amount of information in the public domain regarding coronavirus it is important to reinforce to all employees the need for vigilance when it comes determining the legitimacy of an incoming email message incorporating a link regarding the virus or a related topic.

To heighten user awareness Kaon Security can run bespoke phishing simulation campaigns for any organisation that wishes to improve user awareness and vigilance regarding scam/deceptive emails. The turnaround time on setting up and delivering a campaign is very quick and it is a low overhead, but effective, exercise for an organisation and of course does not require an onsite visit.

Microsoft Account Compromises 

Microsoft recently claimed that 0.5 per cent of Azure Active Directory accounts as used by Office 365 are being compromised every month. In January this meant 1.2 million accounts were compromised. 

These figures were revealed by Microsoft’s director of identity security, Alex Weinert, and IT identity and access program manager Lee Walker at the “RSA conference 2020” February 24-28 in San Francisco.

An account compromise means that a malicious actor or script has some access to internal resources. The objective of the account compromise could be to steal sensitive data, escalate access privileges or to send out some spam messages. The attack methods being used are phishing, password spraying and password replay attacks.   

Alex Weinert goes on to say in his presentation there's a 99.9 per cent chance that a customer who has been attacked did not have MFA [Multi Factor Authentication] enabled. 

Their technical presentation - Breaking Password Dependencies: Challenges in the Final Mile at Microsoft is available to view at - 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_mhJO2qHlQ

The level of account compromises Kaon Security has been made aware of locally has been a cause for concern for some time. We frequently highlight there is very limited or no use of multifactor authentication when conducting our O365 security configuration audit services for organisations. In our next EDM we’ll talk about the common techniques being applied to breach accounts and why therefore MFA is very necessary.  Read about our Office 365 Security Configuration Service.

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