Atos and CyberArk join forces to provide cyber security services

23 November 2016 Consultancy.uk

Atos and CyberArk have joined forces to provide a range of security options as-a-service to global clients. The deal aims to improve the security of privileged account credentials for client organisations in an ‘as-a-service’ offering. Swiping or hacking privileged account credentials remains a key way in which hackers are able to take advantage of a whole computer network.

Cybercrime, on the back of increased digitalisation, is increasingly blighting companies across the globe. Cybercrime incidents hit 500,000 per day last year, resulting in roughly $400 billion in economic damages. While increased attention is being placed on the phenomenon across the board, a number of organisations are working on developing solutions to specific forms of cybercrime.

One way through which cyber adversaries are able to commit crimes is by penetrating a secured network by which they gain access to privileged account credentials. Once the hacker has exploited a system weakness, or swiped credentials from a top-level employee, the system is their playground, allowing them to access privileged information, steal intellectual property or transfer funds.

Atos and CyberArk join forces to provide privileged account protection as a service

In a bid to develop a solution to protect the heart of organisations from being penetrated by cybercriminals, CyberArk was formed. The company leverages a host of security programmes that protects privileged account credentials, thereby halting adversaries at the gate. The organisation works with almost half of Fortune 100 companies, and a fifth of Fortune 2000 companies. The firm, which opened its doors in 1999, has offices in the US, Israel, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, Turkey and the UK.

Atos and CyberArk join forces

Atos, as part of its wider move to support its clients in the cyber security space, has entered into a partnership with CyberArk. The partners aim to provide clients with an “end-to-end service that secures privileged accounts”, at both a users’ level, as well as for applications on-premises or in virtual or cloud environments. Atos is providing the service to clients as a managed service, while CyberArk offers its range of services in a modular format, scalable in line with the needs of clients.

Chris Moret, Vice President of Cyber Security at Atos, says, “The business need for Privileged Access Management has never been clearer and Atos is very excited to launch this new offering in partnership with CyberArk. Privileged account exploitation is one of the most widely used, damaging attack vectors. Effective mitigation strategies require a complete solution to protect against increasingly complex, privilege-related security threats. Atos feels it is essential we simplify as much as possible the risk management process for our clients so that they can concentrate on their core business.”

Adam Bosnian, Executive Vice President of Global Business Development at CyberArk, remarks, “It is critical that organisations take a proactive, layered approach to protecting their most valuable assets – making privileged account security the first thing organisations should focus on when prioritising their risk management strategies. Organisations taking advantage of this new service will benefit from Atos’ global reach and security expertise, as well as their understanding of privileged account-related risks to deliver crucial protection against evolving threats.”

Atos has of late been quite busy ramping up its cyber security offerings. Earlier this month the French IT giant partnerred with Siemens to bolster its Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) proposition, while in October it struck a partnership with Marsh.

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Boards of top UK firms must do more on cyber-awareness

06 March 2019 Consultancy.uk

A new report released by the UK Government has found that UK businesses need to do more to build awareness in their firms, if they are to fend off cyber-attackers. The study found that an all-time high of 72% of businesses now see cyber-threats as a top risk, but just less than half of UK boards do not have a comprehensive understanding of the critical assets at risk from cyber-attacks.

Digital technology has revolutionised modern business, with a rate of innovation present in many companies that arguably eclipses that of the industrial revolution. The huge opportunities presented by technology mean that many firms have rushed to digitalise their offerings; but while this means they are able to take advantage  of the latest trends, it has also opened innumerable doors for cyber-criminals looking to use technology to loot corporations from across the globe.

Illustrating the extent to which cyber-crime has boomed in the last decade, in the final quarter of 2018, a study commissioned by Bromium and presented by Dr. Michael McGuire at RSA found that the cyber-crime economy has grown to an estimated $1.5 trillion dollars annually. That is only a conservative estimate – but that conservative figure alone is so large that if it constituted a national GDP, instead of a collection of digital frauds, it would be the world’s 13th largest economy.

Amid this state of play, it is easy to see why cyber-security has become one of the key watchwords of any board room in the 21st century. The cyber-security consulting segment has boomed, with the world’s 10 largest operators in the segment bringing in more than $11 billion in related fees, as businesses tap external expertise to help find areas where they can improve their defences. As noted by a new UK Government report, the legacy of this spike in consulting activity is that almost all UK businesses now have a cyber-security strategy, with only 4% admitting otherwise. 

Cyber threats are increasingly seen as high risk in comparison to other risks that businesses face

This comes at the end of a sea-change in attitudes toward cyber-security over the last five years. According to the 2018 FTSE 350 Cyber Governance Health Check, in 2013, the largest minority of businesses felt cyber-threats represented a low operational risk, at 38%, compared to just 25% who saw it as a very high group risk. Now, the two opinions have seen a dramatic reversal, with only 6% seeing cyber-security as a low threat, compared to a huge 72% of businesses which see it as a very high risk. Considering the high profile hacks that occurred in the interim, this is perhaps not that surprising.

However, while cyber-awareness in general is at an all-time high, this is where the positive news ends. According to the study, while the vast majority of firms in the UK have a cyber-security plan in place, only 46% have a dedicated budget to enact that strategy. Should their financial positions change rapidly in the near future – something increasingly likely with the prospect of a No Deal Brexit still looming over the horizon – then that plan could fall by the wayside, with the funding shortfall exposing firms to even greater financial damage in the near future.

The study, released by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) in March 2019, was undertaken in partnership with Winning Moves and support from EY, KPMGPwC and Deloitte, working with their FTSE 350 clients to participate in the survey. The study also found that while most businesses have incident response plans, most are not testing them: 95% of FTSE 350 businesses have an incident response, but a mere 57% test their crisis incident response plans regularly. With companies facing the consistently evolving threat of cyber-attacks, that could leave major chinks in their armour undiscovered until it is too late.

Board understanding of business-critical assets

Similarly, many firms also seem oblivious to the threat posed by their wider supply chains, which if left unchecked, provide hackers with a blank cheque to access company data. A majority of boards do not recognise supply chain risks beyond the first tier, as 77% of FTSE 350 businesses told researchers they did not recognise the risks associated with businesses in the supply chain with whom they have no direct contact.

Meanwhile, almost half of UK boards do not understand the critical assets at risk from cyber-attacks. 54% of businesses in 2018 rated the board’s understanding of critical information, data assets and systems as comprehensive, while of that, only 12% said understanding was the best it could be. This compares to 43% of boards in 2017 and 32% in 2015/16 stating they had a clear understanding, suggesting that key progress is being made, but also that there is a great deal of room for improvement.

Commenting on the findings, Digital Minister Margot James said, “We know that companies are well aware of the risks, but more needs to be done by boards to make sure that they don’t fall victim to a cyber-attack. This report shows that we still have a long way to go but I am also encouraged to see that some improvements are being made. Cyber-security should never be an add-on for businesses and I would urge all executives to work with the National Cyber Security Centre and take up the government’s advice and training that’s available.”