IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Partner content
Story image

Be a “PAMbassador” and help your workmates be cyber smart

By Contributor
Tue 9 Nov 2021

Article by ThycoticCentrify A/NZ vice president Andrew McAllister.

If you are an IT or cybersecurity professional with experience in privilege access management (PAM) solutions, you will have learned a few things.

One is that people are just as important as technology. Cyber smart employees are a huge asset in protecting organisations against risks. And whatever technology is employed, you must take people into account and strike a balance between usability, productivity and security.

Another is that an organisation's cybersecurity journey is never over. As the cyber threatscape evolves and new risks emerge, PAM and other Zero Trust strategies provide new controls to adapt to the changing environment and mitigate risk.

These realisations are not unrelated. PAM is a powerful tool that helps organisations move from a starting point where cybersecurity is bolted on top of existing processes and technologies towards establishing a 'cybersecurity by default' practice.

Going on that journey involves understanding people and how they contribute to the cyber risks that organisations face. It also involves implementing security controls that mitigate those risks in a way that often require people to change those behaviours.

And because of this, the speed of your PAM journey is dependent on how successfully you can engage with people and educate them about the role they play in contributing to cybersecurity – or the opposite.

There is a twofold benefit in helping people understand cyber risks. Cyber smart people can reduce risks to the organisation and be more accepting – even welcoming – of new PAM controls. Cyber smart people will also see how it benefits them personally, relieving them of the burden of cybersecurity and helping them to do their jobs.

That is why if you have PAM experience, you should also be a "PAMbassador" – a cyber ambassador who can offer advice to other employees. 

Right now, with the threat of ransomware and risks associated with hybrid working top of mind, there is no shortage of ways to put your PAMbassadorial skills to good use! Here are five top tips from ThycoticCentrify's own PAMbassador, chief security scientist & advisory CISO Joseph Carson.

1. Be cyber smart

Never be afraid to ask for advice. If you see something you're not quite sure about, ask a colleague or a friend for advice – for example, before you click or open an attachment. Organisations should have a cyber ambassador that can offer advice before staff fall victims to ransomware or a piece of malware that will steal their credentials. Asking for help is the cyber smart move.

2. "Phight" the phish

Phishing can appear in many different types of communication, not only emails. Threats can come from SMS, social media apps, messaging apps and many more. It is important to remember that if anyone asks you to perform an action via any of these methods – such as sharing sensitive data, entering a password or opening a link – always be suspicious. Verify directly with the sender using an alternative method such as calling them directly to confirm the request. 

Attackers will always try to abuse your trust, so you should always be cautious if your manager or anyone else asks you to transfer money or buy gift cards – because this could be hackers trying to scam you. Never be afraid to double-check – "phight" the phish by knowing when to verify suspicious requests.

3. Explore, experience and share

Cybersecurity is a top challenge for society, and we must all work together to reduce the risks. You are only as secure as the people around you, so it is important to help others learn how to be cyber safe both at work and at home.

4. Use a password manager

Start moving your passwords into the background by using a password manager. You may be using your browser, but your browser security is likely turned off by default, meaning that if an attacker gets access to your device, they'll also have access to all your credentials. 

5. Adopt a cybersecurity first approach

Cybersecurity must be usable and be moved into the background. Security by design is no longer enough, and a cybersecurity first approach means that we need security by default. To achieve this, businesses can build security into products and processes, as well as provide training as part of employee onboarding and arming workers with all the tools they need.

The bottom line, according to Joseph, is that people need to start to take a proactive approach when it comes to cybersecurity. Gone are the days when IT teams would be crammed away in a separate room from the rest of the company. Now, experts must be ingrained within business teams so that cybersecurity is literally built into the very fabric of an organisation.

As PAMbassadors, we must take every opportunity to lead the way.

For further information, read ThycoticCentrify's Cyber Security Team’s Guide: Balancing Risk, Security and Productivity research report here.

About the author

Andrew McAllister is A/NZ vice president for ThycoticCentrify, a leading cloud identity security vendor that enables digital transformation at scale and leads the team of cybersecurity professionals who deliver world-class solutions to protect organisations.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
‘Windows shops’ target admin rights to de-risk their environments
New data shows up to 75% of critical vulnerabilities could be mitigated through a rights and privileges crackdown
Story image
Hybrid working success relies on the return to office
A reluctance to return to the office is impacting a would-be hybrid working model, instead leaving businesses with a mostly-remote workforce.
Story image
8x more users attacked via old Microsoft Office vulnerability in Q2
"Criminals craft malicious documents and convince their victims to open them through social engineering techniques."
Story image
Collaboration app market revenue grows 28.4% year-over-year
IDC has found that global revenues in the collaboration applications market grew 28.4% year-over-year in 2021 to $29.1 billion.
Story image
Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric launches SM AirSeT in Australia
The new medium-voltage switchgear uses pure air and vacuum interruption, completely avoiding SF6 greenhouse gas.
Story image
The Sydney Business School extends its SAS collaboration
The Sydney Business School at the University of Wollongong (UoW) has recently extended its collaboration with SAS in order to meet the growing demand for skilful business analytics professionals.
Story image
CM Group recognised as Best Overall MarTech Company
MarTech Breakthrough has ranked CM Group as the Best Overall MarTech Company for the third year running and Cheetah Digital as Best Overall Marketing Campaign Management Solution.
Story image
Unified Communications
Gold Coast private hospital improves comms with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise solutions
With further demands placed on health workers as a result of the pandemic, they need efficient and adaptable solutions that help them effectively serve their communities.
Story image
Can biometrics help? 123% increase in Gen Zs scammed online
In the three years leading up to 2022, the number of Gen Zs who fell victim to online scams rose by 123%, according to Ping Identity.
Story image
Kaspersky uncovers new attacks by advanced persistent threat group
The attacks involved modifications of the well-known malware, DTrack, as well as the use of a brand-new Maui ransomware.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Top tips for making your finance transformation program a resounding success
Planning to make 2023 the year you embark on a wholesale finance transformation program? It’s a move that will stand your enterprise in excellent stead as you navigate the complexities of the post-Covid business landscape.
Story image
University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne implements data ecosystem with Talend
Talend has announced that The University of Melbourne (UoM) has selected Talend Data Fabric for its cloud data platform.
Story image
Lucid Software
Lucid Software expands enterprise offerings with enhanced slack apps
Lucid Software has expanded its enterprise offerings with enhanced slack apps for its Lucidspark and Lucidchart technology.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Is your chatbot bringing down the customer satisfaction score?
The top 10 reasons why chatbots are failing to meet customer expectations and what you must do to avoid that.
Story image
Data Protection
Advancing genomic sequencing and public health with digital infrastructures
Right before our eyes, we've witnessed the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in record time. An enormous achievement in an otherwise lengthy task that previously took, on average, 10-15 years.
Story image
Sophos reveals latest ransomware trend impacting orgs
Sophos has announced in a new whitepaper that Hive, LockBit and BlackCat, three prominent ransomware gangs, consecutively attacked the same network.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Appier achieves historically high growth rate of 56% YoY
"Our strong momentum over the past two quarters underscores Appier's significant growth alongside our customers."
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Fastly, INX, Kinly, SmartBear & Vectra AI
We round up all job appointments from July 29 - August 12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Federated change is the best path to digital evolution
Businesses that can successfully manage the exponentially expanding masses of data produced by modern consumers will be the businesses that survive and prosper.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
The essential guide to digital transformation by SolarWinds
Digital transformation is a buzzword thrown around all the time by companies, but what does it actually mean and why is it important? SolarWinds breaks it down.
Story image
CISOs need to consider a risk-based cybersecurity strategy
Rather than talking in terms of attack vectors and vulnerabilities, CISOs and security decision-makers must look at actual business risk.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Why it is imperative to keep up with technology advancements
Technology is constantly evolving, which is why digital transformations can often be complicated. What legacy items stay? Will the new and old work together? Or is there a whole new system that we need to introduce?
Story image
Australian Defence Force
Cloudera and ADF partner for e-health management system
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has selected Cloudera as a strategic data partner to help transform its e-health management system.
AWS Marketplace
Learn how security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) enhances your security strategy.
Link image
Story image
Demand grows for future-proof mobile access solutions
HID Global, in partnership with IFSEC Global, recently released the 2022 State of Physical Access Control report for the fourth year running.
Story image
Workday research finds A/NZ organisations becoming leaders in digital agility
New research from Workday and IDC has revealed that Australia and New Zealand are becoming leaders in digital agility.
Story image
Contact Centre
Treasure Data launches new customer experience functionality
Treasure Data has introduced a new strategic vision and product positioning for Customer Data Cloud, reflecting the company's focus.
Story image
Data protection: How SMEs can secure online consumers’ trust
Consumers believe how a company treats their data reflects how they treat their customers, according to a new survey.
Story image
Dynatrace extends application security capabilities for runtime environments
Dynatrace has announced that it has extended its Application Security Module to detect and protect against vulnerabilities in runtime environments.
Story image
Cloud Security
Tenable makes additions to Cloud Security portfolio
Tenable has announced additions to Tenable Cloud Security that represent the next step in assessing threats related to cloud vulnerabilities.
Story image
Email scams
HelpSystems shines light on impact of response-based threats
Response-based attacks targeting corporate inboxes have climbed to their highest volume since 2020, representing 41% of all email-based scams.
Story image
Avast reveals zero-day exploits targeting Chrome and Microsoft
Avast, released its Q2/2022 Threat Report today, revealing a significant increase in global ransomware attacks, up 24% from Q1/2022.
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Mendix
Mendix is a low-code platform used by businesses to develop mobile and web apps at scale, and Jornt joins us today to discuss how these offerings work, and what benefit they have in the development process.
Story image
Customer experience
Scope Australia selects NICE CXone platform to streamline operations
One of Australia’s largest providers of disability support services, has chosen the NICE CXone platform to help streamline its contact centre operations.
Story image
Australian Grand Prix uses CENNZnet blockchain for fan experience
CENNZnet was employed by Power'd Digital to deliver the Formula 1 Heineken Australian Grand Prix's 2022 AusGP Access program.
Story image
Investment in APAC cold storage to reach $5 in next decade
Investment in Asia Pacific’s cold storage market is expected to grow fivefold in the next decade, according to JLL.
Discover why a localised cloud ERP is the way to go for Australian businesses.
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Concentric AI protects sensitive data with new capabilities
The new capability reveals sensitive data shared across email and business messaging platforms and highlights who has inappropriate access to content.
Story image
Data Protection
Safeguarding your financial data
As the digital revolution marches on, managing data security has never been more important. Here are five important steps to take toward better financial data security.
Story image
Lacework launches new capabilities for better threat detection
Lacework has announced new capabilities that enable organisations to uncover more critical threats to their infrastructure and empower teams.
Story image
Data analytics
Pressure on orgs to up their data analytics game - study
A recent report from Sisense highlights data transmission, analysis, and risk management remain top concerns for data professionals in APAC.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner unveils key emerging tech to watch in 2022
"Such technologies present greater risks for deployment, but potentially greater benefits for early adopters," says Gartner.