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CYBERARK EXPANDS C3 ALLIANCE TO DRIVE GREATER CYBER SECURITY INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION 

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CYBERARK EXPANDS C3 ALLIANCE TO DRIVE GREATER CYBER SECURITY INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION 

New Integrations with Atos, Phantom, Proofpoint and RSA Enable Customers to Drive More Effective Security and Value from Existing IT Investments

CyberArk(NASDAQ: CYBR), the company that protects organisations from cyber attacks that have made their way inside the network perimeter, today announced the expansion of the C3 Alliance, CyberArk’s global technology partner programme. Extending the power of privileged account security through new partners and technology integrations, customers can better protect against advanced threats through a deeper set of innovative cyber security solutions.

New C3 Alliance partners and integrations include Atos, Datablink, DB Networks, DBmaestro, EZMCOM, Flexera Software, Gemalto, Hexadite, Illusive Networks, Omada, OneLogin, Palo Alto Networks, Phantom, Proofpoint, Qualys, Radiant Logic, RSA, STEALTHbits Technologies, SyferLock, Thales, Utimaco, Vistara and Yubico.

Launched in April 2016, the C3 Alliance was established to bring enterprise software, IT security and services providers together in order to deliver proactive protection, detection and response to customers by putting privileged account security at the core of their cyber security strategies. The programme now has 45 partners and features 63 product integrations to increase the value of existing IT investments and improve security across enterprise priorities associated with cloud, identity security, application security and endpoint.

“Because there is no silver bullet in security, CISOs are increasingly focusing on the value of an integrated security stack. The C3 Alliance helps drive value across existing IT investments through strategic integrations that take advantage of automation and the ability to streamline processes and data sharing,” said Adam Bosnian, executive vice president, global business development, CyberArk. “The escalation of damaging cyber attacks requires new levels of vendor collaboration. This is why the C3 Alliance continues to expand and prioritise vendor integration and alignment around privileged account security and data for more effective cyber security.”

Unmanaged Service Accounts, Application Security and the Attacker Opportunity

Organisations need to be better able to adapt to emerging cyber threats with proactive and responsive controls, especially those aimed at protecting privileged credential vulnerabilities that exist across applications and the IT security stack.

Extensive service account usage by commercial off-the-shelf and internally-developed applications, including identity and access management, DevOps, IT management, asset discovery and vulnerability scanning applications, creates a significant attack surface of unmanaged privileged credentials. Yet, awareness of this application security risk is disproportionately low, even though it may pose one the largest enterprise cyber security vulnerabilities.

Many of the newest C3 Alliance members and integrations focus on addressing the challenge of managing service accounts and privileged application credentials to better protect enterprise-class and SaaS applications that are critical to regular business operations and incident response.

“The interoperability between RSA®Identity Governance and Lifecycle and the CyberArk solution began as a centralised management approach for governing, managing and provisioning all user identities, including privileged identities and access entitlements,” said Jim Ducharme, vice president of Identity Products, RSA. “Today, we are expanding the interoperability with CyberArk to secure the privileged credentials used by RSA Identity Governance and Lifecycle to securely access target systems, such as servers and databases, to collect data and report for compliance and risk management across the enterprise and the cloud to deliver on the benefits of business-driven security.”

“Qualys’ integration with the CyberArk Privileged Account Security Solution helps customers using the Qualys Cloud Platform to simplify password management for authenticated scans across dynamic environments at large scale,” said Sumedh Thakar, chief product officer, Qualys, Inc. “By securely and centrally managing credentials for hybrid environments with a mix of cloud, on-premises and virtualised assets, organisations can automate scanning, increase accuracy and reduce compliance costs.”

“The Phantom security automation and orchestration platform connects in-house and third-party systems to help security operations gain better insight into potential threats across the IT environment, then reduce the time necessary to detect and respond,” Robert Truesdell, director of product management, Phantom. “Phantom apps require privileged credentials to access these systems and that powerful access must be managed and controlled in a consistent, scalable way. That’s where our integration with CyberArk becomes so valuable. As our platform continues to expand, we have to be able to centralise the management and security of these privileged application accounts to reduce the attack surface and keep credentials synchronised.”

C3 Alliance Drives Channel Opportunities

C3 Alliance members typically integrate with the CyberArk Privileged Account Security Solution. These integrations have expanded opportunities for reseller and system integration partners that can help customers further maximise existing IT investments by driving additional value and insight.

“Managing service accounts across multiple technologies continues to be a challenge that our clients face,” said Serafino Napoleone, director, Cyber Risk Services at Deloitte. “With expanding C3 Alliance integration capabilities, our clients are now able to automate and strengthen the Identity and Access Management controls on their existing technologies and platforms, while simultaneously benefitting from increased privileged account security and reduced vulnerability to cyber attacks.”

“Integrating privileged account security capabilities from CyberArk with other key technologies, such as identity and access governance, allows us to differentiate our business through high-value security services,” said Arun Kothanath, chief security strategist, DIT/Clango, Inc. “We view the C3 Alliance as a tremendous opportunity to deliver an expanding set of innovative solutions to our customers. These solutions help them prioritise privilege as part of their cyber security strategies, such as the ability to centrally manage all identities to mitigate risks and support compliance.”

Additional Resources

View a collection of C3 Alliance member videos: www.cyberark.com/c3-alliance-videos

For more information about the C3 Alliance, visit: http://www.cyberark.com/partners/technology-partners/

For companies interested in joining the C3 Alliance, visit: http://www.cyberark.com/contact/

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Deloitte: Middle East organizations need to rethink their workforce in the wake of COVID-19

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Deloitte: Middle East organizations need to rethink their workforce in the wake of COVID-19 1

Organizations in the Middle East have had to take immediate actions in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as shifting to remote and virtual work, implementing new ways of working and redirecting the workforce on critical activities. According to Deloitte’s 10th annual 2020 Middle East Human Capital Trends report, “The social enterprise at work: Paradox as a path forward,” organizations now need to think about how to sustain these actions by embedding them into their organizational culture.

“COVID-19 has created a clarifying moment for work and the workforce. Organizations that expand their focus on worker well-being, from programs adjacent to work to designing well-being into the work itself, will help their workers not only feel their best but perform at their best. Doing so will strengthen the tie between well-being and organizational outcomes, drive meaningful work, and foster a greater sense of belonging overall,” said Ghassan Turqieh, Consulting Partner, Human Capital, Deloitte Middle East.

According to the Deloitte report, many organizations in the Middle East made quick arrangements to engage with employees in the wake of the pandemic through frequent communications, multiple webinars where senior leaders addressed employee concerns, virtual employee events, manager check-ins, periodic calls and other targeted interactions with the workforce.

The report also discussed how UAE and KSA governments have reexamined work policies and practices, amended regulations and introduced COVID-19 initiatives to support companies and the workforce in the public and private sectors. Flexible and remote working, team-building and engagement activities, well-ness programs, recognition awards and modern workspaces are among the many things that are now adding to the employee experience.

Key findings from the Deloitte global report include:

  • Only 17% of respondents are making significant investments in reskilling to support their AI strategy with only 12% using AI primarily to replace workers;
  • 27% of respondents have clear policies and practices to manage the ethical challenges resulting from the future of work despite 85% of respondents saying the future of work raises ethical challenges;
  • Three-quarters of leaders are expecting to source new skills and capabilities through reskilling, but only 45% are rewarding workers for the development of new skills; and
  • Only 45% of respondents are prepared or very prepared to take advantage of the alternative workforce to access key capabilities despite gig workers being likely to comprise 43% of the U.S. workforce this year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Worker well-being is a top priority today, and similarly to the rest of the world, companies in the Middle East are focusing their efforts to redesign work around well-being by understanding workforce well-being needs,” said Rania Abu Shukur, Director, Human Capital, Consulting, Deloitte Middle East.

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One in five insurance customers saw an improvement in customer service over lockdown, research shows

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One in five insurance customers saw an improvement in customer service over lockdown, research shows 2

SAS research reveals that insurers improved their customer experience during lockdown

One in five insurance customers noted an improvement in their customer experience over lockdown, according to research conducted by SAS, the leader in analytics. This far outweighed the 11% of customers who felt it had deteriorated over the same period.

This is positive news for insurers during such challenging times, with 59% of customers also saying that they would pay more to buy or use products and services from any company that provided them with a good customer experience over lockdown.

The improvement in customer experience also coincides with a rise in the number of digital customers. Since the pandemic started, the number of insurance customers using a digital service or app has grown by 10%. Three-fifths (60%) of new users plan to continue using these digital services moving forward.

However, while the number of digital users grew over lockdown, half of the insurance customer base has not yet chosen to move to digital insurance apps or services.

Paul Ridge, Head of Insurance at SAS UK & Ireland, said:

“It’s impressive that there was a net improvement in customer experience during lockdown, despite the challenges the industry was facing with a transition to remote working and increased claims for things like cancelled holidays. While many were forced to wait on customer help lines for long periods, part of the improvement may be explained by even a small (10%) increase in the number of digital users.

“However, it’s clear that a huge number of customers are still yet to make the move online. It’s vital that insurers provide the most accurate, timely and relevant offerings to customers, and this is best achieved by having additional insight into online customer journeys so they can understand them better. Using analytics and AI, insurers can seize this opportunity to digitalise their customer experience and offer a more personalised approach.”

Meanwhile, for insurers that fail to offer a consistently satisfactory customer experience, the price could be severe. A third (33%) of customers claimed that they would ditch a company after just one poor experience. This number jumps to 90% for between one and five poor examples of customer service.

For more insight into how other industries across EMEA performed during lockdown, download the full report: Experience 2030: Has COVID-19 created a new kind of customer? 

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The power of superstar firms amid the pandemic: should regulators intervene?

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The power of superstar firms amid the pandemic: should regulators intervene? 3

By Professor Anton Korinek, Darden School of Business and Research Associate at the Oxford Future of Humanity Institute. Gosia Glinska, associate director of research impact, Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Darden School of Business

Recent news that Apple hit a market cap of USD2 trillion highlights an extraordinary success story: A once struggling computer-maker on the verge of bankruptcy innovates its way to becoming the most valuable publicly traded company in the United States.

Apple’s 13-figure valuation is indicative of a larger trend that is not entirely benign — the rise of a handful of superstar firms that dominate the economy. Over the past three decades, advances in information technology, mainly the Internet, have supercharged the superstar phenomenon, allowing a small number of entrepreneurs and firms to serve a large market and reap outsize rewards. And COVID-19 has greatly accelerated the phenomenon by pushing us all into a more virtual world.

Apple — along with Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Netflix — is a case in point. The combined market value of those six companies exceeds USD7 trillion, which accounts for more than a quarter of the entire S&P 500 index. Even amid the pandemic’s economic wreckage, these megacompanies continue to prosper. The combined share price for Apple and its five peers was up more than 43 percent this year, while the rest of the companies in the S&P 500 collectively lost about 4 percent.[1]

Superstar firms can be found in almost every sector of the economy, including tech, management, finance, sports and the music industry. They command increasing market power, which has consequences for technological, social and economic progress. It is, therefore, critical to understand how their advantages arose in the first place.

THE FORCES BEHIND THE SUPERSTAR PHENOMENON

The “economics of superstars” was first studied by the late University of Chicago economist Sherwin Rosen. Forty years ago, Rosen argued that certain new technologies would significantly enhance the productivity of talented workers, enabling superstars in any industry to greatly expand the scope of their market, while reducing market opportunities for everyone else.[2] Digital innovations, including advances in the collection, processing and transmission of information, is what Rosen envisioned would lead to the superstar phenomenon.

Digital technologies are information goods, which are different from the traditional, physical goods in the economy. What it means is that fundamentally different economic considerations apply. Unlike physical goods — a loaf of bread or a car — information goods have two key properties: They are non-rival and excludable. Non-rival means that something can be used without being used up. Excludability means that an owner of digital innovation can prevent others from using it, by protecting it with patents, for example. These two fundamental properties of information goods are what give rise to the superstar phenomenon.

In a working paper I co-authored with Professor Ding Xuan Ng at Johns Hopkins University[3], we described superstars as arising from digital innovations that require upfront fixed costs that allow firms to reduce the marginal costs of serving additional customers.[4] For example, once an online travel agency has programmed its website at a fixed cost, it can easily displace thousands of traditional travel agents without much additional effort, scaling at near-zero cost.

Because a firm can exclude others from using its digital innovation, it automatically gains market power. The innovator then uses that power to charge a mark-up and earn a monopoly rent — basically, a price superstars charge in excess of what it costs them to provide the good — which we call the ‘superstar profit share’.

THE POLICYMAKER’S DILEMMA

In a vibrant free market economy, businesses compete for customers by innovating and improving their offerings while keeping prices low; otherwise, they are displaced by more innovative rivals entering the market. Unfortunately, the increasing monopolization of the economy by technology superstars is weakening the competitive environment around the world.

Monopoly power is the main inefficiency from the emergence of superstar firms, because superstars can exclude others from using the innovation that they have developed.

So, what policy measures can be employed to mitigate the inefficiencies arising from the superstar phenomenon?

We do have antitrust policies designed to promote competition and hence economic efficiency. Authorities could take a drastic measure and break up monopolies. Or they could tax all those excess profits megacompanies make.

Another policy to consider involves giving consumers control rights over their data. Right now, only companies have that data, and they are selling it. If you free it up and don’t allow them to sell it anymore, it reduces their monopoly profits. And if you give consumers more freedom over their data, they could, for example, share it with the latest start-up and create a more competitive landscape.

However, such policy remedies can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they reduce monopoly rents. On the other hand, they can also reduce innovation.

Innovation requires investments in R&D, which represent a significant sunk cost that only large firms can afford. Government regulations can easily backfire, discouraging large firms from making long-term R&D investments.

What, then, is the best policy intervention? Professor Ding Xuan Ng and I believe that basic research should be public. Digital innovations should be financed by public investments and should be provided as free public goods to all. This would make the superstar phenomenon disappear, and the effects of digital innovation would simply show up as productivity increases.[5]

We live in a brave new world that is increasingly based on information. Because the information economy is different from the traditional economy, antitrust policy should be revamped to reflect that. Instead of worrying about the economy being eaten up by these gigantic monopolies, policymakers need to focus on the question ‘What specific actions can we pursue to make the economy more competitive and efficient?’

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