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CAMBRIDGE, MA – IBM (NYSE: IBM) Security today released findings from a study focused on the behaviors and security risks of those new to working from home (WFH) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study shows more than 80% of respondents either rarely worked from home or not at all prior to the pandemic, and, in turn, more than half are now doing so with no new security policies to help guide them. This shift to working from home has exposed new security risks and has left nearly 50% of those employees worried about impending cyber threats in their new home office settings.

Now that more than half of the U.S. population is working from home—and a large percentage is expected to continue to do so through the rest of 2020 and beyond—many companies may be playing catch-up as they attempt to manage the security risks of rushed remote-work models. Business activities that were once conducted in protected office environments, and monitored under specific policies, have quickly transitioned to new, and potentially less secure territory. For example, customer service agents who worked in closely managed call centers are now managing sensitive customer data at home.


As a result, IBM X-Force Red has expanded its security testing practice to help companies identify potential blind spots in the work from home world and assist them in designing secure frameworks. The practice will look at key areas including systems that risk exposure of intellectual property, client and employee data, as well as collaboration tools such as video conferencing platforms, and file sharing platforms.

“Organizations need to use a risk-based approach with work-from-home models, then reassess and build from the ground up,” said Charles Henderson, Global Partner and Head of IBM X-Force Red. “Working from home is going to be a long-lasting reality within many organizations, and the security assumptions we once relied on in our traditional offices may not be enough as our workforce transitions to new, less controlled surroundings.”

No Support for Newbies Creates Opportunity for Cybercriminals
The rapid shift to working from home has also changed the ways many organizations do business from moving face-to-face meetings to video conferencing calls to adding new collaboration tools—yet the survey showed many employees are lacking guidance, direction and policies.

Sponsored by IBM Security and conducted by Morning Consult, the IBM Security Work from Home Survey is comprised of responses from more than 2,000 newly working remotely Americans. Key findings include:

  • Confident, Yet Unprepared: 93% of those newly working from home are confident in their company’s ability to keep personally identifiable information (PII) secure while working remotely, yet 52% are using their personal laptops for work – often with no new tools to secure it, and 45% haven’t received any new training.
  • Lacking PII Guidelines: More than half have not been provided with new guidelines on how to handle highly regulated PII while working from home. This is despite more than 42% of people who manage PII as part of their regular jobs now doing so at home.
  • Policy Awareness: More than 50% of respondents don’t know of any new company policies related to customer data handling, password management and more.
  • Personal (Unprotected) Devices in Use: More than 50% of new work from home employees are using their own personal computers for business use, however 61% also say their employer hasn’t provided tools to properly secure those devices.
  • Passwords Lacking Protection: 66% have not been provided with new password management guidelines, which could be why 35% are still reusing passwords for business accounts.

Expanded X-Force Red Remote Work Security Testing Practice

X-Force Red has expanded its security testing offerings to help all organizations test and strengthen their security posture and to specifically address those that are new to remote workforces. With more than half of surveyed new work from home employees lacking the training and policies needed to secure critical business operations, this expanded practice can help organizations fill crucial security gaps.

  • Remote Work Adversary Simulation: leverage X-Force Red’s Adversary Simulation services with expanded remote work scenarios designed to test the detection and response effectiveness of remote blue teams and incident response playbooks not originally designed with a dispersed workforce in mind. These simulations can include advanced attacks targeting multi-factor authentication (MFA), VPN, and Single-Sign On (SSO) portals, compromised employee laptops or remote access credentials, ransomware on employee or BYOD devices, or the robustness of remote access controls.
  • WFH Application Penetration Testing: building on the existing X-Force Red Penetration Testing program, this expanded offering will focus on testing the security and business controls of remote access applications, collaboration tools, and call center management applications for organizations new to work from home models. This includes testing all remote collaboration tools and practices, which will consist of reviewing video conference policies and practices, file sharing controls and default settings, policies to secure sensitive meetings, procedures to help remediate meeting breaches and ensuring that applications that use PII are being deployed securely. This expansion will also include increased remote delivery of these services to address new business demands in today’s climate as well as future scenarios that arise.
  • Phishing Exercises: these exercises will focus on phishing and social engineering to pinpoint remote employees’ weaknesses. X-Force Red Social Engineering testing will simulate phishing attacks on employees, conduct social engineering and open source intelligence (OSINT) activities and provide training and recommendations based on the outcomes. Employees will be trained on how to detect and respond to a range of tactics, including email and voice phishing, the use of OSINT data and more.

To download the full report of the survey results, go to: http://newsroom.ibm.com/image/IBM_Security_Work_From_Home_Study.pdf

For more information on X-Force Red go to: IBM.com/xforcered

About IBM Security
IBM Security offers one of the most advanced and integrated portfolios of enterprise security products and services. The portfolio, supported by world-renowned IBM X-Force® research, enables organizations to effectively manage risk and defend against emerging threats. IBM operates one of the world’s broadest security research, development and delivery organizations, monitors 70 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries, and has been granted more than 10,000 security patents worldwide.

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LANSING, MI – Liquid Web, the market leader in managed hosting and managed application services to SMBs, and Nexcess, the premier managed web hosting provider for eCommerce platforms have joined forces. With over 50 years of combined hosting experience, the move supports the company’s mission to dominate the Web Professional hosting market for SMBs.

“This combination of companies demonstrates our commitment to be a leader in the Application hosting space and to deliver innovative solutions for the Web Professional customer that we are both focused on — designers, developers, site and store owners,” said Liquid Web CEO Jim Geiger. “Nexcess is the premier eCommerce hosting provider for SMBs, and this union gives them access to more scale and capital to continue growth for the long term. With the combination of our two companies and strong expertise in Magento, WordPress and WooCommerce, Liquid Web and Nexcess will now be able to further develop the product and open source platform capabilities that SMB customers and their developers have been asking for,” said Geiger.


Current and future Liquid Web clients can expect to soon gain access to the technology and scalability of Nexcess Cloud. Likewise, present and future Nexcess clients will obtain access to Liquid Web plans and services.

The companies will operate largely separate. Existing customers of Nexcess will not see changes in products or pricing, will not be migrated and they will continue to contact the Nexcess team they know today for service and support. Chris Wells, CEO, and founder at Nexcess, remains with the team and assumes a senior technology leadership role.

A technology industry veteran, Carrie Wheeler, will lead the Managed Applications Business Unit which combines the Nexcess and Liquid Web focus on Magento, WooCommerce, WordPress solutions. “Nexcess has built a very successful business in Application hosting with a strong brand and a solid go-to-market strategy,” said Carrie Wheeler, EVP & General Manager, Managed Applications.

“We sought Nexcess, recognizing that the combination of their leading Managed Magento platform with Liquid Web’s WooCommerce and WordPress focus allows us to combine products, services, capabilities and team to deliver the best hosting experience to SMBs and the designers, developers and agencies who create for them,” said Wheeler.

This partnership expands the global reach of both companies, now with 650 employees, 11 data centers, and a full-service Application Web Hosting and Managed Cloud portfolio. Both companies look to expand their legacy of best-in-class support and customer service. Plans include more product development, event sponsorships, white papers, code contributions, and other ways to expand both companies’ footprint in the eCommerce community.

About Liquid Web
Liquid Web is an industry leader in applications hosting, managed hosting and cloud services known for its high-performance services and exceptional customer support. With over 30,000 customers spanning 150 countries, the company has a world-class team, global data centers and an expert group of 24/7/365 solution engineers. The company has been recognized among INC Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies for twelve years. With over 1 million sites under management, they have the scale in support, leadership, and financial backing to deliver the best customer experience in the hosting industry.

About Nexcess
New technology comes with a promise. Almost 20 years ago, from a small garage in Michigan, one man set out to fulfill that promise: to become a hosting provider that empowers clients to create and grow the businesses they want. Now, from its Southfield, Michigan headquarters, Nexcess holds data centers around the world that offer the best in terms of performance, reliability, and control. By embracing complexity, providing stability, and working with clients, partners, and team members, Nexcess has managed to create innovations that have changed the face of web hosting support and management forever.

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The usage of Linux on Azure has exponentially surpassed the Windows, confirmed Microsoft Linux Kernel developer, Sasha Levin, to ZDNet. The battle between Windows and Linux has been going on for over a decade. While Windows became a clear dominant OS on desktops, the Linux has won the battle on server. In 2016, Azure CTO Mark Russinovich had revealed that 25% of the Azure instances were Linux, which increased to 40% the next year. Then in 2018, Microsoft told ZDNet that around 50% of Azure VMs were Linux. This shows that Linux hasn’t won the battle overnight. More and more enterprises are choosing Linux over Windows when it comes to server. “Every month, Linux goes up,” Scott Guthrie, Executive VP of the cloud and enterprise group, Microsoft told ZDNet in September last year. Microsoft users have been actively choosing Linux and open-source software for over 10 years, since Microsoft open-sourced ASP.NET. “We recognized open source is something that every developer can…
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At the Microsoft Build 2019 Developer Conference, the tech giant is making remarkable momentum in the cloud. It has announced a broad range of innovations that will help its Azure to dominate the world of cloud computing. The three-day conference taking place in Seattle, WA, brings several new opportunities for the developers and the enterprises looking to dive into the latest cloud technologies, explore client development techniques, or discover new open source tooling and libraries. The biggest news at Microsoft Build 2019 spanned Windows, Linux, Edge browser, Fluid Framework, and more. Major announcements at Microsoft Build 2019 Developer Conference 1. Kubernetes Event-driven Autoscaling (KEDA) Microsoft is adding a number of new features to its Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), which includes Kubernetes Event-driven Autoscaling (KEDA) and Azure Policy for AKS. KEDA is an open source component that supports the deployment of serverless event-driven containers on Kubernetes created…
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Ubuntu 19.04 ‘Disco Dingo’ is finally here. Canonical has released the latest version of Ubuntu with a focus on open infrastructure deployments, developer desktop, internet of things (IoT), as well as cloud to edge software distribution. Ubuntu is a leading open source Linux distribution based on Debian, and an operating system for desktop, server, and cloud computing. The latest version of Ubuntu will bring integrations with the main open infrastructure projects, including OpenStack, Kubernetes, and Ceph. There will be advanced life-cycle management for multi-cloud and on-premise operations. For IoT, it will add support for AWS DeepRacer, a developer-centric model for autonomous ground vehicle community development. Along with this, Ubuntu 19.04 will also have integration with the Edge X stack and multiple smart display solutions. The company said that over 2,000 independent software publishers distribute their apps to Linux desktops, appliances and cloud virtual machines (VMs) via…
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AUSTIN, Texas – Bluehost, an Endurance International Group (NASDAQ: EIGI) company and top-rated web host by WordPress.org, today announced the release of Blue Flash, a new service designed to get WordPress websites online fast. This free onboarding service offers personal guidance that helps users build their websites quickly and efficiently.

“We’ve worked hand-in-hand with WordPress users for more than a decade and understand that building a website from scratch can be overwhelming given WordPress’ robust functionality,” said Suhaib Zaheer, general manager of Bluehost. “By offering individual support and training during the initial setup process, we can get our customers published quickly so they can focus on what’s most important to them: getting visitors to their websites.”


WordPress offers incredible flexibility and control, but new users may face a learning curve; and with access to the more than 50,000 plugins and themes, it can be challenging to parse through the options. According to a study conducted by Endurance International Group, 74 percent of respondents plan to build their own website, but 54 percent of respondents have little to no experience with website management. Enter the Blue Crew, Bluehost’s specially trained support team, delivering guidance through Bluehost’s new onboarding service, Blue Flash.

Bluehost customers range from people creating their first website to support their side hustle or hobby to established small businesses and enterprises scaling their online presence. Now available to all new customers, this free service is part of Bluehost’s ongoing commitment to ensuring customer success. Customers can call into Blue Flash 24/7, as frequently as needed, during their first 30 days with Bluehost. The Blue Crew provides assistance to users of all experience levels, from newbies who are still wondering “what is WordPress” to more experienced users selecting plugins to meet specific needs. The service complements Bluehost’s guided onboarding, which is designed for those who prefer a complete do-it-yourself approach.

“WordPress is the most powerful content management system on the market, and with the right know-how, the sky’s the limit,” said Zaheer. “Blue Flash is a concierge-style service tailored to each customer, providing them a guided tour through WordPress’ tools and functionality, with a touch of moral support along the way.”

For more information on Blue Flash, visit www.bluehost.com/blue-flash.

About Bluehost
Bluehost, an Endurance International Group company, is a trusted partner for WordPress users. Founded in 2003, Bluehost enables novices and experts alike to create and maintain a web presence with reliable web hosting, eCommerce tools, marketing applications, automated security, and WordPress tools. Its one-stop dashboard makes it easy for users to manage many aspects of their website from metrics to site security. Built on open source technology, Bluehost continues to support and participate in a wide range of open source projects to help push the internet to its full potential. For more information, visit www.bluehost.com.

About Endurance International Group
Endurance International Group Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: EIGI) helps millions of small businesses worldwide with products and technology to enhance their online web presence, email marketing, business solutions, and more. The Endurance family of brands includes: Constant Contact, Bluehost, HostGator, Domain.com and SiteBuilder, among others. Headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, Endurance employs over 3,800 people across the United States, Brazil, India and the Netherlands. For more information, visit: www.endurance.com.

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