News Commentary

New York, NY (3/26/2021) – The growing number of threats to the cybersecurity infrastructure of organizations and businesses continues to put pressure on governments and security firms.
According to a report published earlier this year by the Associated Press, Adam Weidemann, a researcher from Google’s Threat Analysis Group, said that hackers supposedly backed by North Korea created a fake research blog and multiple Twitter profiles to build credibility and interact with the security researchers they targeted. The U.N. Security Council in 2019 estimated North Korea earned as much as USD 2 Billion over several years through illicit cyber operations targeting cryptocurrency exchanges and other financial transactions. Such transfer of money is harder to trace and offsets capital lost to U.S.-led economic sanctions over its nuclear weapons program. Plurilock Security Inc. (TSX-V: PLUR) (OTC: PLCKF), Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX), SolarWinds Corporation (NYSE: SWI), Proofpoint, Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT), Absolute Software Corporation (NASDAQ: ABST)

Some other examples of major attacks from 2020 include the Nintendo breach in April, where 160,000 users were affected by a mass account hijacking; the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) breach, where 8,000 business emergency loan applications were breached; the Amtrak customer PII leak; Intel’s 20GB of sensitive, corporate data breach, and of course, the FireEye hack that resulted in penetration tools being stolen from one of the world’s largest security firms. Overall, according to data published by Mordor Intelligence, the cybersecurity market was valued at USD 161.07 Billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 363.05 Billion by 2025, while registering a CAGR of 14.5% during 2020-2025.

Plurilock Security Inc. (TSX-V: PLUR) (OTC: PLCKF) announced yesterday breaking news that, “it has entered into a master OEM agreement with Baco Holdings, doing business as “Untangl”. Untangl is a leading contact center technology solutions provider to integrate and resell Plurilock’s products.

Untangl provides technology solutions to simplify customer and agent interactions for business that have high volume contact center organizations including business process outsourcing (“BPO”) companies. Under the agreement, Plurilock’s technology offerings will be provided to numerous North American organizations that require a strong cybersecurity infrastructure in order to provide secure remote work access to their large userbases. Plurilock’s identity assurance products will be incorporated into its comprehensive contact center solutions platform, currently in development.

‘This agreement advances our channel-led strategy in the new normal of remote work where companies permit their employees and staff to work at different locations,’ said Ian L. Paterson, CEO of Plurilock. ‘Remote operations are essential to companies that rely on extensive information exchange between critical stakeholders. Plurilock’s cybersecurity products will protect employees from falling victim to security breaches during remote work, ensuring the safe flow of information within these businesses.’

About Untangl: Untangl enables more efficient communication between businesses and their customers. They are committed to providing solutions focusing on contact center employees. The Untangl brand uses technology, process and data to help make each interaction an agent has successful. By driving solutions that simplify an agents job, Untangl is able to help create a successful environment for them to operate in. This approach is designed to drive retention and performance, all while delivering dramatically lower costs for their clients.”

Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) reported earlier this year that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kount, a provider of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven fraud prevention and digital identity solutions, for USD 640 Million. As global digital transformation accelerates, driving customer interactions to digital channels in record numbers, businesses require new ways to establish digital identity trust in real time to fight the growing problem of online fraud while reducing customer friction. This acquisition will expand the Equifax worldwide footprint in digital identity and fraud prevention solutions, helping businesses better engage with their customers while combating fraud with the Kount Identity Trust Global Network – the industry’s leading risk-based authentication platform.

SolarWinds Corporation (NYSE: SWI) announced back in December updates in response to the SUPERNOVA malware for all supported versions of SolarWinds® Orion® Platform products and a fix for customers on unsupported versions of these products. Third parties and the media have publicly reported on a malware, now referred to as SUPERNOVA. Based on SolarWinds’ investigation, this malware could be deployed through an exploitation of a vulnerability in the Orion Platform. Like other software companies, SolarWinds seeks to responsibly disclose vulnerabilities in its products to customers, while also mitigating the risk that bad actors seek to exploit those vulnerabilities, by releasing updates to their products before the company discloses the vulnerabilities. SolarWinds provided two hotfix updates on December 14 and 15th, 2020, that contained security enhancements, including those designed to prevent certain versions of the Orion Platform products from being exploited in a SUPERNOVA attack.

Proofpoint, Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT) announced back in November that it has been named the winner of the “Overall Enterprise Email Security Solution Provider of the Year” award in the fourth annual CyberSecurity Breakthrough Awards program conducted by CyberSecurity Breakthrough, a leading independent market intelligence organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global information security market today. “Proofpoint is a pioneering leader in the cybersecurity industry and their continued commitment to innovation and breakthrough detection and protection techniques are unparalleled,” said James Johnson, managing director, CyberSecurity Breakthrough. “We fully anticipate that business email compromise (BEC) and other enterprise email threats will continue to increase in volume and complexity, and we are pleased to see Proofpoint tackle this challenge head-on with an extremely powerful and targeted platform to keep email communications flowing. Congratulations to Proofpoint on their continued success and well-deserved 2020 CyberSecurity Breakthrough Award.”
Absolute Software Corporation (NASDAQ: ABST) announced last year new capabilities that provide IT and Security teams with advanced insights into software and web usage across their distributed endpoint device fleets. With absolute’s new Software Inventory and Web Usage analytics, organizations can maximize returns on software investments and find potential cost savings; help ensure employees have the tools they need to work productively and securely from anywhere; and identify potential security vulnerabilities or blind spots arising from unsanctioned, insecure apps or web content. “With devices staying largely off-network in the new world of remote and hybrid work models, IT departments face multiple challenges when it comes to having a complete picture of what software has been purchased and deployed, whether the apps being used are sanctioned or fully updated, and where they may have gaps in security or productivity,” said Ameer Karim, EVP of Product Management at Absolute.

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