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Dheeraj Manral

Fertilizing Your Homegrown HR System with Quality Identity and Access Management.

By | IAM | No Comments

So, your SMB has a homegrown or non-standard HR system. Its built for your needs and suits you perfectly. What you need now is an Identity and Access Management solution that can integrate with this seamlessly and deliver high-powered performance within your budget.

ILANTUS’ Compact Identity is the solution for you.

Built from the ground-up for SMBs, this awesome all-in-one IAM suite sports feature rich Single Sign-On, extensive Password Management, and simple Access Governance and User Lifecycle Management. Other solutions simply refuse to integrate with your HR system. They are also bloated in features and not suitable for your size of business. You can find all kinds of things in them that you do not need – and that you pay through the nose for. This is not to mention that all this excess slows down implementation and is confusing and overly complex – especially since an SMB’s IT department is usually small.

Compact Identity can integrate with your custom HR system. It is also engineered specifically for your size of business – it has exactly what you think you need (and more – what we know you will need!) and nothing more and nothing less. The cost is a fraction of what you might pay other vendors for solutions that are convoluted and not made with your requirements in mind. The solution can be implemented within a week! Most other solutions take a good few months!

Compact Identity also sports an inbuilt identity store that pulls data from your non-standard HR systems. Other vendors charge extra for this. Because we know that this is an essential feature that integrates an Identity and Access Management system with your architecture, ILANTUS includes this feature for free in your Compact Identity subscription.

This is the only solution of its kind in the industry. Tailored to your segment, agile, and backed by ILANTUS stellar customer service – Compact Identity really is the last word in Identity and Access Management for small and medium businesses.

The Origin of Disease – New Insight

By | Blogs for Better Living | No Comments

Gabor Maté (born January 6, 1944) is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician with a background in family practice and a special interest in childhood development and trauma, and in their potential lifelong impacts on physical and mental health, including on autoimmune disease, cancer, ADHD, addictions and a wide range of other conditions. Dr Mate has impressed me with his work that I see a meeting of Western Science and Eastern spiritual knowledge.  Pl listen to this talk…

Prana

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What is “Prana”?

“Prana”, also called universal energy, the energy of life, ki, qi, or divine energy, is the substance behind all creation.

It is the substance that allows objects to live in an inert state, as well as the essence of what makes living things live and move.

It is the one cosmic principle, the fundamental of life. Without it, nothing exists.

What-evidence-is-there-for-the-existence-of-Prana

What evidence is there for the existence of Prana?

What is the most obvious evidence of prana?

On a scientific level, Kirlian photography which was discovered in 1939, shows that everything, even inanimate objects, have an aura that has nothing to do with lighting or a trick of the eyes. It is evidence that there is some ‘force’ within and behind things.

More concrete science that is publicly accepted, also points towards the existence of prana. On a subatomic level, electronics move with velocity. How do they move of their own accord and how do they seem to never run out of the energy that allows them to move? Electrons do borrow energy from one another, but if there were no sustained energy that was more particulate than the electron’s potential and kinetic energy, the universe would collapse from lack of energy as each electron would borrow from every other electron and everything would cease to exist.

There is also significant research that shows that one can observe the flow of prana, and even control its movement. “Energy healing” is a common practice today. The fundamental idea behind energy healing is that disease creates a state of low energy or prana in the diseased part of the body (or in the diseased mind or emotions), and that by guiding prana through subtle practice and concentration, one can intensely increase the rate of healing and even cure the disease. There is a lot of research that credits this theory.

 

The Spiritual Aspect of Prana – Its Origin and Purpose

How did prana come to be? Why does it exist?

It has been said, after deep contemplation by millions of people of the past and today, that the universe existed as a tiny contraction of existence no larger than a pin-point billions of years ago. This thinking is also mirrored by modern science in the ‘big bang theory’.

Prana existed in a state of non-activity and self-union. It was prana resting within itself, with no will or intention.

Then, at some point, this consciousness decided to express a will. It said something in the order of ‘I am one. Why not be many? I exist without movement. Why not move?

And so, there was an explosion of consciousness and the fabric of the universe expanded instantaneously to create creation. Prana started experiencing itself as myriad forms. By becoming many, it became self-cognizant, and fundamental meaning came into existence. For what Is the point of something capable of existing at all, if it cannot experience itself? It is like diamonds buried beneath the earth. Better it be on pendants and wedding rings.

 

The Spiritual Aspect of Prana – Conscious Spirituality

All forms of spirituality are an act of seeking. It is the seeking of prana to experience itself in a more deep and thorough way. Only through refining its self-consciousness can it give meaning to its own existence. That is the mystery of existence.

Those practices that deal directly with prana, such as Yoga or Qi Gong, seek to unite prana with itself in the most conscious way. They seek to first be aware of prana, then direct this awareness – which is nothing but prana in itself – towards prana more and more over time.

This results in ultimate self-cognizance. Illumination. Or from the perspective of the universal consciousness, self-illumination.

The Spiritual Aspect of Prana : Ancient Indian Texts and Traditions

Ancient Indian texts and understandings are very close to this practice and comprehension of spirituality.

They have many terms that do not exist in Western languages, for ascribing meaning and giving direction to aspirants who wish to be closer to the great mystery of the universe.

“Chitta” is the self-conscious aspect of prana. It is consciousness. It is the evolution of prana to the state where it can cognize itself. Prana is the substance of chitta. Chitta is beingness, awareness, and knowledge – the memory, present, and future of prana as self-awareness.

Both prana and consciousness must exist for life to exist. Prana on its own existed at some point. It was a state of existence where nobody lived. Then it became conscious of itself – and living beings were born. In between prana and chitta is “vasana” or desire. Without the desire to become self-aware, there would have been no direction in the evolution of prana that made it conscious. A living being is called a “prani”.

 

Humans as Prana

The quantum of prana of each individual is indicated by the power of their personality and depth of their souls – which is a direct reflection of their capacity to wield prana. Some people are more fascinating, commanding, and fascinating due to the level of their prana, the strength of their self-consciousness, and the length of the memory of their consciousness of themselves. This is not to be confused with ordinary memory, but the deeper memory of the soul wherein it remembers when it came to be and for how long it has been.

 

How is our Prana impacted by us?

Positive thoughts, higher emotions and yogic practices generate higher levels of Prana and obliterate pockets of low Prana in our systems.

On the other hand, negative or dull and repetitive thoughts, base emotions and heavy drinking or smoking or perverted sexual conduct greatly reduce our level of prana and create pockets of low prana that become blockages in our systems.

When the sexual urge and its energy are transformed from base carnal desire to love, Prana is conserved within our system and becomes ‘Ojas’ – a subtler form of energy. This energy accumulates in the brain and becomes a force for creative and spiritual development.

 

Yoga and the ‘Yogi’

In its essence, Yoga is a conscious attempt at connecting with spirit and transforming oneself into a more pranic being. Thus, there are many forms of Yoga – ‘bhakti’ or devotion, ‘karma yoga’ which has to do with performing acts in daily life that align oneself with prana and the higher principle of existence, ‘jnan’ yoga which involves meditating to directly illuminate the cosmic principle with one’s mind, and so on and so forth. A ‘yogi’ is one who practices some form of Yoga.

A yogi stores an abundance of prana within himself, just as a battery stores electricity.

The luminosity of his prana radiates strength, health and wellness to all around him.

 

Interactions of Prana in everyday life

At the material level one also receives prana from the environment – food, water, sun and the air.

Ancient Indian scriptures categorize foods by the quality of their prana. There are three kinds of food: sattvic, rajasic, and tamasic. Sattvic food has a neutral, healthy prana that nourishes the body deeply and affects the mind and emotions in a gentle, positive way. Tamasic foods have a less desirable amount of prana and affect the body-mind by dulling and slowing it. Rajasic foods also have less prana, but due to the way it impacts the body-mind, they are classified as foods that cause restlessness and agitation.

Pure air is essential not only for oxygen, but for the prana it provides.

The quality of air that one breathes affects one’s energy level directly.

The exhilaration and vitality one experiences near a waterfall or high in the mountains is because the quantum of prana in the air is significantly higher in these places.

On the other hand, when one is exposed to pollution or recycled or ‘canned’ air, the energy level quickly begins to decline.

 

Working with Prana

Prana is not received solely from external sources; it is also self-generated and its quality can be refined and directed. One can work with one’s own prana to enhance vitality and strength, cure diseases, boost capability and efficiency, and evolve to a higher consciousness.

The breath is the external manifestation of prana. A slower, longer exhalation indicates that prana is being more efficiently utilized by the body – more prana is being consumed from each atom of oxygen.

This is why yogic practices attach importance to different breathing practices, called ‘pranayama’.

 

The brain and prana

In the biological system, the brain uses the most prana. If the brain is not supplied sufficiently, the mind becomes restless and disturbed, constantly engaging in negative thoughts. This explains why when one is hungry or ill, one becomes irritable. The level of prana in the brain is greatly reduced.

As one works with prana through pranayama, its quality and quantum increases. The average human utilizes only one-tenth of his brain. Pranayama activates the dormant brain because huge amounts of prana are required to activate the whole brain and this practice is an enabler. Thus it awakens the genius in any individual.

Binod Singh
CEO, ILANTUS

Love Actually…is all around us

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What is our conditioning? That we are something finite, comprehensible and concrete. Why are we conditioned? It suffices that you can exist beyond this conditioning. It is a call of awakening – and indeed – of self-love, because without knowing yourself, there is nobody to truly care for.

You see, with the self-recognition we talk about – comes self-love. Self-love is the ultimate transforming agent – both within and without. Within, it embraces all the fragments, fears, and confusions we have and hold and makes a being whole. And without, your impulse is no longer greed – born of mistrust – but to give, share, express, and care.

Only when we care for ourselves can we care for others, for we do not know the true meaning before. If caring can become our way of existence, negative impulses and actions simply fall away and are replaced by a friendly, compassionate, intelligent sense of purpose

And so…

Try to take some time out of your routine to reconnect with who you are behind it all – and you will find a magnificent and benevolent existence for yourself and those around you.

Of Self-Awareness and Self-Love

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Life…or Something Like it

Life is life. How often have we heard this? But is life – life – or is it deeply impacted by our perception of it – or indeed, by our perception of ourselves?

Who are we truly, and what are we made of? Beggars, priests, kings, lay people, or indeed, corporate folk – what is it that we can all call our own?

The answer is simple but profound: It is our sense of self. Or, how we perceive ourselves.

Inquire Deeper…

Are we the limited, conditioned ideas of what we think of ourselves? Are we what the billboard advertisements, YouTube, and religions of the world say we are?

It is worth questioning because there is only one thing that is truly constant. The fact that we exist. It might be dimmed when we sleep, or slurred when we are drunk, but we always know it – even and especially when we are completely alone.

So, what if we decide to look at ourselves anew? What would we find if we for a minute ignored what we think we know about ourselves?

The Startling Truth

The answer has been unanimous amongst sages, saints and indeed many profound thinkers and personalities. It is also echoed in the words of many people today – spiritual teachers, life coaches, and indeed even scientists and medical professionals.

The answer that you may find is that you are something distinct, yet so merged with everything, that it is hardly distinct at all. It is what they call an ‘open secret’.

You are Universal Consciousness. Divinity. The Holy Spirit.

Call it whatever you like, but it tastes, feels, and experiences itself in the same way regardless of who you are.

What is its nature? Abundance, radiant bliss, strength, and purity. What is its purpose? To express itself, as it is infinitely mysterious and yet alive and capable of self-expression. What is its form? It is YOU.

Full Service Gas Stations and Self-Service Tools

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Does anyone remember Full Service Gas Stations? If you live in the United States, the State of New Jersey still mandates that gas stations be Full Service and not Self-Service. Pull up to the pump, stay in the car, have someone pump the gas, have them take your payment and drive away.

But Full Service didn’t mean that they were fully open 24 hours a day. Many years ago, when Full Service was the norm, I ran out of gas and it was a Sunday and it was Easter Sunday and there was no open gas station to be found. Today, Self-Service changes that…the convenience of accessibility at anytime and anywhere makes it more palatable to lose the luxury of assistance from a human server.

Automation in technology can be a great time saver, more convenient, less expensive and resulting in a higher level of employee productivity and user satisfaction. Self-Service tools such as Password Reset tools can achieve that. But human nature tends to stick with what’s comfortable and familiar. When gas stations were transitioning to Self-Service Pumps, I still looked for the Full-Service Stations…creature of habit and lack of knowledge as to how much more convenient learning how to pump my own gas could be!

ILANTUS Xpress Password is designed with such a user in mind…making it as user friendly and as comfortable to use as possible. We respond to customer feedback and adjust to meet those needs. However, our users face the same challenge with this and other technology tools: although they may lose time waiting for the Service Desk to help reset a password, it is still a comfortable and familiar way to get a reset: letting others handle it as they have before. So, when our organization introduces a self-service tool and expect the Service Desk to be relieved of its reset volume, management is surprised when that doesn’t change! And leadership is disappointed when the company doesn’t achieve the expected ROI.

Hopefully the company has selected the right robust tool with a clean interface, well worded communications and one that resolves the password issues quickly. However, humans will be using the tool and we need to consider that the self-service password management solution might not have been configured and deployed with the users in mind. People and work cultures are unique.

With that in mind, organizations need to help their unique company community embrace the “self” in self-service. ILANTUS Xpress Password has features and guides to assist companies with the “self” in self-service. For instance, it’s worth the time to customize alerts and messages from the tool; to remind users how to use the tool and when to use the tool; to use company branding; to get feedback; to know when these users are most likely to call for help and circumvent that with good messaging.

At ILANTUS, we believe our solution will make a significant difference. However, the value of the tool is in its use, not purchase, implementation and deployment. The value is in stewarding users…cultivating users so that they use the tool.

 

Who controls the ROI on your password management tool?

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Passwords are our primary defense against unauthorized access. Password Management  products keep our guard up and safe.

According to GCN (Technology, Tools and Tactics for the Public Sector), Identity and Access Management tools have the highest ROI among cybersecurity technologies. Password Management falls into this category and becomes one of the most visible technologies in an organization. ILANTUS’s newest version of Xpress Password with Self-Service Remote Access and Registration-less Self-Service has increased the ROI among our customers.

However, the real ROI is not solely in the technology. The real ROI lies with the users of the technology…they determine your best ROI. It all boils down to performance. And a tool cannot perform without a human using the tool.

Humans managing their passwords are critical to the primary defense against unauthorized access. Harvard Business Review found that “Spending millions on security technology can certainly make an executive feel safe. But the major sources of cyber threats aren’t technological. They’re found in the human brain, in the form of curiosity, ignorance, apathy, and hubris. These human forms of malware can be present in any organization and are every bit as dangerous as threats delivered through malicious code.”

When it comes to passwords, we cannot afford to allow a human to not be aware of how to prevent unauthorized access with a password. A study by CSO magazine and the CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University found that insiders were the source of “50% of incidents where private or sensitive information was unintentionally exposed.”

The best password investment combines the tool with the human.

To that end, Harvard Business Review suggests that the best cybersecurity investment is investment into better training. Technology is critical. But as the analogy goes in the article, the car is only as good as its driver. We need to train our technology drivers i.e. our employees. We need them to take part in defending unauthorized access. And we need to train them to be aware…notice something that doesn’t look right.

Password Management Tool + Human Investment = ROI

Technology is not the miracle tool. The best approach is in recognizing the importance of human readiness with the tool. The investment is in training our users in what is expected. Technology exists for and is utilized by humans. A significant portion of the ROI in a password management tool is investing in educating the humans on the technology.

 

Capital One: “What’s in your wallet?”

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We often hear that small businesses are more of a target for cyber-attacks because they don’t have the resources to combat it. There will always be thieves targeting data.

How do you choose to protect your data?

One of the most obvious ways is with an Enterprise Password Management solution with multi-factor authentication. However, it’s the strong password that you create that is vital no matter what solution you are using. But what constitutes a strong password.

You see suggestions like this:
“Create strong passwords. Don’t use the four-letter, easy-to-remember passwords. Make them strong and long: not a word; random with symbols, numbers, capitalization.”
In 2003, that was the suggestion.

National Institute of Standards and Technology published a document with password guidelines. It was an eight-page password document titled “NIST Special Publication 800-63. Appendix A.” It advised people to use irregular capitalization, special characters, and at least one numeral. We are all familiar with that pattern because we can’t change a password until we satisfy those parameters. But what kind of passwords do we actually create?

The author of this publication has revealed that he actually ended up directing computer users towards lazy mistakes and easy-to-predict practices. And with the suggestion to change passwords at least every 90 days, a parameter adopted by organizations, users ended up creating easy to crack passwords. Take a look at your own passwords…that list of how many applications….and how many passwords to remember…and how you chose what is the easiest password for you to remember. Even when changing your password, don’t you try to stick to something familiar, similar to what you have used before and easy to remember?

The author of the 2003 guide is now saying that it was a misguided guideline because it trained us to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess.

In 2013, a new guideline was published by NIST which did away with those 2003 parameters (although it seems many sites have not caught on yet). New concept: create a password that a computer cannot guess, and a human can remember. Create a phrase. It is longer and more random than a single password. It is a phrase that you are familiar with…a phrase that means something to you which makes it a phrase that is easy to remember…a passphrase that may be crack-proof!

In the United States, we associate the Capital One credit card with marketing the phrase “What’s in your wallet.” It’s easy to remember and we connect it with Capital One credit cards (which of course was the whole point).

ILANTUS has a Password Management solution with user verification but the user needs to start creating stronger passwords with phrases…easy to remember for the human and becomes a stronger line of defense against cyberattacks. Strong passwords are the key to keeping your data doors locked.

Fish, phish, spear phishing…not catch and release!

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According to research, 91% of cyberattacks and the resulting data breach begin with “spear phishing.”  And who do you think has been identified as the weak link in IT security that enabled those breaches?  Research pin points you…one of the company’s end users.

Spear phishing is a targeted attack (against specific groups such as employees of a company) in an attempt to undermine that company by using tactics to convince employees to do something to gain access to proprietary data or company systems.  Usually the message may appear to come from a recognizable authority from the company who may ask for information such as IDs and passwords.

Spear phishing success means that your brand and trust in your brand can be destroyed if news of the data breach reaches the public. And when that happens, according to research, 60% of your customers will think about moving their business and 30% will actually do so.

A few years back, The Wall Street Journal carried a story about a former New York State CIO’s use of fake phishing emails to test the awareness of some 10,000 New York state employees.  What he found was that even after training, about 15% of the phished recipients access the fake URL and tried to enter their passwords…yes…even after training.  You may say to yourself…it is so obvious that no one should provide that kind of information.  And yet, the evidence of firms losing money points to the fact that phishing methods work.  Put simply, there are people who inevitably click on links in phishing emails.

So, what do you do when you’ve been hooked by a spear phisher? 
As a general rule of thumb, the affected users’ passwords need to be changed…whether or not there’s evidence of a serious breach because you’ll never be 100% sure that the victims were not completed compromised.   An attacker who now has the keys to open the data doors, can open them at any time…and probably not when you expect them to be opened.

So how do you keep your business safe?
For most emergencies, there are protocols. What is the protocol in this emergency?  The protocol is proactive protocol.  Invest in a password management system.  Make sure you have a password solution with multifactor authentication. It is the most basic way to prevent hackers from breaking into your accounts with a stolen password.   And with those inevitable “clickers,” with a true enterprise system in place, if there is a suspicion of an attack, the company can quickly notify end users especially with end users who may be unware that they compromised the company or shy in reporting such a misstep.

ILANTUS has a multi-factor authentication password management tool that admins can access immediately send a message to the entire AD base with a URL for each user to immediately change their password.  The beauty of this product is that it is self-service – all users can change their passwords in a small amount of time unlike users who are forced to use a Service Desk.  Recently, we heard about a company breach that sent 1000 users to their Service Desk.  Those password changes took time, backed up the service desk, backed up the end users ability to continue to work and ended up costing the company a lot of money per service ticket.

If you think your organization is safe from a phishing attack because you haven’t yet been targeted, think again.  Think about protecting the company with a true enterprise password management solution.

WORLD PASSWORD DAY – It’s time to #LayerUp

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Passwords are critical gatekeepers to our digital identities affecting both our personal and professional lives. The Registrar of National Day Calendar has designated the first Thursday of May of each year as “World Password Day” to promote better password habits.

However, it is well known fact that people are notoriously bad at setting passwords leaving their data exposed to vulnerability and threat from third-parties. Layering up passwords with features tools like “multi-factor authentication” (also known as two-factor authentication) provides an additional layer of protection beyond your password. This additional layer provides a much better and secure way of authenticating a user to any application. This extra step to your login process gives a powerful protection against cybercrimes like identity theft and social media account hijacking.

IAM solutions like Password Management and Single Sign-On provide multi-factor authentication features like SMS OTP, email OTP, soft token, fingerprint ID, etc. Such solutions enable users to have a seamless single sign-on experience with more powerful password management benefits.

Think about it…and then ask yourself…why aren’t we doing this?