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Security In Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting your critical IT infrastructure.

3 Ways to Remediate Misuse of Privilege

Post by Peter McCalister January 20, 2011

In the event that someone in your organization does misuse privilege and causes harm (theft, damage or loss of data), you will have to immediately deal with the aftermath.  In today’s security conscious enterprise, there are three level of remediation to consider:

  1. Password Management:  In this situation you have eliminated users maintaining their own credentials and facilitate the access to information technology (IT) resources through a web-based Shared Account Password Management (SAPM) solution.  When the user desires access they go to a specific web screen which then logs the user into the requested resource based on some recognized stored policy.  The good news here is that in the event someone misuse that resource, you have a record of who was using it at the time of the breach.  This is the equivalent of know who did the damage but not what they did.
  2. Session Management:  In this situation, you are building on Password Management with the addition of automatic logging of every event (or keystroke) to another server of what was done once someone is granted access to the resource.  If harm does in occur in this situation then you not only know who did the harm but what they did, so you can “unwind” or fix what was done.
  3. Privilege Delegation:  In this situation, you are delegating privileges (system authorizations) to specific users based on defined, centralized corporate policy.  This builds on Session Logging and delivers all of the previous value but now limits the damage potentially done as it limits what authorizations are available based on policy.  In effect you have prevented harm from being done and have a record of who attempted to do harm and what they attempted to do.

Bottom line is that you need some form of solution to protect against the misuse of privilege and remediate any potential harm that does occur.

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