As 2011 comes to a close, it’s time to start looking ahead to what 2012 will bring, including compliance considerations for the New Year.
All regulations emphasize fraud control, therefore internal automated controls over all access (especially privileged users) will provide assurance; the Ponemon Institute has identified “privileged access” as an area of “higher risk and means by which fraud has been committed.”
• Eliminating over-privileged users inside your organization will aid in compliance satisfaction, as most regulations (SOX, HIPAA, GLB, PCI, etc.) have a clause addressing level of access to key IT assets. All IT assets need administration, such as root access to servers for maintenance and software installation/upgrades, but this level of privilege also opens the path to abuse and/or actions outside of corporate governance or regulated policies. A least privilege solution eliminates this level of access by elevating IT privileges based only on select policy, for example an admin can back up a specific server only under specific circumstances, and log every privileged access for entitlement and access compliance reporting.
• Point of Sale systems with local IT systems and admins will effect PCI compliance without least privilege because local admins will have full access to any data stored locally, and can not only view that information.
• FDCC mandate from the U.S. Government Office of Management and Budget requires all agencies to restrict administrator rights on all PCs, but without a privilege identity management solution you can’t effectively/productively run most applications or perform standard functions, such as add a print driver or download an ActiveX control from a Web site.
For more compliance tips check out Dark Reading’s 2012 Compliance Checklist.