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Data Breach Excuses and What They Really Mean: Excuse 5

Posted December 31, 2010    Peter McCalister

Excuse 5:  APPOLOGIZE AND REASSURE CUSTOMERS IT WAS AN ACCIDENT RATHER THAN INTENTIONAL HARM.  You guessed it, that’s what we hear next when data shows up stolen or vandalized.  So this fifth installment of the Top 5 Excuses for Data Breaches and What They Really Meanwill attempt to translate this into what really happened and use current news to exemplify our point.

The University of Hawaii used this ‘cover-our-butts’ excuse recently when they realized a former faculty member had inadvertently posted the social security numbers, grades, and other personal information of 40,000 former students to an unprotected server. This information has been accessible by a simple Google search for the past year.

“We are troubled (and) determined to notify everyone according to law and committed to do everything possible in the future to prevent this from happening.”  Their spokesman, Ryan Mielke, also stated that there didn’t appear to be misuse of the information.

That hardly makes it OK, especially when the information was available to all and sundry for 11 months, and that the former faculty member even had access to the data to conduct their admission research on behalf of the University.

Monitoring database access is part of the solution, but addressing the misuse of privilege requires going beyond that.  It is just as essential to continually audit privileges to ensure employees and partners only have access to the minimum amount of sensitive data necessary to perform their duties.  This requirement for separation of duties is also a cornerstone of virtually all compliance regulations.

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Your New Years Resolution: Controlling Privileged Users

Posted January 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Is 2015 the year you get a better handle on security? The news last year was grim – so much so, in fact, that many in the information security community despaired a bit. Really, the end-of-the-year infosec cocktail parties were a bit glum. OK, let’s be honest, infosec cocktail parties are usually not that wild…

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Adobe Patches Zero-Day Flaw Being Exploited in the Wild

Posted January 22, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Earlier this week, French malware researcher Kafeine reported on a new Adobe Flash zero-day vulnerability that was being exploited in the wild using the latest versions of the Angler Exploit Toolkit. “Any version of Internet Explorer or Firefox with any version of Windows will get owned if Flash up to 16.0.0.287 (included) is installed and enabled”…

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Your Data Security Strategy Starts with Deploying a Least Privilege Model (part 2 of 2)

Posted January 22, 2015    Scott Lang

In last week’s blog, we talked about how controls and accountability must be put into place so that only the right folks can access data and the systems on which that data resides, and that employing a least privilege model helps to achieve that and more. We’re using conclusions and data from a recent report…

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