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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Insider Threats: What Can Be Done?

Posted April 17, 2012    Peter McCalister

IT security tends to focus on securing the network from external attacks, but little attention is given to malicious activity and human error within the company. According to InformationWeek’s 2012 Strategic Survey, company employees pose just as much of a threat as cyber thieves.

How can this be addressed?

A recent article by Dark Reading titled, How To Prevent Data Leaks From Happening To Your Organization, highlights that the most difficult element of defense is the human factor – implementing policies and training to educate employees on proper handling of sensitive data. The article lays out some strategies that can be integrated to keep essential information from getting out.

Email and web security gateways can be a beneficial tool to sit in-line and act as a relay, inspecting not only internal data traffic, but also outbound traffic that employees generate. This outgoing information can be inspected for terms sensitive to the company, and specific data types, raising red flags when prospective threats occur. Secondly, behavioral anomaly detection systems can be put into place to create a baseline of normal network activity, and report on activity that deviates from that baseline. The drawback is that this will only report, and it is up to security staff to investigate. These strategies are proven effective, but further policies can be employed to maintain data security and integrity within a network.

The article neglects to mention the implementation of privilege identity management as a viable solution to insider threat problems. Creating an internal perimeter with privileged access policies can significantly reduce dangers of theft or accidental disclosure. To counter misuse of privileges, enterprises must mitigate insider threats and clarify rank vs. privilege, supporting a least privilege environment.

Human nature is the weakest link when it comes to the intersection of people, processes and technology. In most situations it’s more often than not the case that people have way too much privileged access – admin rights on the desktop, root password on server – for the role they are required to play.

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Additional articles

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How to Audit VMware ESX and ESXi Servers Against the VMware Hardening Guidelines with Retina CS

Posted February 27, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Retina CS Enterprise Vulnerability Management has included advanced VMware auditing capabilities for some time, including virtual machine discovery and scanning through a cloud connection, plus the ability to scan ESX and ESXi hosts using SSH. However, in response to recent security concerns associated with SSH, VMware has disabled SSH by default in its more recent…

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Privileged Passwords: The Bane of Security Professionals Everywhere

Posted February 19, 2015    Dave Shackleford

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In Vulnerability Management, Process is King

Posted February 18, 2015    Morey Haber

You have a vulnerability scanner, but where’s your process? Most organizations are rightly concerned about possible vulnerabilities in their systems, applications, networked devices, and other digital assets and infrastructure components. Identifying vulnerabilities is indeed important, and most security professionals have some kind of scanning solution in place. But what is most essential to understand is…

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