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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

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

It Must Be Bad If The Wall St. Journal Is Reporting On It

Posted October 3, 2011    Peter McCalister

What is the “it” that must be so bad? What did the Wall St Journal report as “What’s A Company’s Biggest Security Risk? You.”

That’s correct… everything we have been blogging about for the last year was boiled down by Geoffrey Fowler in the subhead of the article of September 26, 2011: “Employees don’t mean to be the primary entry point for hackers. But they are.” And then goes on to report “Hacking attacks against companies are growing bigger and bolder—witness a string of high-profile breaches this year at Sony Corp., Citigroup Inc. and others. But gone are the days when hackers would simply find holes in corporate networks to steal valuable data. Large companies have grown wise to the threat of hacking, and have spent the past 30 years hardening the perimeters of their networks with upgraded technology. These days, criminals aren’t just hacking networks. They’re hacking us, the employees.”

It’s nice to see that publications as respected as the WSJ are reporting on what we have described previously as “indirect harm” and even created an Insider Villain called Identity Thief Irene to typify this type of misuse of privilege. Mr. Fowler also points out that “Employees have more opportunities than ever to compromise company information. We not only screw up by clicking on emails from hackers that download viruses, letting them bypass corporate firewalls. We also open a Pandora’s Box of security problems by circumventing company tech-support rules and doing work with personal gadgets and consumer-grade online services like Web email and cloud storage services.”

This is what we labeled “accidental harm” and introduced you to “Accident Prone Annie” as the typical over-privileged insider who can create problems without even understanding the depth and breadth of what they did.

This is why implementing a least privilege environment is the surest way to protect your organization from yourself. Contact us to find out what you can do next.

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Additional articles

Are Your Data Security Efforts Focused in the Right Area?

Posted January 28, 2015    Scott Lang

Vormetric Data Security recently released an insider threat report, with research conducted by HarrisPoll and analyzed by Ovum. Based on the survey responses, it is apparent that there is still a great deal of insecurity over data. However, the results also show that there may be misplaced investments to address those insecurities. I will explain…

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GHOST Vulnerability…Scary Indeed

Posted January 28, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

A vulnerability discovered by Qualys security researchers has surfaced within the GNU C Library that affects virtually all Linux operating systems. The vulnerability lies within the various gethostbyname*() functions and, as such, has been dubbed “GHOST.” GHOST is particularly nasty considering remote, arbitrary code execution can be achieved. In an effort to avoid taxing DNS lookups, glibc developers introduced…

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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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