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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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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

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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

Passwords have been with us since ancient times. Known as “watchwords”, ancient Roman military guards would pass a wooden tablet with a daily secret word engraved from one shift to the next, with each guard position marking the tablet to indicate it had been received. The military has been using passwords, counter-passwords, and even sound…

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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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