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Security In Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting your critical IT infrastructure.

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

Post by Peter McCalister October 3, 2011

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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