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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

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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