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Security In Context

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

It’s the Little Things That Count

Post by Peter McCalister November 3, 2011

As we discussed several times, enterprise IT security isn’t easy. As recent article at Dark Reading makes clear, part of the reason is that even the smallest flaw can lead to a major security breach.

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The article covers a number of areas – configuration and patch management, network access, and embedded systems – but not surprisingly the most interesting to us dealt with the insider threat. As the article makes clear overlooking a rarely used account with high-powered privileges can lead to disastrous results. More and more hacker’s are being patient and exploiting small security flaws and leveraging social engineering to get access to the keys to the kingdom. So as this example makes clear, admin privileges to a system that doesn’t house critical data can be exploited to get to more important systems. It even states “Even so, ignorance is no excuse when the bad guys hone in on an inconspicuous weakness, like a few older, rarely used desktops that haven’t been updated with the latest patches. It takes only one weak link for an attacker to gain a foothold into an organization and steal valuable data, or set up shop for long-term cyberespionage.”

So what’s the answer? Take nothing for granted, monitor all your systems carefully and treat privileged access to any system as a high priority. When it comes to enterprise IT security, it’s the little things that count.

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