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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.

Layoffs May Lead to Insider Attacks

Posted January 31, 2012    Peter McCalister

Employee terminations are, unfortunately, a necessary evil for corporations. In a time of recession, layoffs are more copious and often leave those affected angry and upset. It should come as no surprise that a small minority of those cases has led to disastrous consequences for former employers because of some terminated employee backlash.

Just recently, Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Institute of Engineering program, The CERT Insider Threat Center, analyzed more than 600 cases of actual malicious insider attacks and published a report on their findings around behavioral modeling titled, “Insider Threat Control: Using Centralized Logging to Detect Data Exfiltration Near Insider Termination. ”Interestingly, according to the report, “Many insiders who stole their organization’s intellectual property stole at least some of it within 30 days of their termination.”

Employee terminations are just one factor when combating insider threats. KPMG also recently released a report titled, “Who is the typical fraudster?,” indicating that companies were not seeing the red flags when it came to insider threats. According to KPMG’s analysis of 348 cases across 69 countries from 2008 to 2010 that were investigated on behalf of its clients, the typical “fraudster” is described as:

• A 36-45 year old male in a senior management role in the finance unit or in a finance-related function
• An employee for more than 10 years who usually would work in collusion with another individual

We at BeyondTrust believe insiders like Disgruntled Dave can be thwarted when an organization implements a least privilege environment to help secure their perimeter within. Whether we like it or not, people can do bad things intentionally, accidentally, or indirectly, and it is our responsibility to take measures to prevent this.

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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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Privileged Account Management Process

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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