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Lessons Learned from Privileged Identity Management Mistakes

Posted May 2, 2011    Peter McCalister

It never ceases to amaze me how predictable we are as human beings. Whether it’s continuing to repeat our own mistakes or thinking the consequences of others’ actions would never apply to us, it seems we’re far too eager to turn a blind eye to reality. Reality, however, has a funny way of coming back to haunt us.

Take, for example, the misuse of privilege. As security breaches become more and more prevalent, there are still companies that have not yet eliminated the risk of internal vulnerabilities. If employees have free reign over what they can access, a security breach stops becoming a question of if and becomes a question of when. That question, unfortunately, was answered for Gucci this past November.

Sam Chihlung Yin, after being fired as an IT network engineer for the company, used a fake network token he had created to gain unregulated access to the Gucci network. While using this token, he shut down virtual servers and storage, deleted a number of corporate inboxes, and duplicated sensitive materials from the database.

There are several lessons we can take away from Gucci’s experience. The first and foremost is to have an identity management solution in place within your enterprise. Allowing any employee unfettered access to all company assets is both unnecessary and dangerous. The second is to regularly monitor privileges as work roles, new employees, and new data emerge and change. Take the steps now to learn from the past, and prevent any insiders from misusing their privileges on any level.

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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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patch-tuesday

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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