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Looking For A Needle In A Haystack Without Least Privilege

Posted December 7, 2011    Peter McCalister

Ever use the phrase that looking for something was like “finding a needle in a haystack”? If you’ve ever seen (or especially played in) a haystack then you understand the magnitude of that challenge. This also applies to IT security when trying to uncover who or what was able to access confidential information and either steal, damage or delete it altogether.

needle

As I talk to CIO’s around the world I am always perplexed why they lament the challenge of rooting out (excuse the pun) potential insider threats responsible for data loss and the possibility of a failed compliance audit. In organizations where everyone has full administrator access to the network, determining who might have leaked, stolen or damaged data would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

For organizations running good least privilege systems, it’s possible to narrow down the possibilities of who had access to what and when to fewer individuals. With that in mind, employees might think again before blowing the whistle. This is especially true for server-based least privilege solutions where keystroke logging will record everything done at a granular level, whereas desktop least privilege usually just tracks at an event level.

This doesn’t, by any stretch, prevent data breaches from happening. If someone has privilege access, they can still steal or leak sensitive data. As suggested in previous blog posts, what good least privilege solu- tions can do, however, is provide a strong deterrent, because a good least privilege solution means access is not just leveraged on a “needs must” basis, it is logged too. Connect with an expert to find out what can be done for your organization.

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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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