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.

McAfee Report Implies We’re Still Focused Externally

Posted April 12, 2011    Peter McCalister

You may have already seen the results of a 1,000+ person survey conducted recently by McAfee and wrapped up in a crisp report. They estimate that businesses have lost more than $1 trillion in 2008 as a result of data leaks. With the help of SAIC and international research firm Vanson Bourrne, the company has added some meaty authority to what would otherwise be seen as a vendor-biased report.

According to the report, the most popular methods of protecting sensitive data are anti-virus, firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems, which are implemented by more than four in five organizations. Perhaps followed by deep packet inspection, which was reported by two-thirds of respondents.  It figures that all of these are outward-facing security mechanisms primarily intended to prevent malicious hackers, viruses and worms. Therein lies the problem.

Surveys from the CSI/FBI research team also show that most organizations believe the majority of their security risks are from external threats, yet actual analysis on of real breaches shows that internal threats outweigh external ones.  This last RSA I remember one of our execs was telling a reporter that people are finally realizing that their risks are from within. This was also a big story during the recession, where many organizations were bracing themselves for massive layoffs that were creating armies of angry, unemployed, ex-employees. Before the recession reports like those from the Computer Security Institute were trying to change our minds to realize where our focus should be – demonstrating the internal problem.  Therein lies the value of a least privilege solution to help prevent good people (insiders) from doing bad things (steal or harm data).

And yet, after all that, I still feel like the industry hasn’t caught on. What else could anyone possibly do to erase this perspective that the vast majority of risk comes from over glorified hackers?

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Additional articles


Closing the Vulnerability Gap

Posted October 7, 2015    Brian Chappell

Managing vulnerabilities is a significant challenge for many organizations. The main difficulties with managing this manifest in two key areas. The first is that the list isn’t static. The second is priority.


Scottrade Breach: Identified by Federal Officials

Posted October 5, 2015    Morey Haber

Late afternoon on October 2nd, news leaked out of another large security breach, now at Scottrade. The identity count of records, in the millions again (4.6 million is the latest). This breach comes on the second day of national CyberSecurity month, the first being Experian/T-Mobile breach.

3d image Data Breach issues concept word cloud background

Experian/T-Mobile Data Breach: When 2 Days is not Enough

Posted October 2, 2015    Morey Haber

On October 1, Experian admitted full responsibility for the loss of T-Mobile customer data. 15 million user records dating back to 2013 were effected in the breach, with data including sensitive information that may be decryptable like social security numbers and drivers licenses.