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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.

Monitoring the Highly Privileged User

Posted June 13, 2011    Peter McCalister

Today there are more insider data breaches than ever before. Verizon reports that in 2010, 48 percent of all breaches were attributed to users who abused their network privileges to maliciously access and distribute sensitive corporate information. Even minor policy violations, whether deliberate or inadvertent, the study finds, correlate directly with more serious abuse. At BeyondTrust, we call this breaching the “perimeter within.”

Imposing limits on general user access can help curtail inappropriate database activities and mitigates risks; however there remains a subset of employees that do require high-level network and database access in order to do their jobs. These are the users that have the ability to cause the most damage, yet they are often the most difficult to watch and control. Therefore it’s not surprising that IT security teams have a tough time tackling this problem, yet it’s one they no longer can afford to ignore.

Actively monitoring these privileged users can offer much needed visibility into who’s accessing corporate data and what they’re doing with it. To do this effectively, organizations must carefully log user activity and track policy violations, even minor ones. For an overburdened IT staff, this can look like a complex and daunting task.

But it needn’t be. Recently we announced our new PowerBroker Database, which provides a comprehensive, seamless audit trail of all privileged users’ activities. Consider it an IT ‘two-way mirror’ – one that enables you to see and validate any changes or deviations made by authorized privileged users through alerts and reports. Coupled with PowerBroker’s powerful privilege delegation and authorization management capabilities, PowerBroker Database offers a comprehensive solution for protecting – and monitoring – your database against the threat of insider breaches.

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