In order to put a face on the depth and breadth of potential insiders that can be found throughout your enterprise, I will introduce you to three insider villains and three insider heroes. Each villain will represent one of the key misuse of privileges and each hero will represent key values delivered by least privilege. This first introduction will be of the most impactful and prevalent villain.
It seems like you can’t turn on the news or surf the web without hearing about yet another data breach or information security attack, all of which lead to further consumer unrest and corporate concern about the protection of their own sensitive data. The security structure within most organizations generally provides a multitude of security mechanisms designed to provide protection of sensitive information, but with so many different aspects of security to consider, IT administrators and security officers need to be sure not to overlook the Active Directory.
Industry analysts have classified the privilege identity management space into Super User Privileged Management (SUPM) and Shared Account Password Management (SAPM). When it comes to crashing your enterprise systems, destroying data, deleting or creating accounts and changing passwords, it’s not just malicious hackers you need to worry about.
I have tried to purposely keep this blog away from anything even remotely BeyondTrust sales-oriented and focus instead on the information, education and proof-points that examine the whys and hows of implementing least privilege across your extended enterprise. Today will be an exception.
Many organizations have invested heavily in perimeter security, helping to protect against hackers and outside threats, but very few have addressed the weak link in the security chain. Users with excessive privileges are that weak link, and allowing users to make security decisions can have disastrous consequences.
In the spirit of keeping blog posts informative, short and fun, this one takes a cue from David Letterman in format. So without further fanfare or wasted space… the Top 10 Reasons to Implement Least Privilege for Applications and Databases. How may of these have you seen throughout your organization?
No, I’m not talking about socks that protect your feet, I’m talking about the government regulation that most of you are worried about. Protiviti just released a new study on the effectiveness and costs of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance with a number of interesting insights for IT managers who are concerned about the effectiveness and costs of their IT controls. The overall results are encouraging.
Sometimes the abuse of IT admin power doesn’t involve a price tag. Take for instance, Walter Powell, a disgruntled IT manager who hacked his former employer’s computer and replaced the CEO’s digital presentation to instead display a lewd pornographic image on the 64-inch screen that the CEO was presenting to his board of directors. While we have documented extensively the costs that this kind of calculated attack can cost an organization, in this case, the cost could almost seem priceless.
We’ve talked a lot about change, and how it’s one of the only things in the IT world that remains the same. Another constant is human nature- specifically our reactions when we do something we shouldn’t. People have this funny tendency to hide their wrong-doings: sweep them under a proverbial rug. The problem is that those rugs can turn into uncontrollable problems, and in the IT world mean the dreaded “D” word: Data Breach. Hiding bad habits and improper actions never cloak the issue, but allows the problem to compound until one day it becomes a raging war.
In the spirit of keeping blog posts informative, short and fun, this one takes a cue from David Letterman in format. So without further fanfare or wasted space… the Top 10 Reasons to Implement Least Privilege for Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds are: