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Playing Russian Roulette With Your Auditor

Posted May 20, 2011    Peter McCalister

Who could forget the image of Christopher Walken’s Academy Award winning performance in The Deer Hunter? Anyone who has seen that movie can not help but understand the ultimate penalty for losing at Russian Roulette. Even though the penalties aren’t quite as “life threatening” when the compliance auditor comes around, they can be “career threatening” to the IT executive who plays the same game with meeting regulatory requirements.

I’ve blogged before about the right side, wrong side and wild side of the dreaded audit, but I didn’t realize the extent of IT organizations that “pray for the best” when it comes to achieving a passing mark from their outside auditors. The misuse of privilege in any organization is absolutely in violation of most every regulation on the books today. Just run an entitlements report to see who has access to what information resources across your extended enterprise and you will immediately determine to extent of the potential problem. For those of you more interested in digging to the heart of the challenge, then I found this very cool mind-map on the “Frequently Avoided Questions About IT Auditing” in New Zealand of all places.

It also helps to understand the Information Technology Audit Process. The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) is recognized worldwide for providing guidance on critical aspects of organizational governance, business ethics, internal control, enterprise risk management, fraud and financial reporting and has an incredible amount of content on their site to assist with this as well.

Bottom line: don’t play Russian Roulette with your auditor as the consequences can get messy.

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Additional articles

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PowerBroker for Mac: A Least-Privileged Apple a Day…

Posted July 27, 2015    Jason Silva

BeyondTrust PowerBroker for Mac reduces the risk of privilege misuse by enabling standard users on Mac OS X to perform administrative tasks successfully without entering elevated credentials.

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On Demand Webinar – Now is the time for Privileged Account Management

Posted July 24, 2015    BeyondTrust Software

In this webinar, SANS Instructor and Founder of Voodoo Security, Dave Shackleford, will revisit several hacking and breach scenarios that involved privileged accounts, and use these as examples while discussing tools and tactics to get this problem under control once and for all.

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Privileged Account Management: The Time is Now

Posted July 22, 2015    Dave Shackleford

There’s plenty of problems we don’t have great options for in InfoSec today. Malware is a pain point that keeps evolving rapidly. 0-day exploits are tough to prepare for. Privileged account management? We got this. We know the root causes, we know how it manifests, we know how to get it under control effectively, and there are great technology solutions that are enterprise-class.

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