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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Reasons Why You Should Give a DAM: Part 1

Posted June 21, 2011    Peter McCalister

The lack of control of privileged database credentials continues to expose corporations to significant risk associated with insecurity and inaccuracy of the key data assets that drive business activities, decisions, and value. I’ve previously covered the six questions you should ask yourself if you should give a DAM, so now it’s time to look a little deeper at the implications.

Specifically, weak control of privilege credentials provides the opportunity for the insiders holding those credentials (or hackers who acquire them) to mis-use their elevated privileges to steal or fraudulently manipulate data or simply introduce inaccuracies through human error. The consequences of these unauthorized actions can be severe for businesses especially if the activity goes undetected for a prolonged period of time. Secondarily, the compliance costs associated with proving to IT audit that adequate database controls around these privileged users are in place is high.

The solutions currently available to corporations today are often times not entirely effective, and are expensive to purchase, deploy, and maintain. Custom developed solutions that leverage the database’s native security and audit features are a common approach. These solutions are expensive to design, develop, maintain and operate. Database Activity Monitoring products on the market today are another alternative. These products provide tools to implement detective and preventative controls for DBAs, however, there are three key weaknesses in these products:

The preventative capabilities are driven largely by policies involving rudimentary session attributes, access patterns, and activity thresholds. These do not provide the capability to control activity on a fine grained basis based on external context.
The monitoring capability of many of these products does not provide the level of visibility into what is happening to data assets stored within the database, nor does it provide the activity detail needed to assess impact of the activity and remediate it if necessary.
The products are expensive and complex to implement.

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Additional articles

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Protecting Privileged Passwords: a “Past the Password” Perspective

Posted July 6, 2015    Nick Cavalancia

Webinar discussing the realities of today’s state of security using some of the most recent (and respected) reports in the industry, and look at what steps you should be taking to properly protect your privileged passwords.

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On Demand Webinar: Because Auditing Stinks Sometimes

Posted July 2, 2015    Lindsay Marsh

Auditing stinks. Well, mostly stinks. In this on demand webinar, lead by Group Policy MVP Jeremy Moskowitz, you’ll learn the three key tenets to real Group Policy auditing. Tenet 1: Why do you care about Group Policy auditing? Tenet 2: How does Eventing help you know “Who did what?” Tenet 3: How does Reporting tell…

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Stopping the Skeleton Key Trojan

Posted June 29, 2015    Robert Auch

Earlier this year Dell’s SecureWorks published an analysis of a malware they named “Skeleton Key”. This malware bypasses authentication for Active Directory users who have single-factor (password only) authentication. The “Skeleton Key” attack as documented by the SecureWorks CTU relies on several critical parts.

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