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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

How To Implement The Australian Signals Directorate’s Top 4 Strategies

Posted October 20, 2014    Morey Haber

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), also known as the Defence Signals Directorate, has developed a list of strategies to mitigate targeted cyber intrusions. The recommended strategies were developed through ASD’s extensive experience in operational cyber security, including responding to serious security intrusions and performing vulnerability assessments and penetration testing for Australian government agencies. These recommendations…

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Exploiting MS14-059 because sometimes XSS is fun, sometimes…

Posted October 17, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This October, Microsoft has provided a security update for System.Web.Mvc.dll which addresses a ‘Security Feature Bypass’. The vulnerability itself is in ASP.NET MVC technology and given its wide adoption we thought we would take a closer look. Referring to the bulletin we can glean a few useful pieces of information: “A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists…

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Four Best Practices for Passing Privileged Account Audits

Posted October 16, 2014    Chris Burd

Like most IT organizations, your team may periodically face the “dreaded” task of being audited. Your process for delegating privileged access to desktops, servers, and infrastructure devices is a massive target for the auditor’s microscope. An audit’s findings can have significant implications on technology and business strategy, so it’s critical to make sure you’re prepared…

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