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Security In Context

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The Cobbler’s Son Has No Shoes

Post by Peter McCalister March 31, 2011

What happens when a top security company fails to implement a least privilege solution?  Just look at what was reported about RSA to see what awaits you if you fail to implement a least privilege solution and someone hijacks credentials to steal information via Advanced Persistent Threat.  Yep, the cobbler’s son does have NO SHOES.

What is most amazing about this breach is that it was significant enough for the Department of Homeland Security to weigh in on.  So if a system’s credentials are breached then full access to data is the prize and in this case the potential to create flawed id tokens for authentication now magnifies that problem 100 fold.  If privileged accounts are created attached to hacked SecureID tokens then the potential for a classic “indirect misuse of privilege” will be exposed.

This fosters the discussion of anti-malware for enterprises.  You may think you are protected if your anti-virus and firewall solutions are current with the latest patches, but what if the malware is embedded or planted by legitimate administrator (or root) credentials?  In these cases, being able to detect the problem gets more difficult because most of the security is on external threats and not insider credentials and how they may be used by outsiders.

According to Verizon’s latest Data Breach Report, it’s all about misuse of privilege.

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