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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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

The Insider Threat Epidemic

Posted November 22, 2011    Peter McCalister

Insider threats, particularly unauthorized access by current and former employees, are still a growing concern for IT managers and network administrators, according to InformationWeek’s Insider Threat Reality Report. In the report, several internal issues were cited for network intrusions, including: lack of adequate security policies (17 percent); employee negligence (12 percent); unauthorized access by current or future employees (11 percent); employee Web usage (six percent); and lack of software updates (six percent); with concerns about unauthorized access nearly doubling from last year’s study.

villain trio

Year-after-year and study-after-study continues to prove that insider threats are a dangerous threat to organizations of all sizes and studies such as this one indicate that organizations are aware of these dangers – but what is being done to mitigate the risks?

First, organizations need to get the right privilege identity management policies in place, which will help with the concern of adequate security policies and unauthorized access. Second, get comprehensive risk assessment in place, allowing IT managers to gain visibility into how data flows over the network and receive alerts on suspicious activity. And lastly, delegate root tasks and authorization in virtualized data center environments, without ever disclosing the highly sensitive root password, allowing for adaptation to the increasing scale and complexity of rapidly changing virtual and cloud environments and allowing for secure and efficient deployment and expansion within any organization.

These are just a few of the ways that organizations can minimize the risks associated with insider threats – an epidemic everyone seems to be aware of, but not everyone is ready to treat.

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