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Security In Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting your critical IT infrastructure.

Why Back to the Future Doesn’t Help Corporate Security

Post by Peter McCalister August 29, 2011

I was recently at a convention where the DeLorian (the real one from Back to the Future!) was on display. With the doors up and open, the lights flashing, and the radio blaring, it took me right back to the movie and how awesome it would be if we could do what Marty McFly did. Although inadvertently, he went back in time and was able to influence actions and decisions that significantly improved his future. It would be awesome to go back, alter some pivotal decisions in my life, nip some bad habits in the bud, and make my future that much better. But personal life aside, think of how impactful it would be if companies were allowed to do the same.

With all of the data breaches being reported (we’ve talked about many of them right here on this blog), one thing becomes increasingly apprent. As more companies fall victim to this 21st century plague, understanding and preventing the misuse of privilege is becoming all the more important.

Most data breaches are caused by the misuse of privilege. Sometimes it’s an accidental thing wehre human error is to blame for the uploading of sensitive information to an outward facing web page. Other times it’s indirect- maybe an employee with root access inadvertently allows a malicious outsider to hijack their credentials and infiltrate a secured database. And every now and then it’s an intentional misuse of privilege that occurs- a disgruntled employee who is looking to cash in on company secrets. All of these are realities that executives wish they could go back in time and prevent.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a time traveling DeLorean. The only way to fix things is to prevent them now. It is time to act in the name of corporate security.

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