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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.

Why Innocent Looking Facebook Photos Can Be Dangerous

Posted July 16, 2012    Peter McCalister

Hacker attacks are far more publicized than insider attacks. In fact, according to the 2011 CyberSecurity Watch Survey conducted by CSO Magazine and Deloitte, 70 percent of insider incidents are handled internally without legal action. This begs the question – how many of those incidents are disclosed to the public? While a majority of U.S. states have enacted security breach notification laws it hasn’t stopped some organizations from covering up insider breaches. And of even more concerning, some businesses have no idea that their intellectual property is being compromised by way of popular social media platforms.

The rapid consumerization of IT coupled with the increasingly popular use of social media platforms to increase brand visibility and socialize CRM is drastically expanding the threat landscape for enterprises. It is becoming apparent that hackers and malicious software developers are targeting social media platforms as channels to commit cybercrimes and pilfer information.

Malicious attackers have a number robust toolkits and clever methods to slip past defenses, including: emails with hidden agendas, USB drives containing malware, insider threats and now the utilization of third party social media sites with posted images, audio and video files to gain access to company networks without detection.

A recent article by Dark Reading highlights how an innocent-looking vacation picture on Facebook could conceivably traffic exfiltrated documents. According to the article, “Security researchers will unveil at Black Hat USA a new method of hiding sensitive information in the encoding of seemingly safe images shared on social media sites to avoid security mechanisms. The method employed by a new tool they developed called SNScat can not only be used to exfiltrate data off networks without detection, but to also run covert botnets through the type of social media network traffic allowed by most businesses today.”

Social media’s infiltration into the enterprise isn’t slowing down and it’s becoming critical that enterprises invest in vulnerability management, mobile device management and privilege access management to keep the pace against the dark side of innovation and malicious attackers.

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Additional articles

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How to Audit VMware ESX and ESXi Servers Against the VMware Hardening Guidelines with Retina CS

Posted February 27, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Retina CS Enterprise Vulnerability Management has included advanced VMware auditing capabilities for some time, including virtual machine discovery and scanning through a cloud connection, plus the ability to scan ESX and ESXi hosts using SSH. However, in response to recent security concerns associated with SSH, VMware has disabled SSH by default in its more recent…

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Privileged Passwords: The Bane of Security Professionals Everywhere

Posted February 19, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Passwords have been with us since ancient times. Known as “watchwords”, ancient Roman military guards would pass a wooden tablet with a daily secret word engraved from one shift to the next, with each guard position marking the tablet to indicate it had been received. The military has been using passwords, counter-passwords, and even sound…

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Privileged Account Management Process

In Vulnerability Management, Process is King

Posted February 18, 2015    Morey Haber

You have a vulnerability scanner, but where’s your process? Most organizations are rightly concerned about possible vulnerabilities in their systems, applications, networked devices, and other digital assets and infrastructure components. Identifying vulnerabilities is indeed important, and most security professionals have some kind of scanning solution in place. But what is most essential to understand is…

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