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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

Are Your Data Security Efforts Focused in the Right Area?

Posted January 28, 2015    Scott Lang

Vormetric Data Security recently released an insider threat report, with research conducted by HarrisPoll and analyzed by Ovum. Based on the survey responses, it is apparent that there is still a great deal of insecurity over data. However, the results also show that there may be misplaced investments to address those insecurities. I will explain…

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GHOST Vulnerability…Scary Indeed

Posted January 28, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

A vulnerability discovered by Qualys security researchers has surfaced within the GNU C Library that affects virtually all Linux operating systems. The vulnerability lies within the various gethostbyname*() functions and, as such, has been dubbed “GHOST.” GHOST is particularly nasty considering remote, arbitrary code execution can be achieved. In an effort to avoid taxing DNS lookups, glibc developers introduced…

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Your New Years Resolution: Controlling Privileged Users

Posted January 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Is 2015 the year you get a better handle on security? The news last year was grim – so much so, in fact, that many in the information security community despaired a bit. Really, the end-of-the-year infosec cocktail parties were a bit glum. OK, let’s be honest, infosec cocktail parties are usually not that wild…

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