Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

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


Scottrade Breach: Identified by Federal Officials

Posted October 5, 2015    Morey Haber

Late afternoon on October 2nd, news leaked out of another large security breach, now at Scottrade. The identity count of records, in the millions again (4.6 million is the latest). This breach comes on the second day of national CyberSecurity month, the first being Experian/T-Mobile breach.

3d image Data Breach issues concept word cloud background

Experian/T-Mobile Data Breach: When 2 Days is not Enough

Posted October 2, 2015    Morey Haber

On October 1, Experian admitted full responsibility for the loss of T-Mobile customer data. 15 million user records dating back to 2013 were effected in the breach, with data including sensitive information that may be decryptable like social security numbers and drivers licenses.


Who Moved My Front Door? (What is Privileged Account Management?)

Posted October 1, 2015    Nigel Hedges

Not too long ago, I was sitting in a room with a very fluffy sales guy. In between words such as “we’ll make this happen” and “leave it with me, I’ll get it sorted” he asked the question “What is Privileged Account Management”?