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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 To Consider Partners As Potential Insider Threats Too

Posted November 1, 2011    Peter McCalister

In early September BeyondTrust CMO Brian Anderson covered the news around Stanford Hospital & Clinics medical privacy breach that resulted in 20,000 patients’ personal data being publicly available on a website for nearly a year. At the time the breach was first reported by The New York Times, it was unclear how the data made it onto the website.

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Recently, after a $20 million lawsuit related to the breach hit Stanford Hospital & Clinics, the hospital released a statement holding a third party billing contractor responsible for the data breach. According to an October 5th New York Times article, the data breach happened “because a billing contractor’s marketing agent sent the electronic spreadsheet to a job prospect as part of a skills test, the hospital and contractors confirmed this week. The applicant then sought help by unwittingly posting the confidential data on a tutoring Web site.”

Thirty-nine percent of all data breaches involve third-party outsourcers – this according to data pulled from a recent Ponemon Institute study. The lesson we can all learn from the Stanford incident is that organizations, be it a healthcare provider or a national retailer, not only have to monitor their own security, but also that of their associates and vendors. While it is important to provide the information and access necessary for third-party resources to do their jobs, at the same time it’s irresponsible to allow vendors free reign over sensitive data or network assets. An all or nothing approach to granting users access doesn’t work here. Effective privilege identity management coupled with comprehensive knowledge of your partners’ and vendors’ security policies and practices is the best way to safeguard your company’s most valued assets.

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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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