|By Business Wire||
|November 26, 2012 08:05 AM EST||
Today, on Cyber Monday, online retailers and banks are bracing for the likelihood of increased data breaches and security threats, while online shoppers are taking extra precautions to protect personal information. Every day, Americans trust that the corporate and government IT systems handling their critical identity information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers and tax returns, are equipped with appropriate security measures to keep personal data safe. Heightening awareness of potential security risks is an essential step to thwarting malicious attacks. All too often, however, public and private entities must also recognize that even more risky exposure exists when administrative privilege is exploited, regardless whether by external adversaries or internal threats. Quest Software (now part of Dell) has a deep understanding of the problems organizations face when they don’t properly control and audit administrative access and “super-user” accounts.
According to a survey conducted earlier this year at The Experts Conference, an annual gathering of global IT pros co-sponsored by Quest and Microsoft, half of the responding organizations reported that their No. 1 compliance issue is ensuring correct user access rights (including privileged user access). In the case of managing privileged accounts, this challenge intensifies when administrators are given the “keys to the kingdom,” with far-reaching, shared anonymous access rights to vital IT systems. In the private sector, failure to manage access to information and compliance with security mandates can mean lost revenues, failed audits and damage to the brand. In government, managing user access rights represents a high stakes game in which getting out ahead of emerging threats is a matter of national security. To this point, Privileged Account Management is noted in many security standards, including ISO 27001 and NIST 800-53. A new report developed by Enterprise Management Associates, on behalf of Quest, identifies inadequate administrative access controls as “one of the most egregious IT risk gaps in many organizations.”
The report, “Why You Need to Consider Privileged Access Management (And What You May Not Know About It That You Should),” examines some of the most common excuses companies give to justify this oversight, and offers useful insight into how modern Privileged Account Management (PAM) practices and corresponding technology solutions can close the risk gap with flexible policy control, automated workflows and comprehensive reporting to enhance security, achieve compliance and improve efficiency.
To further help CXOs avert these all-to-common security risks, Quest offers three pragmatic tips:
1. Assign individual accountability to super-user activity
Shared and unmanaged administrative access is more than just a bad idea—it’s one of the fastest and easiest ways to expose an organization to undue risk, especially since these super-user accounts typically have extensive power over IT operating systems, applications, databases, etc. With shared accounts, any security or compliance breach can be traced back only to the account, and not to an individual administrator using that account.
A much better approach to risk containment involves granting administrators access rights only to what they need, as they need it, nothing more or less. Credentials should be issued only on an as-needed basis, accompanied by a full audit trail of who used them, who approved the use, what they did with them, as well as how and why they received them – and the password should be immediately changed once the use is completed. The ability to automate and secure this entire process is an effective way to manage administrative access across an entire organization. Similarly, PAM is essential to enabling federal, state and local agencies to work together, and can make or break government-wide information sharing and collaboration.
2. Implement and enforce a “least privilege” security stance for administrative access
Many administrative accounts, including those for Unix root, Windows or Active Directory admin, DBA, etc., provide unlimited permissions within their scope of control, and, when shared, open the door for malicious activity. For example, the widely publicized security breach at Fannie Mae involved an employee who used this type of super-user access to maliciously plant a logic bomb that, if undiscovered, would have crippled the entire organization and compromised the personal and financial information of approximately 1,100 people.
A more prudent approach is to establish a policy that clearly defines what each administrator (or administrator role) can and cannot do with their access. Since this process can be complicated and often difficult to enforce across diverse systems, Quest recommends the addition of granular delegation tools that are optimized for the designated platforms, and integrated with other PAM technologies such as a privilege safe, multifactor authentication or Active Directory bridge.
3. Reduce privileged account management complexity
One of the overarching PAM challenges comes from navigating diverse IT systems, each with their own unique capabilities and requirements for privileged account management. This often results in the use of specialized tools, along with ad-hoc policies and practices to control privileged account access. Unfortunately, this approach frequently complicates the audit process, making it difficult to prove that all access is controlled and that separation-of-duties principles are established and enforced.
For that reason, consolidating disparate systems into a common identity structure creates an environment where a single PAM approach can be readily enforced with greater consistency across a much larger portion of an organization, eliminating errors borne from multi-system complexity, reducing risk and lowering the expense of managing multiple systems. In addition, any consolidation of PAM capabilities under a common management and reporting interface provides enhanced efficiency.
The EMA report referenced above indicates that organizations focused on achieving a high level of discipline in configuration and change management tend to have better outcomes, not only in lower incidences of disruptive security events, but in better IT reliability, less unplanned IT work, more successful IT changes, higher server-to-system administrator ratios, and more IT projects completed on time and within budget.
Quest® One Identity Solutions Centralize and Simplify Privileged Account Management
Quest Software provides a modular, yet integrated, approach to identity and access management, specifically Privileged Account Management that controls insider threats and improves IT efficiency, as it enables organizations to eliminate the dangers of unchecked super-user access, adverse audit findings, direct penalties, and negative press exposure.
Jackson Shaw, senior director of product management, Quest Software
“Privileged Account Management will be one of the fastest-growing areas of IAM over the next few years, for good reason. Most of the recent high-profile security breaches, including the UBS Paine Webber attack and the City of San Francisco breach, happened due to lack of control over privileged accounts. What’s more, these breaches do not discriminate; they can cause equally horrific damage to any organization, no matter how large or small. It’s time for companies to take note of the severe security risk posed by poor PAM practices, and seek out a comprehensive solution befitting the task. Quest One offers a complete set of PAM capabilities, providing comprehensive controls in a flexible, modular architecture.”
Scott Crawford, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
“Poor controls over administrative access have resulted in real damage. PAM capabilities can help mitigate such risks and improve controls, through techniques such as ‘privilege safe’ technologies that deliver a more disciplined approach to control that supports responsible IT governance. Quest helps IT improve performance and reduce support costs by closing one of the most readily managed gaps of all: the weakness exposed when individuals have broad, anonymous, and unmonitored administrative access to the most sensitive capability in IT.”
- To see how your identity and access management performance compares to the best-in-class, take a free interactive assessment
- View demonstrations and videos: http://communities.quest.com/community/iam/blog/2012/07/28/6-new-demo-videos-privileged-account-management-solutions
- More Quest news: http://www.quest.com/newsroom/
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/quest
- Facebook: http://www.quest.com/facebook
- LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/
- Quest TV: http://www.quest.com/tv/
About Quest Software (now a part of Dell)
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. Quest, now a part of Dell’s Software Group, provides simple and innovative IT management solutions that enable more than 100,000 global customers to save time and money across physical and virtual environments. Quest products solve complex IT challenges ranging from database management, data protection, identity and access management, monitoring, user workspace management to Windows management. For more information, visit http://www.quest.com or http://www.dell.com.
- Quest news releases: http://www.quest.com/rss/news-releases.aspx
Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.
Quest, Quest Software, and the Quest logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Quest Software in the United States and certain other countries. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Dec. 7, 2016 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,982
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
Dec. 7, 2016 06:30 AM EST Reads: 1,798
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera MyS...
Dec. 7, 2016 06:15 AM EST Reads: 5,324
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 05:15 AM EST Reads: 1,053
"We are an all-flash array storage provider but our focus has been on VM-aware storage specifically for virtualized applications," stated Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 04:00 AM EST Reads: 864
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
Dec. 7, 2016 02:00 AM EST Reads: 625
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Dec. 7, 2016 01:45 AM EST Reads: 6,163
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
Dec. 7, 2016 01:15 AM EST Reads: 1,878
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 7, 2016 01:00 AM EST Reads: 1,617
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busin...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:45 AM EST Reads: 3,938
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Dec. 7, 2016 12:45 AM EST Reads: 1,244
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:15 AM EST Reads: 1,033
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:15 AM EST Reads: 1,377
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:00 AM EST Reads: 1,276
Get deep visibility into the performance of your databases and expert advice for performance optimization and tuning. You can't get application performance without database performance. Give everyone on the team a comprehensive view of how every aspect of the system affects performance across SQL database operations, host server and OS, virtualization resources and storage I/O. Quickly find bottlenecks and troubleshoot complex problems.
Dec. 7, 2016 12:00 AM EST Reads: 2,127