|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.
Everyone wants to use containers, but monitoring containers is hard. New ephemeral architecture introduces new challenges in how monitoring tools need to monitor and visualize containers, so your team can make sense of everything. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, David Gildeh, co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, will go through the challenges and show there is light at the end of the tunnel if you use the right tools and understand what you need to be monitoring to successfully use containers in your...
Apr. 27, 2017 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,116
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...
Apr. 27, 2017 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 5,955
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Apr. 27, 2017 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,154
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Apr. 27, 2017 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,450
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Apr. 27, 2017 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 822
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
Apr. 27, 2017 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,490
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Apr. 27, 2017 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 608
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Apr. 27, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 9,123
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
Apr. 27, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 715
@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...
Apr. 26, 2017 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,252
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Apr. 26, 2017 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,336
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Apr. 26, 2017 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,384
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Apr. 26, 2017 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 727
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Apr. 26, 2017 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,408
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Apr. 26, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,984