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Privileged Accounts Remain Most Coveted Target for Cyber-Attackers
By: Business Wire
Nov. 20, 2012 08:32 AM
Despite repeated warnings, organizations are still failing to lock down the primary target of most cyber-attacks – privileged access points. Cyber-Ark labs analyzed a string of recent, high-profile cyber-attacks, including the malware attack against Saudi oil giant Aramco and the Subway restaurant breach, and concluded that the common denominator of each breach was the exploitation of privileged access points.
Privileged access points have become the primary target for enterprise attacks. Privileged access points consist of privileged and administrative accounts, default and hardcoded passwords, application backdoors, and more. Cyber-attackers continue to breach the corporate perimeter through common means – including phishing attacks, malware infected attachments, social media viruses, and other methods. Once inside, cyber-attackers infiltrate privileged access points to gain access to additional servers, databases and other high value systems.
According to a Gartner Research report1 on advanced persistent threats, protecting against this type of threat requires locking down privileged accounts. The report concluded that “to reduce the impact of social engineering attacks, ensure that end users do not have administrative access; and when IT administrator access is required for system administration, perform these functions on isolated systems that are not used for email or Web browsing.”
Privileged accounts have served as the root cause of some of the most significant breaches in recent months, including:
“For years, the discussion on securing privileged access points focused mostly on the insider threat and ensuring that only the properly credentialed had access to these power accounts. Sophisticated cyber-attackers understand the power and wide ranging access these accounts provide – which is why they continue to be the number one target in the majority of cyber-attacks,” said Adam Bosnian, executive vice president Americas, Cyber-Ark Software. “Unsecured critical access points are a threat to all sensitive corporate data and systems and represent the greatest security challenge most businesses will face. Identifying all privileged access points and locking them down should be a priority for any security and compliance conscious executive.”
Cyber-Ark® Software is a global information security company that specializes in protecting and managing privileged users, sessions, applications and sensitive information to improve compliance, productivity and protect organizations against insider threats and advanced external threats. With its award-winning Privileged Identity Management, Privileged Session Management and Sensitive Information Management Suites, organizations can more effectively manage and govern data center access and activities, whether on-premise, off-premise or in the cloud, while demonstrating returns on security investments. Cyber-Ark works with more than 1,100 customers, including more than 35 percent of the Fortune 100. Headquartered in Newton, Mass., Cyber-Ark has offices and authorized partners in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit www.cyber-ark.com.
Copyright © 2012 Cyber-Ark Software. All Rights Reserved. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.
1 Best Practices for Mitigating Advanced Persistent Threats, Jan. 2012, p2
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