Insiders Strike Back

By admin, May 25, 2005 12:13 am

Little more on enterprise security, yesterdays post we spoke about the need to secure the mobile devices, today about the need to secure the enterprises network against disgruntled employees both present and former.

Companies hoping to mitigate their exposure to insider attacks need to ensure they have good password, account and configuration management practices, as well as the right processes in place for disabling network access when employees are terminated.

Also crucial are the need to have formal processes for handling employee grievances and negative events in the workplace as well as for reporting suspicious behavior, according to a report released this week by the U.S. Secret Service and Carnegie Mellon University's CERT coordination center.

The report is based on an investigation of 49 cases of insider attacks via computer systems in critical infrastructure sectors between 1996 and 2002, In a majority of cases, the primary motivation for the attacks appears to have been revenge, said Matt Doherty, special agent in charge of the Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center.

"In 92% of the cases, a negative work-related event triggered the insider action," he said.

The study also highlighted the need for organizations to be particularly diligent when terminating systems administrators and other privileged users such as database administrators, said Dawn Cappelli, a senior member of the technical staff at CERT. A full 57% of the attacks were carried out by systems administrators, while 33% were caused by privileged users, she said.

Prashanth RaiSource: Computer WorldTags: Enterprise, Security.

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