The Seven Deadly Sins of Privileged Account Management

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Using the same password for multiple accounts

Most people know they should use a different password for each account, but the difficulty remembering complex passwords often causes them to use a single, standard password for all their accounts. Hackers rely on password reuse to get "all for the price of one" account access. With a user's default password, they can potentially access every account or service used by that individual. By making it a common practice to use different passwords for every account, administrators can limit their organization's vulnerability in the event of an exposed password. Tools are also available to automatically generate (and help you easily remember) strong, random passwords that are much more secure.

The NSA scandal involving Edward Snowden's abuse of account passwords has raised major concerns around the risk posed by privileged insiders. Recently, the notoriously secretive Coca-Cola company suffered a high-profile data breach, which brings into question how often password theft and abuse occur unnoticed. Many organizations are now wondering how they can avoid the same risk from their own IT administrators and contractors who often have unfettered access to the keys to the IT kingdom: privileged IT passwords.

One area that continues to be vulnerable is the unmanaged privileged account. Privileged passwords are created and used by trusted IT administrators to maintain servers, configure services, and install new software or devices. These accounts are a constant risk, both from external hackers and curious or disgruntled insiders.

There are a number of common mistakes that IT administrators make when safeguarding privileged account passwords, but many can be easily avoided. Thycotic Software, a provider of privileged account management solutions for global organizations, has compiled a list of the "deadly sins" of privileged password management and tips for how IT administrators can keep their accounts secure.

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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