The Seven Deadly Sins of Privileged Account Management

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Ignoring account credentials for employees who have left the organization

When companies lose IT employees or are forced to downsize, data security can be a big liability. Part of any employee exit procedure should include immediate revocation of account credentials. This is more than simply changing Active Directory passwords. It should include credential access for any applications, systems and services they used during employment. Even when leaving on good terms, ex-employees still have the potential to undermine an organization's security. By changing all vulnerable passwords immediately, organizations can gain peace of mind that their data is still secure, even in the face of high employee turnover.

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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