For Top Cyber Threats, Look in the Mirror - GovCloud Network

blog

0
287
Monday, October 10, 2016

For Top Cyber Threats, Look in the Mirror

For Top Cyber Threats, Look in the Mirror

A recent report by Praetorian, a cybersecurity company headquartered in Austin, TX, focused on threats that resulted in data compromise or access to sensitive information. Based on a review of 100 separate internal penetration test engagements the study identified the five most prevalent threats to corporate data.  The amazing thing about these weaknesses is that the top four are all based on utilizing stolen credentials and the last one helps an attacker be more effective in using those stolen credentials.  In other words, the enemy is right there in the mirror!  The study spanned 75 unique organizations and only focused on security weaknesses that were used to obtain a full network compromise.

For Top Cyber Threats, Look in the Mirror
Where are your pain points?

The most prevalent threat is something we’ve all heard of before – Weak Domain User Passwords.  Since most corporate environments use Microsoft’s Active Directory to manage employee accounts and access, it needs some improvements in order to fully address complex passwords. Since Active Directory only requires passwords to be a specific length and contain specific character sets so addressing this weakness will require the use of third-party software.

The next most common corporate threat is Broadcast Name Resolution Poisoning.  Using this vector, an attacker responds to broadcast requests (i.e. LLMNR, NetBIOS, MDNS, etc) by providing its own IP.  When this is done, the credentials of a user accessing network resources can be instead transmitted to the attacker’s system.
The next big no-no is when system administrators all use the same Local Admin password. If an attacker is able to compromise the LM/NT hash representation of the password, then the attacker can use the hash to authenticate and execute commands on other systems that have the same password.  Using the hash, an attacker doesn’t need the actual password at all!
Microsoft Windows operating systems have another embedded password weakness.  Believe it or not, the operating system stores domain credentials in cleartext within memory of the Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASS) process.  Although this weakness requires an attacker to have Local Admin or SYSTEM-level access, it ranks high on the threat list.
This last threat enhances all of the other – Insufficient Network Access Controls. Many organizations don’t restrict network access based on business requirements.  This will enable unfettered attacker mobility after only a single system on the internal network has been compromised.
These threat vectors, last updated by Praetorian in June 2016, were evaluated as part of a complete corporate network compromise kill chain.  They also highlight the importance of understanding the cybersecurity threat.  Although the mirror is a good place to start improving on network security, you must also work to identify all your organization’s security pain points.  With that knowledge you can more effectively enhance your team’s defenses and eventually evolve towards a better understanding of your security threat environment.
If you are serious about protecting your data, download the full report and read about the effective strategies your company can use to protect itself.  If you are a CISO or corporate executives, IBM also provides some excellent information on how to secure the C-suite.  They also provide an interactive toolthat can help better analyze your threats, protect your users and save your data from these and many other security challenges.

This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit Point B and Beyond.

Cloud Musings
↑ Grab this Headline Animator

( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS – © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)

Follow me at https://Twitter.com/Kevin_Jackson

LEAVE A COMMENT

Name*
E-mail*
Phone number*
Your Message

Latest posts

0
59

CIO dream team: Who’s in and why?

Today’s CIO navigates the twin challenges of enabling new business models and managing rapid technological change. Cl...

0
152

Digital Transformation and the Mainframe

Digital transformation infuses digital technology into all areas of an organization’s business or mission. Its fundam...

0
676

Composable Architecture Q&A. Are you ready?

Q: Is it time for my company to jump on the composable architecture bandwagon? A: Composable architectures are quickl...

0
214

Increase Productivity by Reducing Technology Distraction: Lessons from Forrester Research

Workplace productivity is hurt every day by the very technology developed and purchased to improve it.  Forrester ann...

0
3437

Cloud Computing Evolves: An Interview with Mats Johansson

Recently, Ericsson Digital released an amazing report on Edge Computing and 5G. In it, they explained how distributed...

0
2663

Unveiling the end-to-end capabilities for the networked society

An Interview with Henrik Basilier  By Kevin L. Jackson The telecom industry is rapidly moving towards a future i...

0
3379

AT&T Finance Solutions GM on Shrimping, Software, and CX

Helping clients address the trends and challenges presented by the Financial Services industry is the main focus for ...

0
7408

The IoT Nexus: Bosch Connected World 2019 in Berlin

Next week, I will be influencing #LikeABosch as I accept an invitation from the company to attend Bosch ConnectedWorl...

0
2749

Survive and Thrive With Digital Transformation

First cloud computing then multi-cloud. How can we get ahead of this digital transformation nightmare? These are the ...

0
1060

The “George Jetson” of Today

He grew up in Silicon Valley, landed his first job at Apple Computers, was introduced to Nobel Prize winners by his d...