5 'Deadly Sins' Increase the Risk of a Data Breach

Common-sense security measures are vital to preventing data breaches related to privileged access management, yet many enterprises aren't diligent about enforcing basic practices. A recent study by BeyondTrust, "Five Deadly

Sins of Privileged Access Management," reports that in many organizations, users play fast and loose with passwords; users with admin privileges are running amok; unpatched vulnerabilities pose enormous risks; Linux/Unix servers aren't protected; and cloud apps aren't secured. These five "deadly sins" cost the typical enterprise surveyed nearly $4 million annually, as a result of lost productivity, costs to mitigate incidents, and legal or compliance issues. Morey Haber, vice president of technology for BeyondTrust, urged security teams to get control of enterprise credentials by eliminating sharing and getting control over embedded credentials hardcoded in applications and service accounts. "It's imperative to remove local admin rights from all Windows and Mac end users," he added, noting that 94 percent of Microsoft system vulnerabilities in 2016 can be attributed to users with admin rights. "Rather than elevating the entire user on a machine, elevate the user's access to specific applications to perform whatever action is necessary as part of his or her role." The BeyondTrust study is based on a survey of 474 IT professionals from around the world who are involved in privileged access management.