Lack of Control over Privileged Accounts Is Often the Cause of Data Breaches

Quest Software offers insight on how Privileged Account Management practices must be used

By on November 27th, 2012 12:15 GMT

Quest Software, a company that’s now part of Dell, has commissioned a report to help C-level executives (CXOs) address some of the risks posed by the improper use and management of privileged accounts.

The report – “Why You Need to Consider Privileged Access Management (And What You May Not Know About It That You Should)” – explains how Privileged Account Management (PAM) practices and corresponding technology solutions can help in addressing these issues with comprehensive reporting, flexible policy control and automated workflows.

Jackson Shaw, senior director of product management at Quest Software, explains that PAM will become one of the fastest growing areas of Intellectual Asset Management (IAM).

“Most of the recent high-profile security breaches, including the UBS Paine Webber attack and the City of San Francisco breach, happened due to lack of control over privileged accounts. What's more, these breaches do not discriminate; they can cause equally horrific damage to any organization, no matter how large or small,” Shaw said.

“It's time for companies to take note of the severe security risk posed by poor PAM practices, and seek out a comprehensive solution befitting the task. Quest One offers a complete set of PAM capabilities, providing comprehensive controls in a flexible, modular architecture.”

In order to prevent incidents, the first thing CXOs should do is assign individual accountability to “super user” activity.

Super user accounts usually have extensive power over IT systems. However, if these accounts are shared, compliance or security breaches can’t be traced back to the exact “culprit.”

Furthermore, administrative accounts should not provide unlimited permissions to every user. A policy that clearly defines what each administrator can and cannot do with their access must be established.

Finally, CXOs should try to reduce the complexity of privileged accounts management.

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