Prioritizing access to sensitive data is a critical part of any good cyber security policy. However, privileged accounts are often the target of cyber criminals who need an entry point through which to gain access to systems and steal data.
Effective management of privileged credentials is not always a carefully mapped out process, which is what can lead to compromised systems. Therefore, when considering various risks at play here, asking yourself the following questions can lead to more effective management.
Are You Auditing?
To truly know who has privileged credentials you must carefully audit the situation. Organizations that make their first audit are usually shocked to see there are unknown privileged accounts in the system. It’s surprises like these that lead to serious events that can sink a company without an action plan in place.
The vast majority of data breaches come at the hands of privileged accounts, and while not all breaches are the fault of ineffective auditing, you can significantly reduce your risks of getting breached by keeping tabs on who has access to what.
How Secure Are the Accounts?
To reduce risk, look at your password management and secure shell keys (SSH). They need to be changed regularly to reduce the chances of a hacker accessing your data. Often, cyber criminals will use static passwords to get into the system.
Another option is to limit the time a user has privileged access. For example, if an employee who usually doesn’t need access to sensitive data suddenly does, they can gain that access for a limited time, reducing risk of attack.
Are You Monitoring?
Without a reputable monitoring system in place, you’re not going to detect suspicious behavior. This should be done system wide, but it is especially important on privileged accounts. Putting threat analytics to work allows you to establish a baseline in your algorithm and then judge what is suspicious and what is normal from there.
The faster you detect and understand when something is not right, the less damage can occur.
What’s Your Plan of Action for Recovering From an Incident?
It’s shocking how few organizations create a plan for how they will react should the worst occur. The most prepared organizations run regular drills to familiarize every employee with their responsibilities in the event of a breach. Everyone from the top down needs to be part of the planning process, because an attack can come from anywhere.
Do you need an agent to assist you in protecting your sensitive data? At eXemplify, we’re a trusted leader in cloud-based technology, managed security, managed network service and managed IT. Contact us today and let’s discuss how we can connect you with top-notch services.