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Identity management flaws lead to Swiss attack

Lieberman Software : 07 December, 2012  (Technical Article)
A cyber attack on the national security agency of Switzerland has been put down to poor control over identity and access management
Identity management flaws lead to Swiss attack

Switzerland's national security agency has warned counterparts at MI6 and the CIA that a massive amount of highly-sensitive, counter-terrorist data may have been leaked one of its employees – a disgruntled senior IT employee with ‘administrator’ rights.

Philip Lieberman, from Lieberman Software, explains how this might happen: “The problem is a lack of privileged identity management technology as well as lax and/or non-existent controls for access to sensitive information.  Additional technology such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and access control processes for approval workflows exist to minimize these losses, but unfortunately most companies implement the elements after the damage is done. Organizations fail to appreciate how much access IT administrators have and what damage they can potentially due if their access is unlimited.  We have preaching for years that even unlimited access IT administrators must be limited and appropriate controls must be in place.  The fault of the outbreak can be traced to management and their unwillingness to get involved in the "details" of how their IT shops are being run and only concentrating on making IT run as inexpensively as possible.”

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