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Hackers exploit privileged accounts

Anuradha Shukla | June 25, 2014
Increased visibility can help businesses to detect and disrupt an attack.

Criminals, hacktivists and advanced attacks are exploiting privileged accounts, according to a new cyber-security report compiled by CyberSheath's advanced security investigations team.

The CyberArk commissioned report shows that increased visibility and actionable intelligence on privileged accounts within an organisation's IT environment can help businesses to successfully detect and disrupt an attack.

New and sophisticated malware variants were continually developed to exploit systems in 2013.

CyberSheath analysed 10 benchmark attacks throughout 2013 and concluded that these attacks could have stopped if organisations had spent time and resources in protecting, managing, and monitoring these accounts.

"Advanced attacks follow a common, multi-stage approach to breaching defences, gathering and exfiltration critical data," said John Worrall, CMO, CyberArk. "It's clear that privileged access is required to gain access to target systems and move laterally from system to system. The faster the industry takes notice of the privileged connection to these attacks, the more quickly better defences can be mounted."

Protecting privileged accounts

Findings from the CyberSheath report show that protecting privileged accounts gives Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) an opportunity to quantify risk reduction and deliver measurable results.

Organisations with automated privileged account security solutions can reduce human error, overhead and operational costs.

The attacks that matter to business exploit privileged accounts 100 per cent of the time and organisations of all sizes have more privileged accounts than they know about.

"Companies of all sizes today face an unprecedented number of cyber-attacks from organised, patient and well-funded groups," said Eric Noonan, CEO, CyberSheath. "We're starting to see CISO's shift from band aid point-solution purchases to integrated technologies built on intelligence-gathering features to combat advanced threats." 



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