Security Market Segment LS
Monday, 30 November 2015 10:26

Compromised user credentials demand a rethink of Cyber Security


According to leading enterprise identity security company Centrify, the majority of today’s data breaches were due to compromised user credentials.

Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand Lachlan McKenzie said 2015 breaches globally included high profile criminal and state-sponsored attacks. “Breaches involved millions of personnel records of government employees, tens of millions of records of insurance customers, and hundreds of millions of customer records from various other companies,” he said.

Centrify’s “Experts such as Verizon and Mandiant have stated that it all comes down to the humble username and password. Australian and New Zealand companies had to recognise that compromised user credentials are the ‘new normal’. Australia and New Zealand are not protected from these sort of assaults by our remote locations in the world. In fact, we are more at risk than ever before because of our increasingly online economies,” he added.

Centrify has an active sales channel on both sides of the Tasman, says organisations need to mitigate against risk created by compromised credentials rather than ‘hoping’ such events don’t occur.

Centrify’s call comes at the end of a year of high profile hacks, many of which were caused by attackers through phishing, Trojans and advanced persistent threats (APTs). “This year we even heard of a billion-dollar bank heist ! Many of these companies had implemented advanced malware protection, next generation firewalls and delivered regular security training sessions for their employees. Yet the breaches continue,” he said.

Cyber-criminals gain the ‘digital keys to the kingdom through phishing, Trojans and APTs and bribing insiders so they can use them to access sensitive data and systems.

“To reduce this risk, organisations in 2016 must adopt measures to mitigate the threat posed by compromised credentials. While complex or unique passwords are a start, they will never be enough. Businesses and government agencies need to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) more broadly and across more apps and devices in order to defend against such attacks. Adaptive access can detect and stop suspicious login attempts while adopting granular privilege management can reduce the impact of compromised credentials,” he said.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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