Risk
9/2/2010
01:44 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

9 Steps To Enabling Remote Access, Safely

Security goes beyond encryption, authentication, and monitoring employees. We also need to ensure privileged users aren't betraying trust. Here's how.

As remote workers become more commonplace, their connections represent an increasingly vexing risk factor. For respondents to our InformationWeek Analytics 2010 Strategic Security Survey who said their companies are more vulnerable now than in 2009, 66% cited as the reason more ways to attack corporate networks, including wireless. Yet IT must ensure mobile workers have the access they need to be productive.

Here's one angle CIOs often overlook: Providing this level of 24/7 support translates to a lot of people with high access privileges working remotely--not just business users, but IT support staff as well.

Most of us have no choice but to open systems to the outside world. The challenge is to do so in a measured fashion, and in a way that allows you to track and audit access while protecting data. Here's our hit list of the top nine dangers that come with unfettered remote access, along with mitigation tips for each.

1| Danger: Running afoul of regulations Mitigation: Document the corporate data and intellectual property that you must protect

This exercise is basic--and vital. You can't even begin to audit and protect your organization's data until you know where all the important stuff resides. The results of a data discovery process can be leveraged across many different projects, including compliance, risk assessment, and data loss prevention (DLP) initiatives.

2| Danger: You can't easily correlate account activity and usage Mitigation: Rein in your account and password policy

Want an eye opener? Ask for a report on the number of general accounts in your directory services infrastructure. We're talking about those accounts called "Support" or "Payroll"--you know, the ones all 5,000 company employees seem to know the passwords to. If you're using general-purpose accounts for any authentication activities without carefully controlling access rights, you're playing Russian roulette. To the degree you can, eliminate them.

And while you're cracking down on anonymous accounts, give some thought to your password policy. Implementing strong passwords is arguably the easiest mitigation task on our list to execute. Sure, it might also be the one that generates the most hate mail to IT, but there's no getting around the fact that you can't let users select "password."

InformationWeek: September 6, 2010 Issue To read the rest of the article, download a free PDF of InformationWeek magazine
(registration required)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-1544
Published: 2014-07-23
Use-after-free vulnerability in the CERT_DestroyCertificate function in libnss3.so in Mozilla Network Security Services (NSS) 3.x, as used in Firefox before 31.0, Firefox ESR 24.x before 24.7, and Thunderbird before 24.7, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via vectors that trigger cer...

CVE-2014-1547
Published: 2014-07-23
Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities in the browser engine in Mozilla Firefox before 31.0, Firefox ESR 24.x before 24.7, and Thunderbird before 24.7 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (memory corruption and application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-1548
Published: 2014-07-23
Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities in the browser engine in Mozilla Firefox before 31.0 and Thunderbird before 31.0 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (memory corruption and application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-1549
Published: 2014-07-23
The mozilla::dom::AudioBufferSourceNodeEngine::CopyFromInputBuffer function in Mozilla Firefox before 31.0 and Thunderbird before 31.0 does not properly allocate Web Audio buffer memory, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (buffer overflow and applica...

CVE-2014-1550
Published: 2014-07-23
Use-after-free vulnerability in the MediaInputPort class in Mozilla Firefox before 31.0 and Thunderbird before 31.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (heap memory corruption) by leveraging incorrect Web Audio control-message ordering.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Sara Peters hosts a conversation on Botnets and those who fight them.