Why Database Assessment?

How FIS bungled the basics
Why do we validate database configurations? This is why: 10,000 systems with default passwords -- this at a financial company that processes credit card transactions. Worse, these default settings were confirmed one year after a data breach. You would expect this level of security in 1995, not in 2012.

When I go into large organizations, I expect to find a few accounts on a handful of database to be set with default passwords. When you have thousands of databases, it happens. Ten thousand systems left with default password, across applications and network devices, is a systemic disregard of security. It's not forgetfulness; it's willful choice. Many systems prompt you to change defaults after the first login, so you have to intentionally type in the default password to keep it in place. I don't really have a lesson here other than to point out that easy security stuff is easy security stuff, and there is no reason to be burned by it. Database vulnerability assessment tools, across the board, included password checking about eight years ago. Each one checks for default passwords for all default accounts across every major type of relational database platform. These tools are fast. They identify exactly which accounts are at risk. They offer centralized management, easy-to-read reports, and tie into trouble-ticketing systems so people get the work rders automatically. And default password resets are really easy to do!

If you're someone in IT who worries that if you set a password, your co-workers won't have the password and will not be able to gain access, that's a reasonable concern. But it's also why we have password managers, both corporate and personal versions. You can share passwords across a group if need be.

I recommend reading the full article because it's interesting, and the attack looks very similar to the one mentioned in my "Why Monitor Databases" post. Adrian Lane is an analyst/CTO with Securosis LLC, an independent security analyst firm. Special to Dark Reading.

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