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One-Third of Internal User Accounts Are 'Ghost Users'
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BrianN060
BrianN060,
User Rank: Ninja
4/6/2018 | 12:29:43 PM
The ghost in the machine
Thanks Sara - as we know from so many of the DR Webinar presenters: "It's hard to protect assets if you don't know what you have."  We could add: "or what we forgot we had", to that truism. 

From my perspective, much of it comes down to failures in enterprise modeling, and improper integration of business-rules.  Both should be application domain specific; however, the customizable template approach is a deeply rooted mindset.   

If you think in terms of instances, rather than types, you're more likely to set, regulate and update (via business rules), appropriate access and permissions for Peters, Sara (whatever her status and responsibilities at a given point in time), than for an account under the "Senior Editor" type (with assumed requirements thought to be generic to anyone holding that job title).  It's much harder to compromise and exploit the specific, rather than the generic, or to have an associated vulnerability or attack go unnoticed - a lot harder to hide "the ghost in the machine".
dmddd
dmddd,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/4/2018 | 9:48:27 PM
Providing references
Hi Sara, Thanks for your interesting article. Would you mind provide the references of the reports you cite (ideally accompanied with a URL)? Best regards, David
dmddd
dmddd,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/4/2018 | 9:48:26 PM
Providing references
Hi Sara, Thanks for your interesting article. Would you mind provide the references of the reports you cite (ideally accompanied with a URL)? Best regards, David
SecureBlock
SecureBlock,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/4/2018 | 4:02:48 PM
Couldn't agree more and no one "trick" will fix it
Ask anyone if they have policies regarding file archive and destruction and everyone raises their hands.  Just like if you asked if they have policies for user management, in particular account deprovisioning and most if not all would raise their hands as well. Just like the first example however it is about true execution against the policy and the ability to execute these functions with a high degree of trust and acccuracy.  User Governance and User Management alone will never be enough to completely negate the "ghost account" or orphaned account concern.  This is why having as much intellegence, machine learning, and behavioral analysis built into your access control systems is vital.  If the maintenance checks and balances fail, then you know in real time the operational intellegence protecting the systems will be able to detect and respond to the usage of those ghost accounts.  

Identity Security Automation is the Intersecting of access data, identity data, server data, and information ontained at the time of authentication thus allowing the organziaitons greater ability to detect and respond.  Thanks for putting a light on a problem that has been around for decades and showing how attackers are using this to their advantage.

 


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