Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

10 SharePoint Security Mistakes You Probably Make

Bradley Manning allegedly stole sensitive government cables destined for WikiLeaks from a SharePoint server. Are your information security controls tighter than the Army's were?

Top 20 Top Add-Ons For Microsoft SharePoint
(click image for larger view)
Top 20 Top Add-Ons For Microsoft SharePoint
How important is it to secure and monitor Microsoft SharePoint?

Consider the case of Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who's accused of leaking 250,000 government cables to WikiLeaks. According to an Army investigator who testified at a hearing to determine if Manning should face a court martial, one of Manning's laptops contained an Excel spreadsheet, containing a tab with multiple Wget scripts--designed to download large numbers of files--that "pointed to a Microsoft SharePoint server" that stored documents for the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base detention facility, reported Wired. The investigator further testified that "he ran the scripts to download the documents, then downloaded the ones that WikiLeaks had published and found they were the same."

In other words, the release of sensitive government cables may have been partially prevented, had the military better secured and monitored its SharePoint servers.

Similarly, any business that relies on SharePoint to store confidential--or even sensitive--information should know who's accessing that data, and why. What's the best way to make this happen? Start by avoiding these 10 stupid, but common, SharePoint security mistakes.

[ Check out other tips for optimizing your SharePoint performance. See 5 SharePoint Pitfalls To Avoid. ]

1. Poor security training. According to a survey of 100 SharePoint users conducted by security vendor Cryptzone at a November 2011 SharePoint Saturday conference, 92% agreed that removing information from SharePoint made it less secure, but 30% were willing to take that risk "if it helps me get the job done." Obviously, there's a disconnect at many businesses between security and productivity. Worryingly, 34% of respondents also said they'd never even considered the security implications surrounding SharePoint.

2. Collaboration barriers. Likewise, the survey found that 45% of users regularly copied sensitive or confidential data from SharePoint to their hard drive, to a USB drive, or to email it to someone else. In the majority of cases (55%), this copying was to facilitate information-sharing with someone who lacked access to the SharePoint documents. This highlights the need for businesses to put clear policies in place regarding how information can be shared, and then to monitor access and enforce policy compliance.

3. Unclear security oversight. Who's responsible for SharePoint security? At 69% of businesses, the Cryptzone survey found that access management responsibility fell to in-house IT administrators. But 22% of respondents--which included SharePoint users, administrators, developers, and architects--didn't know who was responsible, which suggests that there's a lack of oversight and thus access accountability at their businesses.

4. Overly broad access rights. When it comes to access, less is typically more. "One of the most common issues we see with SharePoint is end users having access privileges that are far too broad," said Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) senior analyst Torsten Volk, via email. "It's a lot of work to properly create user roles and map them to Active Directory," and even more work to keep them updated, revised, and removed after employees depart. According to Scott Crawford, managing research director at EMA, this challenge "has given rise to vendors such as Aveksa, Varonis, and others" to analyze usage patterns and determine likely data custodians.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
HemantK860
50%
50%
HemantK860,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/29/2013 | 11:19:42 AM
re: 10 SharePoint Security Mistakes You Probably Make
Few Questions to be answered before you start a SharePoint project:

http://sharepoint.asia/few-que...

You are requested to add more here as comments based on what you had to go through in your previous projects .
Attackers Leave Stolen Credentials Searchable on Google
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2021
How to Better Secure Your Microsoft 365 Environment
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/25/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: I can't find the back door.
Current Issue
2020: The Year in Security
Download this Tech Digest for a look at the biggest security stories that - so far - have shaped a very strange and stressful year.
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise -- and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-21275
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-25
The MediaWiki "Report" extension has a Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability. Before fixed version, there was no protection against CSRF checks on Special:Report, so requests to report a revision could be forged. The problem has been fixed in commit f828dc6 by making use of Medi...
CVE-2021-21272
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-25
ORAS is open source software which enables a way to push OCI Artifacts to OCI Conformant registries. ORAS is both a CLI for initial testing and a Go Module. In ORAS from version 0.4.0 and before version 0.9.0, there is a "zip-slip" vulnerability. The directory support feature allows the ...
CVE-2021-23901
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-25
An XML external entity (XXE) injection vulnerability was discovered in the Nutch DmozParser and is known to affect Nutch versions < 1.18. XML external entity injection (also known as XXE) is a web security vulnerability that allows an attacker to interfere with an application's processing of XML ...
CVE-2020-17532
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-25
When handler-router component is enabled in servicecomb-java-chassis, authenticated user may inject some data and cause arbitrary code execution. The problem happens in versions between 2.0.0 ~ 2.1.3 and fixed in Apache ServiceComb-Java-Chassis 2.1.5
CVE-2020-12512
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-22
Pepperl+Fuchs Comtrol IO-Link Master in Version 1.5.48 and below is prone to an authenticated reflected POST Cross-Site Scripting