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
Newest First  |  Oldest 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 .
Mobile Banking Malware Up 50% in First Half of 2019
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/17/2020
Exploits Released for As-Yet Unpatched Critical Citrix Flaw
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  1/13/2020
Microsoft to Officially End Support for Windows 7, Server 2008
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/13/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
[Just Released] How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
[Just Released] How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-7227
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
Westermo MRD-315 1.7.3 and 1.7.4 devices have an information disclosure vulnerability that allows an authenticated remote attacker to retrieve the source code of different functions of the web application via requests that lack certain mandatory parameters. This affects ifaces-diag.asp, system.asp, ...
CVE-2019-15625
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A memory usage vulnerability exists in Trend Micro Password Manager 3.8 that could allow an attacker with access and permissions to the victim's memory processes to extract sensitive information.
CVE-2019-19696
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A RootCA vulnerability found in Trend Micro Password Manager for Windows and macOS exists where the localhost.key of RootCA.crt might be improperly accessed by an unauthorized party and could be used to create malicious self-signed SSL certificates, allowing an attacker to misdirect a user to phishi...
CVE-2019-19697
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
An arbitrary code execution vulnerability exists in the Trend Micro Security 2019 (v15) consumer family of products which could allow an attacker to gain elevated privileges and tamper with protected services by disabling or otherwise preventing them to start. An attacker must already have administr...
CVE-2019-20357
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A Persistent Arbitrary Code Execution vulnerability exists in the Trend Micro Security 2020 (v160 and 2019 (v15) consumer familiy of products which could potentially allow an attacker the ability to create a malicious program to escalate privileges and attain persistence on a vulnerable system.