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.

Endpoint

7/25/2013
02:49 PM
Doug Landoll
Doug Landoll
Commentary
50%
50%

SMB Insider Threat: Setting Behavior Boundaries

Two major policies should be in place to guide and restrict user behavior

Small and midsized business (SMB) employees who have made it past any employment screening in place may still pose a threat to the SMB systems and assets. SMB insiders can reveal confidential information, subvert security controls, and introduce malicious code into the network, but these misbehaving employees are not always malicious, and their behavior is not always illegal. Therefore, it is important to implement appropriate security policies to guide the well-meaning employee away from dangerous behavior and to formally document unacceptable behaviors in which sanctions may be applied for those intentionally damaging the company.

This is the second part of a blog series on the SMB insider threat and what to do about it. The first part of the series covered employment screening issues for SMBs; this part covers policy controls.

Two major policies should be in place to guide and restrict user behavior: data classification and acceptable use. Data classification policies protect sensitive data. Acceptable use policies ensure proper use of company systems.

Data Classification Policies: The key to an effective data classification policy is to define confidential data and associate the controls required for its protection. The best approach is to list categories of sensitive data that require different levels of protection. Keep the number of categories low -- two or three. Examples of data classification categories include Public (i.e., releasable), Sensitive (e.g., proprietary), and Highly Sensitive (e.g., protected health information, cardholder data). Now associated required controls for each category of data. Data-handling controls should cover identification and labeling, handling, transmission, processing, and media protection.

Acceptable Use Policies: The key to an effective acceptable use policy is to ensure it is clear and accessible by employees. My test for clarity is to simply ask employees a question regarding the acceptable use of the network and premises, such as, "Are we allowed to bring camera phones into the sensitive areas (e.g., data center, patient room)?" If they are unable to use the acceptable use policy to find the answer, then the policy is unorganized and unclear. Organizing the contents of the acceptable use policy ensures the clarity of the policies to users. For example, all acceptable use policy statements should fall into one of the following four categories: Prohibited Items, Prohibited Behaviors, Expected Behaviors, and Notifications. Our question above can be answered in the "Prohibited Items" section.

General Security Policy Advice

It is tempting to search the Internet for policy examples and simply substitute the company name to make it your own. Please avoid this approach. Each SMB differs from others in its culture, sensitive data, existing controls, and security approach. By all means use found policies as templates or examples, but carefully consider each policy statement prior to adopting it as your standard.

Doug Landoll is the CEO of Assero Security, a firm specializing in SMB Security. You can follow him on Twitter as @douglandoll Doug Landoll is an expert in information security for the SMB market with over 20 years experience securing businesses and government agencies. He has written several information security books and dozens of articles for national publications. He has founded and ran four ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DilM269
50%
50%
DilM269,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/30/2013 | 5:52:49 AM
re: SMB Insider Threat: Setting Behavior Boundaries
i totally agree with you sir.

http://resultplanet.org
News
US Formally Attributes SolarWinds Attack to Russian Intelligence Agency
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  4/15/2021
News
Dependency Problems Increase for Open Source Components
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  4/14/2021
News
FBI Operation Remotely Removes Web Shells From Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/14/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-28973
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-21
The ABUS Secvest wireless alarm system FUAA50000 (v3.01.17) fails to properly authenticate some requests to its built-in HTTPS interface. Someone can use this vulnerability to obtain sensitive information from the system, such as usernames and passwords. This information can then be used to reconfig...
CVE-2021-29456
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-21
Authelia is an open-source authentication and authorization server providing 2-factor authentication and single sign-on (SSO) for your applications via a web portal. In versions 4.27.4 and earlier, utilizing a HTTP query parameter an attacker is able to redirect users from the web application to any...
CVE-2021-31523
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-21
The Debian xscreensaver 5.42+dfsg1-1 package for XScreenSaver has cap_net_raw enabled for the /usr/libexec/xscreensaver/sonar file, which allows local users to gain privileges because this is arguably incompatible with the design of the Mesa 3D Graphics library dependency.
CVE-2020-23907
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-21
An issue was discovered in retdec v3.3. In function canSplitFunctionOn() of ir_modifications.cpp, there is a possible out of bounds read due to a heap buffer overflow. The impact is: Deny of Service, Memory Disclosure, and Possible Code Execution.
CVE-2020-23912
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-21
An issue was discovered in Bento4 through v1.6.0-637. A NULL pointer dereference exists in the function AP4_StszAtom::GetSampleSize() located in Ap4StszAtom.cpp. It allows an attacker to cause Denial of Service.