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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

10/28/2013
01:46 PM
50%
50%

Failure To Deploy: Aided And Abetted By Shelfware

It takes more than technology acquisition to protect against the insider threat -- just ask the NSA

Recent news reports indicate the NSA had acquired technologies to help prevent the leakage of classified data, but failed to deploy them before contractor Edward Snowden began working there. The technologies in question were purchased in the wake of the 2010 WikiLeaks scandal, but went uninstalled at NSA's Hawaii facility due to what was described as "bandwidth issues."

The path that allowed Snowden to pilfer large quantities of classified information was paved by the NSA's failure to deploy the technologies the agency had already acquired and presumably deployed at other facilities. As the technologies sat unused by the Hawaii facility, Snowden was, in essence, aided and abetted by shelfware.

This calls to mind an all-too-common story in many of today's enterprises when acquired technology is simply not deployed, but sits on the shelf where it may look good -- but doesn't do jack squat. With some technologies, the impact of not having these technologies in place is minimal. But when it comes to safeguarding sensitive data and protecting against inside threats, you could be playing a very high stakes game of chicken. And the consequences of losing the game? Simply disastrous. Just ask the NSA.

But lest I get too dramatic in my oversimplification, shelfware does not always represent a simple failure to deploy. In terms of the inside threat, there are varying levels on the fail scale, each of which we have likely encountered in our own experience. It's one thing to stick your head in the sand and pretend the threat does not exist. It's another to courageously acknowledge the threat -- but take no action. And it's something else entirely to face the threat head on, acquire technologies to protect against that threat, and then fail to put the technologies to their most beneficial use.

That said, we all know efforts made in good faith sometimes go awry. The overall initiative to protect against the insider threat may be carefully planned over months or even years, with meaningful requirements established, budgets approved, RFPs released, products evaluated, and, ultimately, dollars spent. But if organizations fail to put the technologies to their most effective use, budget is wasted and, worse yet, sensitive data is put at risk.

While we may not often see instances of blatant shelfware in our own organizations, where acquired products never even see the light of day, most organizations are guilty to some degree of lesser offenses when acquired technologies are not used to their full potential. Failure to make the most of a technology purchase may sound trivial or, at worst, just a sin of omission, but as demonstrated by the NSA's recent experience, the results can have very serious consequences. Jared is president of DLP Experts, a value-added reseller dedicated exclusively to data loss prevention (DLP) and other data protection technologies and services. For over twenty years Jared has held executive level positions with technology firms, with the last six years ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
James McCabe
50%
50%
James McCabe,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/29/2013 | 8:49:25 PM
re: Failure To Deploy: Aided And Abetted By Shelfware
In some instances it becomes a requirements check box rather than a full implementation. Sad state of affairs.
SOC 2s & Third-Party Assessments: How to Prevent Them from Being Used in a Data Breach Lawsuit
Beth Burgin Waller, Chair, Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Practice , Woods Rogers PLC,  12/5/2019
Navigating Security in the Cloud
Diya Jolly, Chief Product Officer, Okta,  12/4/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Our Endpoint Protection system is a little outdated... 
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19604
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-11
Arbitrary command execution is possible in Git before 2.20.2, 2.21.x before 2.21.1, 2.22.x before 2.22.2, 2.23.x before 2.23.1, and 2.24.x before 2.24.1 because a "git submodule update" operation can run commands found in the .gitmodules file of a malicious repository.
CVE-2019-14861
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-10
All Samba versions 4.x.x before 4.9.17, 4.10.x before 4.10.11 and 4.11.x before 4.11.3 have an issue, where the (poorly named) dnsserver RPC pipe provides administrative facilities to modify DNS records and zones. Samba, when acting as an AD DC, stores DNS records in LDAP. In AD, the default permiss...
CVE-2019-14870
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-10
All Samba versions 4.x.x before 4.9.17, 4.10.x before 4.10.11 and 4.11.x before 4.11.3 have an issue, where the S4U (MS-SFU) Kerberos delegation model includes a feature allowing for a subset of clients to be opted out of constrained delegation in any way, either S4U2Self or regular Kerberos authent...
CVE-2019-14889
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-10
A flaw was found with the libssh API function ssh_scp_new() in versions before 0.9.3 and before 0.8.8. When the libssh SCP client connects to a server, the scp command, which includes a user-provided path, is executed on the server-side. In case the library is used in a way where users can influence...
CVE-2019-1484
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-10
A remote code execution vulnerability exists when Microsoft Windows OLE fails to properly validate user input, aka 'Windows OLE Remote Code Execution Vulnerability'.