Friday Nov 04, 2011

RSA Attack Tip of the Iceberg and Wake Up Call for Organizations Worldwide?

Security experts now say that RSA wasn’t the only corporation victimized in the attack that shook the corporate and government leaders worldwide. If this could happen to a Security company like RSA, could this happen to any organization? Apparently the answer is yes. About 760 other organizations according to a recent post on Brian Krebs blog. Interestingly enough none of these organizations have spoken out. Is it because they don’t want the brand hit or is it just that they didn’t know what happened? My money’s on the latter.

Every year Verizon reports that the majority of data breaches are discovered by third parties. I wonder how many of the 760 companies Krebs named are scrambling to figure what was compromised in the attack.  Were critical business plans stolen? Or were manufacturing parameters changed? Going through logs looking for clues. But wait what logs? According to a recent survey of the Independent Oracle User Group only 30% of organizations are monitoring reads and writes to sensitive data stored in their databases. Taken in combination with the lack of preventive controls at the database layer, most organizations are soft targets for Advanced Persistent Threats as well as not so advanced opportunistic attacks like the Liza Moon SQL injection attack used to compromise over 4 million databases in a single day.

So what’s the solution: Auditing? Database Firewalls? Encryption? Privileged user controls? Strong authentication? Multi-factor authorization? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. The answer is defense in depth. I am still surprised how many seasoned IT Security professionals don’t want to hear this answer. But security requires investment and vigilance. Our defenses must become as advanced and persistent as the threats we are trying to combat.
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