Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: William Schmarzo, Xenia von Wedel, Liz McMillan, Ed Featherston, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: FinTech Journal, @CloudExpo, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo, @ThingsExpo

FinTech Journal: Article

Maximum Cybersecurity | @CloudExpo @Centrify #BigData #InfoSec #Cybersecurity

According to a 2014 study from IBM and Ponemon, corporations pay an average $145 per record in a data breach

In Privilege We Trust: Locking Down Super-Users for Maximum Cybersecurity

Privileged Identity Management (PIM) is the lowest common denominator in today's most treacherous corporate and governmental security breaches. Or more accurately: Privilege Mismanagement. Sony, Target, Anthem, JP Morgan Chase, the city of San Francisco and many others succumbed to the reality that the identity of a single super-user account can be subverted for the purposes of manipulating sensitive organizational data, correspondence, commercial goods and intellectual property.

It's a numbers game. Think of the janitors who can open all the doors, or the card dealers who take in all the chips, or the bank tellers who process all the cash. These positions are analogous to IT administrators who, while they don't rank as high as the CEO in the organizational hierarchy, nonetheless hold the keys to the kingdom. So when a rogue government wants to find out who among their ranks is leaking information to foreign media, they don't hack individual human-rights reporters or their bosses. They hack the network and email administrators at whichever publications revealed the worst of their transgressions.

According to a 2014 study from IBM and Ponemon, corporations pay an average $145 per record in a data breach, with an average total cost of $3.5 million. The overall cleanup cost of breaches for some of the US's major retailers ranged from just over $4 million to more than $100 million. Lost revenue ranged from approximately $40 million to more than $1 billion. The study also revealed that more than 37 percent of data breaches involved a malicious or criminal attack; 35 percent concerned a negligent employee or contractor (the human factor); and 29 percent involved glitches that included both IT and business process failures.

Today's IT infrastructure is disjointed and scattered
One of the biggest challenges facing PIM is an increasingly decentralized IT infrastructure. The number of exposed surfaces has multiplied from the days of a single onsite server to now include cloud servers, mobile devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) and offsite facilities such test labs and production centers. In fact, as more enterprises embrace the cloud, privileged accounts increasingly lie outside physical headquarters and belong both to internal IT and remote third parties such as contractors and vendors. Therefore it is no surprise that privileged accounts are easy and automatic targets for hackers and malicious insiders alike.

When it comes to securing all of the fragmented pieces of an enterprise network mosaic, challenges rise in four distinct pillars:

  1. Whereas in the past IT administrators operated under the radar for hackers, now they are prime targets
  2. Big Data and the decentralization of systems and infrastructure have vastly increased the scale of privileged accounts; they now span thousands of servers instead of one or two
  3. The consumerization of IT has spawned "Shadow IT," which has multiplied privileged accounts even further
  4. The number of people who actually merit privileged access has increased, due to outsourcing and third-party vendors; in many cases even core IT is outsourced to a third party

It's not just outsiders who have the potential to wreak havoc. Disgruntled insiders can cause damage as well. Consider the infamous case of San Francisco city employee Terry Childs, who was arrested after refusing to grant City Hall access to its own network. The system contained emails, payroll information, police records and a host of other sensitive data. Childs handed over passwords when his one condition was met, which was a private, jailhouse meeting with Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Complicating matters even further, not all insider threats are proactive. A 2014 data breach report from Verizon revealed that half of all IT vulnerabilities and security and operational issues were the result of user and administrator mistakes. In other words, accidental threats have the same potential as malicious ones to cause harm with data, infrastructure and reputations. More than ever, privileged accounts are central to the health and wellbeing of the enterprise and therefore must be carefully guarded.

Identity is the new perimeter
There is a solution to today's advanced threat landscape and it begins with a holistic, purpose-built platform that draws an impenetrable circle around every potential server and device. Identity is the new corporate perimeter, and its footprint extends far beyond a physical campus to encompass an amorphous, identity-activated entity in the cloud.

Legacy systems were built around the assumption that all privileged access would be on-premise. But today we live in a hybrid world where cloud infrastructure is preferred and where the cloud makes concessions for onsite systems, rather than the other way around. With the right cloud PIM system in place, enterprises can take advantage of benefits such as reduced upfront costs, flexible pay-as-you-go pricing and faster ROI. Perpetual licenses are expensive, difficult to deploy and totally anachronistic in today's service-based pricing atmosphere.

Furthermore, today's best PIM solutions not only offer a broad set of capabilities for identity consolidation, privilege management and privileged session auditing, they address security and audit requirements for the management of both cloud and onsite access to critical production systems and applications by employees and third parties - all without the hassle of a VPN.  The net result is increased security, improved compliance and comprehensive reporting and auditing.

The king's guard
For companies looking to gain maximum control over their network, PIM is paramount. Privileged accounts merit an extra layer of security over normal accounts and require constant attention to ensure they're not being violated. No CEO wants to find him- or herself in the same place as leaders at Target and Anthem, and no CIO wants a breach of that magnitude on their record. Now they have an elite guard to protect them.

More Stories By Tom Kemp

Tom Kemp is co-founder and chief executive officer at Centrify. Under his leadership, the company has become one of the fastest growing security vendors in the industry with over 5,000 customers, including nearly half of the Fortune 50.

Prior to Centrify, Kemp held various executive, technical and marketing roles at NetIQ Corporation, Compuware Corporation, EcoSystems Software, and Oracle Corporation. Mr. Kemp was also an Entrepreneur in Residence at leading venture capital firm Mayfield.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and History from the University of Michigan.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...