Controlling access is essential to cybersecurity, especially access to privileged accounts like those of data center and cloud administrators.
According to the latest Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, 81 percent of hacking-related breaches involved either stolen or weak passwords, and 14 percent involved privilege misuse.
Other researchers back that up -- Forrester, for example, estimates that 80 percent of security breaches involved privileged credentials.
"Privileged credentials provide greater scope for stealing data en masse than individual accounts do," Forrester analyst Andras Cser writes in a report. "With privileged credentials, attackers can dump the entire database, bypass network traffic limitation, delete logs to hide their activity, and exfiltrate data easier."
At the very minimum, enterprises should try to implement a least-privilege policy, where employees only have access to the particular systems that they need, and roll out multi-factor authentication.
That might be enough for most employees, but system administrators, who hold the keys to the kingdom, need extra protection for their credentials.
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