81% of hacking-related breaches leverage compromised credentials

November 01, 2017//SecureLink

The 2017 Verizon Data Breach Report cites that 81% of hacking-related breaches leveraged either stolen and/or weak passwords, up from 63% reported in previous years.

We often see news headlines of breaches involving compromised credentials that support these findings, so this report doesn’t shed new light on the issue. However, it should serve as a warning because the trend is going in the wrong direction. Enterprises must take note that how network credentials are managed directly reflect overall security. Whether it’s internal employees or third-party vendors that need access, comprehensive authentication and access control should always be in place.

Privileged credentials open a lot of doors. They are given to network admins, employees, and third-party vendor reps that need to support their applications. If mismanaged these keys are very dangerous. In many organizations, these credentials permit access to all corners of the network. Neglecting the process of secure access management creates particular vulnerabilities in the case of vendors and former employees.

When managing third-party remote access, the only way to ensure a vendor doesn’t compromise your network credentials is to never give them out. Remote support solutions should hide your network credentials and provide single sign-on (SSO) for vendors.  Vendors could share or store privileged credentials insecurely. This feature also helps to prevent “leapfrogging”, or the process of a technician launching additional connections from within the initial target host. If the technician is never aware of their password, they are prevented from trying to log into other systems with the same account.

It’s critical that IT professionals apply these best practices in vendor management because, without these capabilities, security is weakened.

The 2017 Data Breach Investigation Report was based on analysis of over 40,000 incidents, including 1,935 confirmed data breaches.

About SecureLink

Our sole focus is secure third-party remote access. For highly regulated enterprise organizations, SecureLink Enterprise has pioneered a secure remote access platform. SecureLink for enterprise allows an organization to identify, control, and audit third-party vendors. For vendors, SecureLink is the gold standard remote access support platform because it is easy, efficient, and ensures compliance and reduces liability when supporting customers.

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