Feeds

Firms urged to tighten up access policies

Survey reveals worrying lack of security

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Half of us keep our passwords on Post-It notes and over a third of IT professionals say they could still access their company's network if they left their job.

These are just some of the worrying findings of a survey released on Tuesday by Cyber-Ark Software, which carried out the research at last month's Infosecurity Exhibition as part of the firm's annual investigation into trust, security and passwords.

"Companies need to wake up to the fact that if they don't introduce layers of security, tighten up who has access to vital information, and manage and control privileged passwords, then snooping, sabotage and hacking will continue to be rife," said Calum Macleod, European director for Cyber-Ark.

More than half of those surveyed said they still keep their passwords on a Post-It note; this is in spite of all the warnings to be more protective of passwords. This year's survey revealed that the 50 per cent number now applies to IT professionals as well.

Also, more than one-third of IT professionals admit they could still access their company's network once they'd left their current job, while over 25 per cent of respondents said they knew of another IT staff member who still had access to sensitive networks even though they'd left the company a long time ago.

These figures may be explained by the fact that 20 per cent of all organisations admitted that they rarely changed their administrative passwords. with a worrying 7 per cent saying they never change them. Eight per cent of IT professionals revealed that the manufacturer's default admin password on critical systems had never been changed, despite this being the most common way for virus writers to break into corporate networks.

"The easiest way to infiltrate a company's network is to look for administrative passwords which are left blank, still have the manufacturers default password or just use obvious names. Once you find these, which are unbelievably simple and common to find, you're into the system and have the highest level of authority - you've got control of the company's system."

Those are the words of Gary McKinnon, who has been named as the "most profligate military hacker of all time" and who is still waiting to be extradited to the US for gaining entry to 90 computers at the US Department of Defense.

Fifteen per cent of companies interviewed said they had experienced insider sabotage, an unsurprising statistic if you consider that over 33 per cent of IT staff said they use administrative passwords to snoop around corporate systems. This snooping has the potential to turn ugly if IT workers feel disgruntled or if they've been fired.

Copyright © 2007, ENN

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?