This past March we announced Preempt Inspector, a free app for password strength assessment. The App provided administrators with a better understanding of their AD configuration, especially difficult to estimate parameters, such as duplicate and weak passwords. We analyzed the anonymous data we received from the app, and found some worrying trends, like that 1 in 5 enterprise passwords can be easily compromised.
“We are delighted to announce that starting January 1st, all frontal services provided by our company will be given by male representatives.” Wait, what?
Service Accounts can represent tremendous security risk for enterprises. And many of our customers struggle with how to best identify, control and protect these accounts. Let’s take a closer look at what service accounts are and what organizations can do to protect service accounts from attackers and insiders.
Really, it’s not just me saying that Active Directory is the crown jewel. It's actually them, the hackers, that de facto target the active directory in almost every advanced attack. They look for domain credentials and administrative accounts, they practice domain reconnaissance, privilege elevation, targeted attacks against the domain controller and more. Their motivation is similar to terror. For example: produce widespread fear, obtain recognition and attention of media, steal money, damage facilities and functionalities. This is why it was not surprising to learn about the QakBot Trojan causing a mess.
In recent years, we have seen hospitals, insurance companies (Aetna), giant corporations (Sony) retailers (Home Depot and Target), and tech companies (Yahoo, LinkedIn, Dropbox) all breached because of some type of insider threat or compromised credentials. So, it’s no surprise that Insider threats are a growing concern for organizations.
NTLM (NT LAN Manager) is Microsoft's old authentication protocol that was replaced with Kerberos starting Windows 2000. It was designed and implemented by Microsoft engineers for the purpose of authenticating accounts between Microsoft Windows machines and servers. Even though it has not been the default for Windows deployments for more than 15 years, it is still very much in use and I have not yet seen a network where it has been completely abandoned. In fact it also supported by the latest version of Active Directory.
In recent years, the use of smart card widely increased as a secure form of authentication for a wide range of applications, ranging from mobile networks requiring a SIM card in mobile devices to credit card vendors making smart cards, the de facto standard for credit cards.