The Essentialsof Enterprise Security


Published on

1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The Essentialsof Enterprise Security

  1. 1. The Essentials of Enterprise Security ® an Security eBook
  2. 2. Contents… The Essentials of Enterprise Security Paul Rubens is a journalist based in Marlow on Thames, England. He has been programming, tinkering and generally sitting in front of computer screens since his first encounter with a DEC PDP-11 in 1979. 2 2 An Overview of Enterprise Security 4 Penetration Testing, Patch and Vulnerability Scanning 4 9 9 Dealing with Insider Threats 11 Mobile and Wireless Security 11 14 14 Password Security 17 Quick Wins for Enterprise Security 17
  3. 3. The Essentials of Enterprise Security An Overview of Enterprise Security By Paul Rubens K eeping the servers, laptops and desktop Typical defenses against these threats include: PCs in your organization secure is a vital job, as a breach in security can lead to: • A firewall to separate the corporate network from the Internet • Valuable data being destroyed or altered • An intrusion prevention / detection system (IPS/ • Competitors gaining access to confidential IDS) to detect when typical hacker activities, such data such as proprietary as port scans, occur and take information, future product steps to prevent them from plans, or financial data successfully penetrating the network • Credit card numbers and other customer personal • Malware scanners to prevent data being stolen malicious software from getting on to the network hidden in • Virus and other malware e-mail, instant messaging, or infections, which can have Web traffic. unknown consequences. Once infections are • The use of passwords and discovered there is a loss in other authentication systems to productivity, as resources prevent unauthorized access to have to be devoted to networks, computers, or data removing the infections and stored on them bringing the disinfected or rebuilt systems back in to service. Most organizations also devote resources to mitigate the “insider threat” — data being stolen, altered, or deleted The cost of a serious security breach can be very high by staff members inside the organization who can access indeed — in 2009 the average per-incident cost for U.S. computer systems using their own (or colleagues’) companies was $6.65 million, or $204 per compromised authentication credentials, without the need to break in customer record, according to Ponemon Institute. using hacking techniques. Insiders are typically motivated by the desire to make more money or to get revenge for For this reason most organizations devote significant a perceived injustice (such as an unsuccessful request for resources to keeping malware and malicious hackers from a raise,) or they act under coercion. getting on to the corporate network and gaining access to data. Typical defenses against the insider threat include: • Screening new employees for previous criminal 2 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  4. 4. The Essentials of Enterprise Security behaviour and monitoring all employees for unusual behavior that might indicate dissatisfaction with the • Your Web applications are vulnerable to SQL organization or a troubled personal life injection attacks • Implementing end point security systems to • Holes in your firewall leave your network prevent employees copying confidential information vulnerable on to memory sticks and other removable media • Your IPS/IDS is not configured correctly and will • Monitoring and logging employee e-mail and not protect your network effectively Web activity and using database monitoring systems. • The passwords used to protect your resources are not sufficiently strong to provide the protection you Can Your Systems Ever Be Completely require Secure? • Your IT infrastructure has other vulnerabilities you are not aware of, such as an unauthorized The answer to this question has to be “no.” That’s and insecure wireless access point set up by an because it’s not possible to know what previously employee unknown vulnerabilities may be discovered in your systems and the software that you run. The question that you can try to answer is “How easily could my systems be compromised?” It is a deceptively simple question but it is essential that you know the answer to it. That’s because if you don’t it may turn out that: 3 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  5. 5. The Essentials of Enterprise Security Penetration Testing, Patch and Vulnerability Scanning D efending a network and attacking a network • Web applications: Are they susceptible to SQL are two different disciplines that require injection, cross-site scripting, and other attacks? different mindsets, so it follows that the people best qualified to test whether your • Wireless infrastructure: Do unauthorized rogue network could easily be compromised are not corporate access points exist, and are all authorized ones security staff — who are experts at defending a network secured using appropriate encryption and strong — but hackers who are experts at attacking them. passwords? A penetration test involves a trusted • Physical access: Is it possible to third party actively carrying out the walk in and steal data, or gain useful same sorts of scans and attacks as a information about IT systems from hacker to see if it is possible to find trash left in dumpsters? any vulnerabilities that can then be used to break into your network and • Staff training: Can employees compromise your systems. be tricked by social engineering into revealing passwords and other Some organizations choose to have confidential information, or into penetration tests carried out on clicking on an e-mail attachment selected parts of their IT infrastructure, containing malicious software? such as their wireless networking setup or a particular Web application, After the penetration test, the testers but it generally makes most sense to have the entire should produce a report of their findings, detailing any IT infrastructure tested. That’s because in many cases, weaknesses, their seriousness, and the actions that need hackers find vulnerabilities in one area that can then to be taken to correct them. be leveraged to attack another area. By gaining access to the network after cracking a weak password on a In broad terms then, a penetration test is a vital step rogue wireless access point, for example, it may then in the corporate IT security process that can identify be possible to compromise a server and acquire log-in vulnerabilities in all areas of your IT infrastructure and credentials to get access to a database. prioritize the work needed to fix them. A complete penetration test will seek to find Penetration tests also have secondary benefits. By vulnerabilities in areas that include: having a test carried out you may be able to prove due diligence and compliance to industry regulators, as • Networking equipment, server and desktop well as to shareholders and customers. This is valuable operating systems, applications, and databases: because non-compliance can, in some cases, mean heavy Are these correctly configured and patched, and do fines for your organization, and possibly even personal other vulnerabilities exist? repercussions including loss of your job and prosecution. 4 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  6. 6. The Essentials of Enterprise Security Penetration Testing Your IT any of the systems. Infrastructure This has important implications as far as penetration testing is concerned. Scope The first step is to decide on the scope of your planned Black Box Testing penetration test. In other words, do you want to test a One option is to put the penetration testers in exactly the particular Web application or database server, or do you same situation as a hacker by giving them no information want to test your entire IT infrastructure? And do you at all about your IT systems before they start testing. want to restrict the testing to hardware and software, That means that they must first build up their own or should the penetration testers be allowed to attempt picture of your infrastructure before they can begin to to gain access to systems using social engineering and test it for vulnerabilities. The advantage of this “black physical access techniques as well? box” approach is that it simulates the conditions that a real hacker would face, and enables you to prioritize Constraints corrective measures based on real-world conditions. There are a number of ways in which a penetration test can be carried out, and the initial constraints that you set White Box Testing out will have an impact on the results. One of the most Another option goes to the other extreme. A “white box” important constraints is the amount of information a test approach gives the penetration testers all the information team starts out with when the penetration test begins. they need about the infrastructure to be tested, including network topology and details about each host and To understand this, put yourself in the shoes of a hacker the software it is running. This type of approach more on the outside of a large organization such as your accurately simulates what a hacker might do if he had own. Before he can launch a concerted attack to break been provided with inside information from a disgruntled in to your systems, he has to carry out a great deal of former employee, but won’t necessarily reveal which preparatory work that may include: systems are the most vulnerable. • Information gathering: Using Google and other Who Should Carry Out a Penetration Test? resources to find out as much as possible about your The results of a penetration test — either white box or company, its employees, their names, and so on black box — will depend on the skills of the team carrying out the test. Just as some hackers may be able to break in • Port scanning : To establish what hosts are to your systems while others will not, a good penetration connected to a network, what operating systems testing team will be able to highlight vulnerabilities that they are running, and what services they have others will miss. That is why choosing the right people to running on them that may be vulnerable to attack carry out the test is crucial. • Reconnaissance: Contacting particular servers The most important thing is to avoid the temptation to that an organization may be running and to get carry out a penetration test yourself, using your own IT information from them (such as the specific versions staff. That’s because the more familiar you are with the of the applications that are running, etc.). systems to be tested, and the security measures that have been put in place, the more likely you are to overlook These and other activities help the hacker build up a something during a test. (After all, if you overlooked partial picture of your network infrastructure that he can a vulnerability when you built your defenses, there is use in his hunt for vulnerabilities. Only then is he in a no reason to suppose that you won’t overlook it again position to exploit any vulnerability he has discovered in 5 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  7. 7. The Essentials of Enterprise Security when carrying out a test.) For the same reason, it is also there is also a risk that some actions could crash one important not use any of the companies that supplied or or more of your systems or make them unreachable, installed any of your IT infrastructure. impacting the day-to-day running of your business. This risk may be mitigated by carrying out tests outside That means that it is usually advisable to use specialist business hours, but this constraint impacts the validity third-party penetration testers who can approach the test of the tests since hackers would not be subject to this with a completely open mind. Questions you should ask constraint. before choosing one include: Automated Penetration Testing, • Who will be in the penetration testing team? Vulnerability, and Patch Scanning • How experienced are they? How long have they A penetration test can only reveal vulnerabilities in your IT worked for the organization? infrastructure at a particular period in time — the period in which the penetration test is carried out. For that • What professional qualifications and certifications reason it is sensible to have a penetration test conducted do they have? at regular intervals, which could range from every six months or so to every two or three years, as well as • What methodology (such as the Open Source whenever major changes are made to your infrastructure. Security Testing Methodology) if any, do they follow? • How would they carry out a penetration test, and to what time scale? • What sorts of reports and recommendations would they provide after the test, and how much detail would they go in to? Risks of a Penetration Test Before having a penetration test carried out, it’s worth bearing in mind that there can be associated risks. The first risk comes from giving a third-party organization the authority to explore your network infrastructure. The assumption is that this organization is trustworthy, but if it or any of the individuals that makes up the penetration testing team is not, then there is a risk that they could Figure 1. Automated penetration testing with Metasploit Express. exploit any vulnerabilities discovered for their own use. In between these full penetration tests you can use The second risk derives from the actions of the penetration testing software to carry out automated tests penetration testers during the tests. At the very least, on a far more regular basis and at far lower cost. A skilled it is likely that the scans and probes that the testers human can carry out a more thorough test than any carry out will slow down your network and reduce the automated software tool, but using penetration testing responsiveness of your servers from time to time. But software to carry out your own penetration tests is still a 6 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  8. 8. The Essentials of Enterprise Security good idea because: • You can carry out these tests yourself on a monthly or even weekly basis, or whenever you make significant infrastructure changes, without incurring the costs associated with repeated tests carried out by a consultant. • If you use many of the free penetration testing tools that are available you will almost certainly be using the same ones that many hackers use as hacking tools. If you can successfully compromise Figure 2. Performing a vulnerability scan with Tenable Nessus. your organization’s security with these tools then so can hackers — even relatively unskilled hackers who The vulnerabilities that these scanners can search for know how to use the software. include: Examples of commercial penetration testing software • Hardware or software that has been left with the include: default password • Core Impact Pro, Core Security Technologies, • Software that has a known vulnerability such as a buffer overflow issue • Immunity CANVAS Professional, Immunity, www. • Web servers hosting PHP applications that are vulnerable to SQL injection • Metasploit Express, Rapid7,, see • Operating systems with missing security patches Figure 1. • Undesirable software such as peer-to-peer file- Free, open source penetration testing software includes: sharing applications • Metasploit framework , • Unnecessary ports left open on hosts • FastTrack, Good vulnerability scanners will report a risk score for each vulnerability it finds so you can prioritize Vulnerability Scanning remediation work, as well as recommend a solution (such A vulnerability scanner is another type of tool that you as closing a port, upgrading an application to the latest can run on a regular basis to highlight security problems version, or applying a vendor supplied patch). that can then be fixed. While a penetration testing tool tries to actively exploit vulnerabilities that it finds to Commercial vulnerability scanners include: compromise systems, a vulnerability scanner checks for known vulnerabilities without using those vulnerabilities • Nessus, Tenable Network Security, www.nessus. to further penetrate your systems. org, see Figure 2. • NeXpose Enterprise, Rapid7, 7 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  9. 9. The Essentials of Enterprise Security • Secunia Enterprise Vulnerability Manager, To make application updating as simple as possible, Secunia, some scanners provide links to the necessary updates or patches that should be applied to particular systems. • White Hat Sentinel, White Hat Security, www. Some also integrate with Windows Server Update Services or Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager so that updates and patches can be applied • HP WebInspect, HP, automatically from a central location. • IBM Rational AppScan Enterprise, IBM, com Free, open source vulnerability scanners include: • Nikto2, • Paros Proxy, • WebScarab, Figure 3. Secunia’s Network Software Inspector. Patch Scanning Related to general purpose vulnerability scanners are • Commercial application patch scanners include: application patch scanners. Patch scanners scan hosts to identify the applications running on them, and identify • Secunia Corporate Software Inspector, www. which applications need updating to a newer version or, see Figure 3. are missing patches. • Shavlik NetChk, Shavlik, • Lumension Patch and Remediation, www. 8 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  10. 10. The Essentials of Enterprise Security Dealing with Insider Threats I nsiders — people who work within your industries it may also pay to have a third party carry out organization — pose a potential security risk more specialized background checks to try to identify that shouldn’t be overlooked. That’s because industrial spies or agents from foreign governments. while hackers and other outsiders have to overcome all of your security measures to break in to Many insider attacks are motivated by a desire for your network and gain access to systems and data, many revenge for a perceived slight — failure to get a insiders have valid credentials to log on quite legitimately promotion or a pay raise, for example. Signs of a and access the systems and data they need to carry out disgruntled employee include becoming unusually their jobs. emotional at work or displaying a change in normal behavior patterns, such as a noticeable drop in work Unless appropriate steps are performance or an increasing taken, it can be quite trivial propensity to arrive late. It for rogue employees to copy is therefore important that your confidential data on to managers and other staff a memory stick and walk out are alert to these sorts of the door, install a keylogger signs. Once identified, these to steal colleagues login employees’ IT resource usage credentials, install a logic bomb should be carefully monitored. to destroy data in the future, or set themselves up with Well-meaning employees log-in credentials to ensure who download the contents that they have access to your of a customer database into systems so they can attempt to Excel on their laptop so that continue stealing your data even after they have left your they can take it home and analyze it, or who write their employment. passwords down on Post-IT notes where colleagues can see them, also pose an insider threat — albeit without There are a number of precautions you can take to malicious intent. The best defense against these threats minimize the insider threat, and these fall into two broad is to continually remind people of your security policies categories: human resource-based and technology- and the reasons why these policies exist. It may also be based. appropriate to remind employees of the consequences of failing to adhere to security policies or any other Human Resources Precautions negligent behavior. continued More than 30 percent of insider attacks are carried out More than two-thirds of insider attacks are carried out by employees who have criminal records at the time they by former staff within three weeks of leaving. An exit are hired. Basic checks can help you identify prospective interview with staff on their last day of employment in employees with a history of fraud or theft, while in certain your organization is an opportunity for you to remind 9 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  11. 11. The Essentials of Enterprise Security them of the consequences of any illegal actions. Some organization present employees with printouts of recent Monitoring data sources rather than end points can let e-mails or websites that they have visited at these you put your finger on anomalous behavior or behavior interviews to reinforce the message that their actions that goes against your policies, in real time, enabling you have been monitored. These measures may be enough to react before data leaves your organization. If a user to dissuade some employees who are considering some normally accesses order data one record at a time, and form of revenge action from actually carrying it out. then suddenly accesses hundreds of records in one go, or starts accessing different applications or databases from Technology-Based Precautions those that they normally use, then by monitoring your data sources you should be able to detect this. Using a honeytoken can help you detect malicious insider activity. A honeytoken is a piece of made-up data, such Insiders pose a greater threat than outside hackers as a particular meaningless string, that can be inserted because they have access credentials to your data, but into a database where it should never be accessed under you can reduce the threat by ensuring they only have normal circumstances. If your monitoring systems detect access to data they need to carry out their day-to-day that the honeytoken is accessed then this is clearly not duties. A good rights management system will enable normal business behavior and may provide a warning you to compare any employee’s data access rights with that database records are being accessed (or copied) the data they actually need, and flag any unnecessary by a malicious insider (or an outside hacker). You can rights that can be removed. also configure intrusion detection systems to alert administrators if packets containing the honeytoken travel Over a third of all insider attacks are carried out by IT over your network. administrators or superusers. Database administrators (DBAs) have enormous powers over your database, so More than half of staff members that lose their jobs particular care needs to be taken to ensure that you are in take confidential corporate information with them on a position to detect any malicious behavior on their part. a DVD or USB drive, according to research carried out A good database management system controlled by a by the Ponemon Institute. End point security systems security officer rather than a DBA can check that a DBA can restrict what portable storage devices can be used, is accessing structural changes to your database without and by whom, and monitor what information is copied. actually accessing the data. Such systems can be useful in making it harder to copy information maliciously without being detected, but can’t prevent a trusted insider with authority to copy data from doing so maliciously. 10 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  12. 12. The Essentials of Enterprise Security Mobile and Wireless Security T he security of your corporate data and the inaccessible even if the hard drive is removed and integrity of your company network are put connected to another computer. at risk whenever you travel with a business laptop. That’s because the laptop is no For laptops running business versions of Windows Vista longer protected by the physical security that your office or Windows 7 you can use Microsoft’s BitLocker utility, provides, or the security systems designed to protect the included with the operating system, to encrypt the system drive. Apple MacBook users running OS X 10.3 or later can create an encrypted disk image using Disk Utility. For other Windows, Linux, and OS X systems, the open source TrueCrypt application will do the same job for free. software running on it. And any malware that gets on to your laptop has the potential to infect other devices on your network next time your laptop connects to it. Figure 4. Encrypting a volume with TrueCrypt. Encrypt the Hard Drive Use a VPN If your laptop is lost or stolen, anyone who gets their Connecting to the Internet from a business center, hands on it could steal your data, read confidential Internet café, or airport hotspot presents a serious e-mails, communicate with your contacts, and possibly security risk as these are environments where it is even connect to your corporate network and cause even relatively easy to intercept your data. A VPN encrypts all more havoc. data before it leaves your laptop, and keeps it encrypted until it reaches a trusted end point such as your home or The best way to prevent this is to encrypt the laptop’s office network. If your company doesn’t provide a VPN, hard disk so that a password has to be entered before try the free OpenVPN. Simpler to use solutions include the computer will boot. This will also make your data 11 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  13. 13. The Essentials of Enterprise Security paid-for services like HotSpotVPN, which uses OpenVPN, or remote access services like GoToMyPC or LogMeIn, both of which use data encryption to connect your laptop back to a trusted office or home network. Chain Up Your Laptop Most laptops have a security cable socket (known as a Kensington slot), which allows you to physically attach your laptop to a desk or table. While this may not be necessary most of the time, using a security cable is a sensible precaution at conferences or other busy environments where you may be distracted and unable to keep watch over your laptop all of the time. Keep Your Backup Data Secure Figure 5. IronKey control panel. Keeping backup copies of important data and passwords separate from your laptop is always a sensible precaution Wireless Security in case your laptop is lost or stolen while travelling. To keep them secure, ensure they are stored in encrypted Rogue access points and weak passwords are the bane form, ideally on a USB drive. of any network administrator’s life: all it takes is one user setting up a consumer-grade wireless router in their You can store files on an encrypted partition on a cubicle for there to be a potentially serious security standard USB stick using the free TrueCrypt (see Figure risk. If a rogue wireless signal leaks out into the street 4), as long as you can remember a long and secure then anyone nearby could get access to your corporate password to protect it. For even more security you can network, even if WEP, WPA, or WPA2 encryption is in use. secure files and passwords on a special USB stick like the IronKey. The IronKey (see Figure 5) includes a feature that But it’s not just rogue APs that are a worry. Unless you causes the device to self-destruct if the wrong password are using WPA-Enterprise or WPA2-Enterprise (both of is entered 10 times in a row, effectively preventing which use a RADIUS server) in your organization, then any brute-force attacks that involve trying millions of different wireless networks you are using also present a risk. password possibilities until the correct one is found, and therefore making shorter, more memorable passwords The best way to check for rogue access points is to more secure. Other secure USB sticks include the scan for them by walking around your organization’s Blockmaster SafeStick and the Sandisk Cruzer Enterprise premises with a laptop running scanning software such as FIPS Edition Netstumbler, Airodump-ng (part of the aircrack-ng suite), or Kismet. 12 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  14. 14. The Essentials of Enterprise Security Figure 6. Performing a wireless audit with airodump-ng. If your IT infrastructure includes wireless networks that You can check that your WPA passwords cannot easily be do not use a RADIUS server for authentication then it cracked using the WPA Cracker service ( www.wpacracker. is unwise to rely on WEP encryption, as it can easily be com/). cracked in a few minutes using the aircrack-ng suite. Instead, ensure any wireless access points are configured to use WPA or WPA2. 13 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  15. 15. The Essentials of Enterprise Security Password Security T he first line of attack for a malicious hacker possible ones that the probability of successfully brute- trying to guess a password or crack a forcing the password in a reasonably short amount of password hash is to try a list of “obvious” time is acceptably small. words, such as “password”, the company name, the user’s name, or the name of a spouse, child, If a password consists of six random lowercase letters, or pet if known. If this fails, the hacker will probably there about 300 million possible passwords. A computer then run a “dictionary attack,” methodically trying every that can check 10 million password guesses per second word in a long word list. These lists will likely include would take 30 seconds to check all 300 million of these letter and number patterns like “abcde”, “qwerty”, six character passwords. “asdf”, and “12345”, and common substitutions, such as replacing “3” for “e” or “5” for If the password is made up “s”, as well as adding one, two ,or of six random upper or lower three digits before or after each case letters (52 in all) or the 10 word or spelling dictionary words digits 0-9, then there are about backwards. 57,000,000 possibilities. It would take a computer about If a dictionary attack fails the 90 minutes to check all of hacker will then likely resort to a these six character passwords. brute-force attack, trying every combination of letters, or upper This shows that increasing the and lower case letters, or upper pool of characters from which and lower case letters and digits, each character of a password or upper and lower case letters, is randomly drawn makes a digits, and other characters (like significant difference to the $,%,^, & and so on) for passwords amount of time required to of increasing lengths. brute-force it, and therefore it increases the security of the password appreciably. Password Policies Password Length The role of a corporate password policy is to define In the examples above, passwords that were six continued characters long were used, and even drawing from a rules for passwords to ensure that they provide a level of security that makes the attacks described above unlikely pool of upper and lower case characters and digits the to succeed. The most important rules govern password resulting random passwords could be cracked in less than makeup and length. two hours. One way to make passwords harder to crack is to increase their length. Password Makeup Passwords need to be drawn from such a large pool of The SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security) Institute 14 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  16. 16. The Essentials of Enterprise Security recommends passwords should be at least 15 characters long, and by using random upper and lower case • Can be easily remembered. One way to do this letters and digits, there are about 750,000,000,000,000 is create a password based on a song title or other possibilities, which would take a computer 2,000,000,000 phrase. For example, the phrase might be: “This years to check. May Be One Way To Remember” and the password could be: “TmB1w2R!” or “Tmb1W>r~” or some Practical Password Policy other variation. In the real world users can’t easily remember random strings — anything longer than seven characters appears You can download SANS’s sample password policy particularly hard — so forcing them to use random 15- document from digit passwords effectively forces them to write them Password_Policy.pdf. down somewhere. This poses an internal security risk: that someone with physical access to the office — such From time to time, it is sensible to audit the passwords as a co-worker or maintenance staff — will see the in use in your organization to see if they can be guessed password written on a Post-It note and use it to access or brute-forced by popular password tools. If you can restricted resources or pass it in to someone outside the successfully crack any passwords then so could a hacker, organization. implying the need to modify your security policy or takes steps to ensure that your existing one is being applied Many organizations, therefore, allow users to pick throughout your organization. passwords that are memorable rather than random, while still insisting that they include letters, numbers, and punctuation. Although these are not as secure as random passwords, they can still be highly secure if they conform to a well thought out password policy. The SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security) Institute recommends that organizations adopt a password policy which requires that passwords: • Contain both upper and lower case characters (a-z, A-Z) • Have digits and punctuation characters as well as letters (0-9, !@#$%^&*()_+|~- =`{}[]:”;’<>?,./) • Are at least 15 alphanumeric characters long and are a passphrase (Ohmy1stubbedmyt0e) Figure 7. Password auditing with L0phtcrack. • Are not a word in any language, slang, dialect, L0phtcrack (, see Figure 7) is a jargon commercial password tool. Free or open source password tools include: • Are not based on personal information such as family names • Cain, 15 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  17. 17. The Essentials of Enterprise Security • Ophcrack, • Medusa, • Hydra, • John the Ripper, continued 16 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.
  18. 18. The Essentials of Enterprise Security Quick Wins for Enterprise Security I n addition to all of the methods discussed with current staff or contractors, and create a earlier in this eBook, there are a number of procedure for disabling accounts when users leave. instant action items that can help make your It’s also useful to generate regular reports on enterprise more secure. accounts that are not used regularly and attempts to access disabled accounts. • Remove games, hyperterminals, and “crapware” that come bundled with end user machines and • Ensure that all devices have usernames and unnecessary software on servers. If you need six passwords changed from their defaults. applications on a machine, then there should be six, not 20. Ideally, deploy • Organize a staff security standardized images, and training session. Half an hour document whenever a non- spent explaining how and why standardized image is used for to choose a secure password, any reason. or why clicking on e-mail attachments from unknown • Implement ingress and sources is a bad idea, can pay egress filtering, allowing only huge security dividends. those ports and services with a documented business need. • Make sure you know Configurations should be which data needs protecting, documented and checked to where it is, and who need s ensure they are secure. access to it. Ensure controls are in place to restrict access • Make sure your security to authorized users. logs are monitored to ensure that you will spot any anomalies or unusual • Ensuring anti-malware software is running on behaviour that occurs on your network. all systems is important, but make sure you have a system in place so that every system is updated • Use Web application firewalls and application regularly. layer security to protect your applications from SQL injections, cross-site scripting, and other attacks. • Disable autorun for removable storage devices. • Some IT staff need admin privileges, but not for • Make sure your routers can only be accessed reading e-mail. Ensure they have different accounts internally, and that firewalls or filters drop all traffic and passwords for admin and non-admin activities. except for services and ports that are explicitly allowed. • Disable any accounts that can’t be associated 17 Back to Contents The Essentials of Enterprise Security an Security eBook. © 2010,, a division of QuinStreet, Inc.