75% of Hackers Say Privileged Accounts are Just as Easy to Compromise as they were two Years Ago

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Aug 18, 2015 05:15 pm PST

Privileged Accounts Are EasyThycotic Black Hat 2015 Hacker Survey also finds 94% of hackers have found privileged account credentials in unprotected files

Thycotic, a provider of smart and effective privileged account management solutions for global organizations, announced the results of a survey of 201 white hat and black hat hackers at Black Hat USA 2015. The survey, which was conducted live on August 5th at the conference venue in Las Vegas, found that a majority (75%) of hackers have not seen a fundamental change in the level of difficulty in compromising privileged account credentials, despite an overall increase in IT security spending over the past two years.

Among other topics, the survey also asked hackers how often they come across privileged account credentials in unprotected files like spreadsheets. Only 6 percent of respondents said they had never seen this, meaning 94% find privileged credentials in unprotected files at least some of the time.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Hackers indicated that privileged account credentials are the best targeted assets for gaining direct access to large amounts of critical data. 45% identified privileged credentials as their favorite target, while only 33% chose end user credentials as the easiest way to get what they are after.
  • 9 out of 10 respondents said it is as easy or even easier to compromise privileged account credentials now than it was two years ago
  • Healthcare organizations were indicated (29%) to be the primary target for breach vulnerability, followed by financial services companies (25%) and government organizations (24%).

“Perhaps not surprising to those in the cybersecurity industry, it is apparent that for all the new defensive solutions that have been introduced, we still haven’t cracked the code on how best to protect mission-critical data and company secrets, and in fact, in some cases we’re only adding additional layers of complexity which provide attackers more attack vectors to use to break in,” said Nathan Wenzler, senior technology evangelist at Thycotic. “It’s also clear from the data that even some of the most basic security practices are still not being enforced well enough by organizations and privileged login credentials are constantly left vulnerable to intruders.”

About Thycotic

Thycotic IT security and password management solutions empower companies to remove the complexities associated with proper access control and management of privileged accounts. An Inc. 5000 company, Thycotic is trusted by more than 3,000 customers worldwide – including members of the Fortune 500, enterprises, government agencies, technology firms, universities, non-profits and managed service providers.

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