Mistakes People Make that
Lead to Security Breaches
Technological holes account for a great number of the successful
break-ins, but people do their share, as well. Here are the SANS
Institute's lists of silly things people do that enable attackers
by the SANS Institute
The Five Worst Security Mistakes End Users Make
- Opening unsolicited e-mail attachments without verifying
their source and checking their content first.
- Failing to install security patches-especially for Microsoft
Office, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Netscape.
- Installing screen savers or games from unknown sources.
- Not making and testing backups.
- Using a modem while connected through a local area network.
The Seven Worst Security Mistakes Senior Executives Make
- Assigning untrained people to maintain security and providing
neither the training nor the time to make it possible to learn and
do the job.
- Failing to understand the relationship of information security
to the business problem-they understand physical security but do not
see the consequences of poor information security.
- Failing to deal with the operational aspects of security:
making a few fixes and then not allowing the follow through
necessary to ensure the problems stay fixed
- Relying primarily on a firewall.
- Failing to realize how much money their information and
organizational reputations are worth.
- Authorizing reactive, short-term fixes so problems re-emerge
- Pretending the problem will go away if they ignore it.
The Ten Worst Security Mistakes Information
Technology People Make
- Connecting systems to the Internet before hardening them.
- Connecting test systems to the Internet with default
- Failing to update systems when security holes are found.
- Using telnet and other unencrypted protocols for managing
systems, routers, firewalls, and PKI.
- Giving users passwords over the phone or changing user
passwords in response to telephone or personal requests when
the requester is not authenticated.
- Failing to maintain and test backups.
- Running unnecessary services, especially ftpd, telnetd,
finger, rpc, mail, rservices
- Implementing firewalls with rules that don't stop malicious
or dangerous traffic-incoming or outgoing.
- Failing to implement or update virus detection software
- Failing to educate users on what to look for and what to do
when they see a potential security problem.
And a bonus, number 11:
- Allowing untrained, uncertified people to take responsibility
for securing important systems