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Active Directory: Insider Threats and How to Protect Against Them



Active Directory (AD) is a powerful authentication and directory service used by organizations worldwide. With this ubiquity and power comes the potential for abuse. Insider threats offer some of the most potentials for destruction. Many internal users have over-provisioned access and visibility into the internal network. Insiders' level of access and trust in a network leads to unique vulnerabilities. Network security often focuses on keeping a threat actor out, not on existing users' security and potential vulnerabilities. Staying on top of potential threats means protecting against inside and outside threats. From the outside, a properly configured AD domain offers a secure authentication and authorization solution. But with complex social engineering and phishing email attacks, an existing AD user can become compromised. Once inside, threat actors have many options to attack Active Directory. With "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) growing, there is increased device support and security complexity. If users connect a device that is already compromised or has inadequate security measures, attackers have a simple way to gain access to the internal network. In the past, an attacker would have to sneak in to install a malicious device. Now, however, a user with a compromised device does the hard work for them. Moreover, many workers may also connect their smartphones or tablets to the network. This means that, instead of a single work-issued laptop, you may have two or three user devices that are not subject to the same security measures. The BYOD trend is growing in today's workplace. More and more employees are using their own devices for work purposes. This may be due to the convenience or the cost-effectiveness of using a personal device. However, BYOD can pose a security risk to organizations. If users connect a device that is already compromised or has inadequate security measures, attackers have a simple way to gain access to the internal network. Personal devices are often not subject to the same security measures as work-issued devices. This means that there is an increased risk of data breaches and other security threats. Organizations should have a BYOD policy in place to mitigate the risks associated with this trend. The policy should outline the security measures that must be in place on personal devices. It should also specify which devices are allowed to connect to the network. By implementing a BYOD policy, organizations can protect themselves from the potential security risks posed by BYOD.

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