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15 April 2016

Advanced Threat Analytics: Combating your employees’ lack of strength in passwords

Mathew Richards

Could poor employee password habits be a security risk for your organisation?

When thinking about cyber-attackers and intruders, you may picture a hooded criminal hunched over and typing into a laptop. They are accessing data remotely from an unidentified location.

The fact is, among companies who have experienced data breaches, 43% of them suffered data loss due to internal factors. Half of these were accidental; however, the other half were intentional. Quite often, the reason could be as simple as a lack of strength in the employee’s password.

“76% of all network intrusions are caused by compromised user credentials.”

Passwords as an authentication control play a large role in the securing of an organisation’s network. They are often overlooked and undermined. If employees breach a company’s IT policy by having weak passwords, security of the entire IT infrastructure can be compromised. Choosing, remembering and changing login details can be an inconvenience, but there are ways for businesses to help their employees act more securely.

Poor employee security behaviour, including bad password habits, is a growing concern for organisations. With the right solutions in place, organisations can halt the frequency and sophistication of cyber security attacks and threats. According to Microsoft, 76% of all network intrusions are caused by compromised user credentials; proving that businesses need to take further steps in order to prevent threats to their data.

Traditionally and typically, IT security solutions are complex, prone to false positives and designed to protect just the perimeter. Malicious attacks from inside a business can sometimes be the most expensive and take twice as long to get under control.

Flag up suspicious activities quickly with Advanced Threat Analytics

Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) is an on-premise platform that identifies potential threats and cyber-attacks within your business before they happen, and before they can cause any damage. Using behavioural analytics and reporting, ATA provides organisations with the ability to see abnormal behaviours such as password sharing between colleagues.

ATA, using its proprietary algorithm, works around the clock flagging up aggregated suspicious activities. It learns over time, where and when users in Active Directory logon and how they typically access resources. If a user steps outside the boundaries and is attempting to access resources they haven’t used before, an alert will be created, helping you to keep a tighter leash on abnormal behaviour.

It is important for employees to understand the potential damage poor password security can have on an organisation. As well as using a platform such as ATA to protect your infrastructure, employees need to be educated and enlightened as to what represents a strong password.

Next, watch our conditional access and MFA webinar on-demand and learn why these technologies are key to securing your organisation’s assets.

Or download ‘The business case for cyber security’ e-Guide for best practice on how to take a proactive and pre-emptive approach to tackling the issue.

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Mathew Richards
Head of Mobility & Security
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Oxford Computer Group UK officially rebranded as ThirdSpace in the UK on 16 October. This rebrand reflects our broadening identity and security solutions, as working practices extend from the office and home into working flexibly and collaboratively from anywhere – Your "ThirdSpace".

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