Oh, the irony of it all!

23rd June 2017

By Javier Brias –

If you caught our main news story today, you would have noticed that the government-backed Cyber Essentials scheme got breached. Getting breached is not exactly the best way to promote a cybersecurity initiative among businesses.

Initial reports suggest the breach was due to a configuration error which has since been resolved. That configuration error allowed the hacker(s) to make off with IASME’s email list of registered organisations. These companies should now be wary of phishing emails which may be coming their way. as a result of the breach.

One engineer who reviewed the breach said that this intrusion was totally preventable; it happened because of poorly followed installation and configuration procedures.  A misconfiguration of one of its platforms enabled “an unknown person” to access the list of email addresses in a log file generated by the platform.

So what could IASME have done to prevent such a breach?

One would suggest stricter controls and administration privileges, especially those pertaining to installation and configuration. At the very least, there should have been some sort of oversight. But barring additional personnel to oversee other personnel or the work they do, there are software solutions that are able to mitigate such occurrences.


Thycotic is a privilege access manager (PAM) which means that, more than a password manager, it is an enterprise-class access control manager. Thycotic allows system administrators to set privileges and passwords to all of the company’s digital assets. The access privileges can further be defined by time or frequency.

So let’s assume that the above email address log file was in a folder on a company server. Thycotic could have set access privilege for any or all of these depending on the hierarchy of the administrative personnel through Secret Server which introduces a fundamental security layer to protect against cyber-attacks that target privileged accounts to get at critical information assets in your organization.

If you want to know more about Thycotic Secret Server and a free trial offer, contact Secon Cyber Security on 0845 5678 777.

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