At the Microsoft TechEd conference this week, Lieberman Software showcased its Enterprise Random Password Manager (ERPM), which discovers and continuously secures the privileged account credentials present in ASP.NET web applications. In doing so, ERPM improves security and regulatory compliance for organizations whose ASP.NET credentials control access to corporate databases and back-end application tiers.
Millions of ASP.NET websites rely on high-powered embedded privileged account credentials as a means to authenticate with databases, middleware, and back-end application tiers. Oftentimes ASP.NET applications are deployed using privileged account credentials that are widely known to the organization's application developers, network and system administrators, third-party programmers and consultants.
"Knowing a single ASP.NET credential an IT staff member or outside contractor can modify back-end applications, alter public facing websites, read and change database records, and even access private transaction data ," said Chris Stoneff, Lieberman Software product manager. "And, this can all be done anonymously, at any time, with zero accountability. That's why it's essential to get these application credentials under control."
ERPM provides a three-tier solution with deep knowledge of the ASP.NET architectures, including .NET 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0 encryption schemes, as well as all of the different ASP.NET web.config structural standards. In addition to managing credentials in ASP.NET applications, ERPM also secures the credentials stored in databases (including Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle 11g, Sybase ASE, MySQL) and all common directories (including Active Directory and all other LDAP-compliant directories).
"Security auditors are now exposing unmanaged ASP.NET credentials as part of their compliance audits," said Philip Lieberman, president of Lieberman Software. "IT departments quickly learn that scripts and other ad-hoc processes are painfully inadequate for managing the complex hierarchical structure of inheritance that's present in many web applications. Fortunately ERPM helps organizations achieve account discovery, secure management and GRC compliance with respect to ASP.NET credentials in just a few days, even in the largest environments."
Because so many embedded credentials exist in typical ASP.NET deployments, few organizations can document the presence of each hard-coded credential -- let alone ensure that all passwords are cryptographically strong, frequently changed, and known only to authorized personnel. This oversight violates nearly all regulatory compliance frameworks including PCI DSS, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and FISMA. According to these mandates, embedded passwords must be changed whenever ASP.NET websites go into production. Further, privileged account credentials should be cryptographically strong, frequently updated, and not disclosed to anyone except on a "need to know basis". (continued...)