Summer interns a vulnerability

Unused accounts left by interns who have left to begin the new academic year pose a common security risk which could lead to data breaches according to security company Courion.

In the summer, students often work for little or no pay, and are given access to company resources, sometimes including material shared by a manager. Most companies taking on interns forget to terminate the accounts when the placement has ended, and the number of unused accounts grows as companies expand and more interns are hired.

Abandoned accounts usually aren't revealed during system checks, so they can go unnoticed for a long time, giving hackers easy access into company networks. Eliminating this risk reduces the likelihood of a data breach. Scan evaluation of access risk is one way to help organisations locate and close these abandoned accounts.

Chris Zannetos, CEO of Courion, whose company has identified thousands of abandoned accounts in some twenty major corporations, issued a statement saying: “Once hidden access risk factors are eliminated, …. continuous monitoring  (should be used to) detect, notify and enable remediation of policy violations as they occur.”

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