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Paramount Defenses Defending Cyber Security Infrastructures Worldwide
Yeshwanth H.V.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Last November, malicious perpetrators hacked their way into Sony Pictures, stealing terabytes of valuable insider information including previously unreleased movies and leaving the Sony network crippled for days.
"What happened at Sony was remarkably simple," say experts. It is widely believed that malicious perpetrators compromised a single Active Directory administrative account and then used it to obtain access to terabytes of valuable confidential information using that account.

Like most of the world's organizations, the IT infrastructure of Sony too is powered by Microsoft's Windows Server platform, and at the very foundation of their cyber security was their Active Directory deployment, which stores and protects all of the organization's administrative and employee user accounts and their passwords, as well as all the security groups that are used to protect the entirety of the organization's IT assets that are stored on the company's computers.

In Microsoft Windows Server based IT infrastructures, Active Directory administrative accounts have virtually unrestricted administrative access to every computer and IT resource in the IT infrastructure. In addition, numerous IT personnel have varying levels of administrative access delegated to them on these administrative accounts and on other user accounts and security groups in the Active Directory.

As a result, should a single account that has administrative access to/in Active Directory be compromised, theoretically every IT resource in the organization could be at risk, and in the worst case scenario, the entirety of the organization's IT resources could be compromised.

Consequently, in order to maintain security, today organizations absolutely need to be able to pinpoint who has what level of administrative access in their Active Directory to avoid any unwarranted security incidents. Though this ability was virtually non-existent a few years ago, primarily because it is very difficult to precisely determine exactly who has what level of administrative access in Active Directory, Sanjay Tandon, a visionary ex-Microsoft security expert, has changed the scenario. Along with his team of engineers, Tandon is helping organizations worldwide find out exactly who has what administrative powers delegated in their IT infrastructures, at the touch of a button through his brain-child, Paramount Defenses.

Delivering Paramount Tactical and Strategic Cyber Security Defenses
As a cyber security company, Paramount Defenses is engaged in the development and delivery of innovative, mission-critical tactical and strategic cyber security defenses aimed at empowering organizations adequately secure and defend the very bed-rock and lifeline of their security, their foundational IT security infrastructures, for the Windows platform and beyond. Tactically, Paramount Defenses is helping organizations worldwide address the paramount and immediate cyber security challenge of determining exactly who has what access to which IT resources, particularly administrative access grants delegated in Active Directory, which today potentially make it really easy for malicious perpetrators to quickly inflict widespread damage.

Strategically, the company is engaged in developing and delivering the world's first integrated suite of modular cyber security infrastructure protection solutions that not only individually address specific security needs but also collectively deliver the comprehensive protection needed to adequately protect the security infrastructures of organizations worldwide.

Addressing a Paramount Global Cyber Security Challenge Today
Today, in most organizations, many individuals have varying levels of administrative access in Active Directory environments. These individuals have administrative access to most of the organization's IT resources including all computers, employee and executive user accounts and security groups that are used to provision access for employees across the IT infrastructure.

The compromise of a single such account with administrative access in/to Active Directory could instantly expose a large number of organizational IT resources, accounts and computers to risk. With most organizations worldwide operating on Active Directory, considering the impact of the compromise of a single Active Directory administrative account, as evidenced by what happened at Sony, the need to know exactly who has what level of administrative access in Active Directory has become paramount to cyber security today.

Paramount Defenses' unique effective access assessment solution helps organizations instantly find out exactly who is delegated what administrative access in their Active Directory environments. "We are on a mission of paramount importance and we engage in disciplined execution with single-minded focus on the mission's objective," affirms Tandon. "We take great pride in helping organizations worldwide precisely and easily find out exactly who has what administrative access (the keys to the kingdom) in their Active Directory environments" he adds.

A Valued Microsoft Partner
Paramount Defenses is one of a handful Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) worldwide recognized by Microsoft Corporation as a valued Identity and Access partner with a focus on Directory Services. "Microsoft recognizes the value and appreciates the innovation that we bring to the identity, security and access space," added Tandon, who was part of Microsoft flagship Windows Server Development Team for many years. The partnership with Microsoft enables customers to enhance security and compliance in Active Directory environments. It also provides customers with the highest levels of assurance in regards to the innovation and value that Paramount Defenses security solutions deliver to organizations worldwide.
Today, Paramount Defenses' products are globally recognized as the gold standard for Active Directory Administrative Access Audit and are deployed across six continents. "Thus far, over 7,000 prominent business and government organizations from over 150 countries have requested our assistance, and they have done so, completely 'unsolicited'," reveals Tandon.

"We believe that nothing demonstrates the value that we deliver to the world more so than the list of our valued customers," added Tandon. Over the years, the company's customer base has steadily expanded, and includes the likes of industry leaders such as Microsoft, IBM, Google, Halliburton, Juniper Networks, Xerox, the U.S. Government, the U.S. Military Intelligence Community, the British Government, Australian Government, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, to name a few.

Paramount Defenses also operates and leads the world's first global community of Active Directory Security professionals which today is comprised of members from over 2500 organizations across 150 countries worldwide. Its members include IT professionals from the world's finest organizations, from Goldman Sachs to Citibank, and from the U.S Department of Homeland Security to Lockheed Martin.

Unique, Valuable Intellectual Property
"We uniquely help organizations identify exactly how many accounts truly have administrative powers, thus helping them substantially reduce their attack surface and delivering real, measurable value," claims Tandon. 'Our unique ability to empower organizations to perform precise mission-critical access analysis makes us stand out from the competition," he adds.
Recently the company was granted a highly valuable cyber security patent, which governs the assessment of effective access in IT infrastructures. The grant of this patent now provides substantial intellectual property protection to the advanced technology embodied in the company's solutions. It also protects the unique, innovative effective access assessment and audit capabilities embodied in its Active Directory Audit Tools. Further, it provides Paramount Defenses the option to expand its unique effective access assessment capabilities to cover additional IT infrastructure components such as endpoints, file and applications servers, line-of-business applications and cloud based systems, as well as to license its patented technology to select cyber security and enterprise IT management vendors.

Championing Innovation in the Cyber Security Space
Paramount Defenses has made substantial investments over the years to champion innovation and deliver a fully automated effective access assessment solution.
Thus far the company has invested over half a decade of cutting-edge research focused on the development and delivery of its innovative effective access solutions. Today these solutions uniquely help the world's most valuable business and government organizations worldwide instantly obtain accurate effective access insight, fulfilling a paramount cyber security need. Strategically, the company's long-term vision is to help organizations adequately secure and defend their foundational cyber security infrastructures.

"A trustworthy foundation is vital to the success of every business endeavor, no matter how grand it's scale. And we aim to deliver the world's most trustworthy cyber security infrastructure defenses so the world can engage in business on a trustworthy foundation", notes Tandon. "We intend to do so by applying authoritative cyber security expertise, collective real-world cyber security experience and demonstrated thought leadership towards developing and delivering the most comprehensive, dedicated and integrated cyber security infrastructure protection management system, code named White Knight," he explains. When available White Knight will enable and empower organizations worldwide to swiftly, efficiently and reliably specify, enforce, monitor, assess, and analyze a unified security policy governing the protection of every aspect of their cyber security infrastructure.

For now, with most organizations worldwide running on Active Directory, it appears that Paramount Defenses has its hands full helping organizations worldwide uncover who has the "keys to their kingdom".

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