© 2020

Privileged Attack Vectors

Building Effective Cyber-Defense Strategies to Protect Organizations


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxv
  2. Morey J. Haber
    Pages 1-10
  3. Morey J. Haber
    Pages 11-37
  4. Morey J. Haber
    Pages 39-64
  5. Morey J. Haber
    Pages 65-85
  6. Morey J. Haber
    Pages 87-98
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    Pages 99-116
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    Pages 117-125
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    Pages 127-131
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    Pages 139-149
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    Pages 151-171
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    Pages 189-202
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  18. Morey J. Haber
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  19. Morey J. Haber
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About this book


See how privileges, insecure passwords, administrative rights, and remote access can be combined as an attack vector to breach any organization. Cyber attacks continue to increase in volume and sophistication. It is not a matter of if, but when, your organization will be breached. Threat actors target the path of least resistance: users and their privileges.

In decades past, an entire enterprise might be sufficiently managed through just a handful of credentials. Today’s environmental complexity has seen an explosion of privileged credentials for many different account types such as domain and local administrators, operating systems (Windows, Unix, Linux, macOS, etc.), directory services, databases, applications, cloud instances, networking hardware, Internet of Things (IoT), social media, and so many more. When unmanaged, these privileged credentials pose a significant threat from external hackers and insider threats. We are experiencing an expanding universe of privileged accounts almost everywhere.

There is no one solution or strategy to provide the protection you need against all vectors and stages of an attack. And while some new and innovative products will help protect against or detect against a privilege attack, they are not guaranteed to stop 100% of malicious activity. The volume and frequency of privilege-based attacks continues to increase and test the limits of existing security controls and solution implementations.

Privileged Attack Vectors details the risks associated with poor privilege management, the techniques that threat actors leverage, and the defensive measures that organizations should adopt to protect against an incident, protect against lateral movement, and improve the ability to detect malicious activity due to the inappropriate usage of privileged credentials. 

This revised and expanded second edition covers new attack vectors, has updated definitions for privileged access management (PAM), new strategies for defense, tested empirical steps for a successful implementation, and includes new disciplines for least privilege endpoint management and privileged remote access.

You will:

  • Know how identities, accounts, credentials, passwords, and exploits can be leveraged to escalate privileges during an attack
  • Implement defensive and monitoring strategies to mitigate privilege threats and risk
  • Understand a 10-step universal privilege management implementation plan to guide you through a successful privilege access management journey
  • Develop a comprehensive model for documenting risk, compliance, and reporting based on privilege session activity


Privileged Access Management PAM Password Management Session Management Least Privileged Lateral Movement Privileged Escalation Vulnerabilities Cyber Threat Cybersecurity Information Security Infosec Exploits Administrator Root

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.HeathrowUSA

About the authors

Morey J. Haber is Chief Technology Officer at BeyondTrust. He has more than 20 years of IT industry experience, and has authored three Apress books: Asset Attack Vectors and Identity Attack Vectors, as well as the first edition of Privileged Attack Vectors. He joined BeyondTrust in 2012 as a part of the eEye Digital Security acquisition. He currently oversees BeyondTrust technology management solutions for vulnerability, and privileged and remote access. In 2004, he joined eEye as Director of Security Engineering and was responsible for strategic business discussions and vulnerability management architectures in Fortune 500 clients. Prior to eEye, he was Development Manager for Computer Associates, Inc. (CA), responsible for new product beta cycles and named customer accounts. He began his career as Reliability and Maintainability Engineer for a government contractor building flight and training simulators. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Privileged Attack Vectors
  • Book Subtitle Building Effective Cyber-Defense Strategies to Protect Organizations
  • Authors Morey J. Haber
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Morey J. Haber 2020
  • Publisher Name Apress, Berkeley, CA
  • eBook Packages Professional and Applied Computing Professional and Applied Computing (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4842-5913-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4842-5914-6
  • Edition Number 2
  • Number of Pages XXXV, 384
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 40 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Security
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
IT & Software
Finance, Business & Banking