Month: October 2013

On Snowden and Sharepoint

I’ve seen a number of articles focus on how the NSA failed to properly secure data within SharePoint, thus allowing Snowden to take off with a huge amount of sensitive data. What I haven’t seen anyone discuss is some type of AI that would analyze the SharePoint audit records against organisational information and what others in the same position access. Maybe the access would have gotten flagged to management and someone would have said “Oh, he’s doing this data migration to the Hawaiian cluster so I guess it’s reasonable he’d be accessing the data”. Maybe. Or they would have dug deeper and seen that something malicious was happening. Or, hell, maybe just talking to the guy about his suspicious access would have scared him enough that he’d have stopped. Who knows. But asking humans to read through the audit logs on a SharePoint server (the remediation suggestions that I’ve seen) is ‘find this needle in a stack of needles’ silly. Algorithms, and especially learning algorithms, are much better suited for that type of analysis.