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3 Things Local Admins Can Do That They Shouldn’t

Posted March 29, 2011    Peter McCalister

Eliminating local admin rights from Microsoft Windows users is not just a nice thing you should do, but in fact a mandatory best practice for all of today’s enterprises wishing to stay secure and compliant.

There are three things a user can do if they have administrator (admin) rights which can dramatically effect your corporation’s security and compliance standing:

  1. Take the PC out of the domain:  Taking your local machine or laptop out of the domain means that corporate policies managed by Group Policy are no longer in effect and the user now has the ability to break security practices and cause harm such as sharing sensitive data that would otherwise have been protected.
  2. Modify IP addresses: This could allow the user to surf the web anonymously potentially creating a compliance or even a legal issue if he (or she) is perpetrating fraud.  Even more points go to the industrious insider who succeeds at IP spoofing: using someone else’s IP address to perpetrate a crime and then return to their original IP address to cover their tracks.
  3. Hack the registry: This is the most serious of the issues as once you do this , you can modify security settings, modify application settings, modify anything in the registry and effectively implement any malware or rogue program desired.

Each of these things done independently can cause significant problems for the IT department, internal help desk, Chief Security and/or Compliance Officer as well as the outside auditors.

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How to Audit VMware ESX and ESXi Servers Against the VMware Hardening Guidelines with Retina CS

Posted February 27, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Retina CS Enterprise Vulnerability Management has included advanced VMware auditing capabilities for some time, including virtual machine discovery and scanning through a cloud connection, plus the ability to scan ESX and ESXi hosts using SSH. However, in response to recent security concerns associated with SSH, VMware has disabled SSH by default in its more recent…

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Privileged Passwords: The Bane of Security Professionals Everywhere

Posted February 19, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Passwords have been with us since ancient times. Known as “watchwords”, ancient Roman military guards would pass a wooden tablet with a daily secret word engraved from one shift to the next, with each guard position marking the tablet to indicate it had been received. The military has been using passwords, counter-passwords, and even sound…

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In Vulnerability Management, Process is King

Posted February 18, 2015    Morey Haber

You have a vulnerability scanner, but where’s your process? Most organizations are rightly concerned about possible vulnerabilities in their systems, applications, networked devices, and other digital assets and infrastructure components. Identifying vulnerabilities is indeed important, and most security professionals have some kind of scanning solution in place. But what is most essential to understand is…

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