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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

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 Taking your local machine or laptop out of the domain means that corporate policies managed by Group Policy are no longer in effect and the user now has the ability to break security practices and cause harm such as sharing sensitive data that would otherwise have been protected.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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Additional articles

How To Implement The Australian Signals Directorate’s Top 4 Strategies

Posted October 20, 2014    Morey Haber

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), also known as the Defence Signals Directorate, has developed a list of strategies to mitigate targeted cyber intrusions. The recommended strategies were developed through ASD’s extensive experience in operational cyber security, including responding to serious security intrusions and performing vulnerability assessments and penetration testing for Australian government agencies. These recommendations…

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Exploiting MS14-059 because sometimes XSS is fun, sometimes…

Posted October 17, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This October, Microsoft has provided a security update for System.Web.Mvc.dll which addresses a ‘Security Feature Bypass’. The vulnerability itself is in ASP.NET MVC technology and given its wide adoption we thought we would take a closer look. Referring to the bulletin we can glean a few useful pieces of information: “A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists…

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4bestpracticesaudits-blog

Four Best Practices for Passing Privileged Account Audits

Posted October 16, 2014    Chris Burd

Like most IT organizations, your team may periodically face the “dreaded” task of being audited. Your process for delegating privileged access to desktops, servers, and infrastructure devices is a massive target for the auditor’s microscope. An audit’s findings can have significant implications on technology and business strategy, so it’s critical to make sure you’re prepared…

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