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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.

Add an Identity Management Stitch to Your Enterprise and Save Nine

Posted February 9, 2011    Peter McCalister

I have a friend who, at any given moment, can recount any of the old wives tales he grew up hearing. Most of them I just roll my eyes at, but every now and then there’s a little gem that makes life a little easier. Take “a stitch in time saves nine.” That’s legitimate advice. The concept of taking certain actions before a large-scale problem evolves transcends all aspects of the human existence, and even spreads to the security of your enterprise. One particularly useful stitch comes in the form of preventing the misuse of privileges within the walls of your company.

We are all human. Unfortunately, this means that we are all susceptible to making mistakes and causing problems. In our enterprises, if those mistakes include information only accessible with privileged administrator rights, those problems become increasingly complicated and expensive. What happens when your IT manager, who is basically the omniscient god of your enterprise because he has root access, accidentally sends sensitive data to an outside source? Or what if a regular user, who is running as a super, disables security settings that make the network vulnerable to malware attacks? These things have happened and can happen to you. People are the weakest link, as Edward Hurley of SearchSecurity points out. The security of an enterprise is only a strong as the people behind the technology. Why then would intelligent and successful heads of companies allow their human users to run free with advanced admin rights, knowing full well their finite human shortcomings? Your guess is as good as mine.

There are countless examples of employees inviting breaches, whether accidentally or not, into their organizations. The scope of the damage is huge: from the stolen Goldman Sachs code to McDonald’s compromised customer data to Honda’s email database breach, it’s baffling that some enterprises aren’t protected against such issues. While I don’t have the answer to this oversight in security, I do have a solution. Add a stitch to your enterprise and prevent nine later- implement a policy that removes unnecessary administrator rights and disables the accidental misuse of privileges. Put in place aleast privilege management system.

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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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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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