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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.

APT Vehicle of Choice: The Accidental Insider

Posted March 5, 2012    Peter McCalister

APT is the buzzword everyone is using. Companies are concerned about it, the government is being compromised by it, and consultants are using it in every presentation they give. But people fail to realize that the vulnerabilities these threats compromise are the insider — not the malicious insider, but the accidental insider who clicks on the wrong link.Dr. Eric Cole, Cyber Security Expert

One of most talked about topics at the recent RSA Conference in San Francisco was Advanced Persistent Threats (APT). While APT is the latest hot topic involving security, one aspect that has received little visibility is its relationship to privileged identity management.

Any weakness in your infrastructure that allows an attacker to access a system will give him or her opportunity to find another weakness and eventually get the keys to the kingdom – privileged access to a critical server or database with sensitive information.

Look no further than the RSA security breach that occurred early last year. Hackers gained network access through the HR department by sending bogus emails to RSA employees with the subject, “2011 Recruiting Plan.” Because RSA failed to implement a least privilege solution, accidental insiders at the company helped hackers hijack credentials to steal sensitive information.

Accidental insiders are unfortunately commonplace throughout many organizations. Why? Because human nature dictates that we will make mistakes. What’s needed is a comprehensive program to protect privileged access. The tradeoffs everyone has historically made to allow some level of risk no longer apply. Even something as simple as the accidental misconfiguration of a desktop PC can be the weakness a sophisticated attacker uses to gain the access they need to the privileged credentials of a systems or database admin.

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Additional articles

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PowerBroker for Mac: A Least-Privileged Apple a Day…

Posted July 27, 2015    Jason Silva

BeyondTrust PowerBroker for Mac reduces the risk of privilege misuse by enabling standard users on Mac OS X to perform administrative tasks successfully without entering elevated credentials.

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On Demand Webinar – Now is the time for Privileged Account Management

Posted July 24, 2015    BeyondTrust Software

In this webinar, SANS Instructor and Founder of Voodoo Security, Dave Shackleford, will revisit several hacking and breach scenarios that involved privileged accounts, and use these as examples while discussing tools and tactics to get this problem under control once and for all.

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Privileged Account Management: The Time is Now

Posted July 22, 2015    Dave Shackleford

There’s plenty of problems we don’t have great options for in InfoSec today. Malware is a pain point that keeps evolving rapidly. 0-day exploits are tough to prepare for. Privileged account management? We got this. We know the root causes, we know how it manifests, we know how to get it under control effectively, and there are great technology solutions that are enterprise-class.

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