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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.

Born To Run…and Can Your Cloud Escape Injury?

Posted November 16, 2011    Peter McCalister

There’s a lot of hype in the running community over the 2009 book by Christopher McDougal, “Born To Run.” It has inspired a host of people–experienced runners and average Joes–to switch to barefoot running, where people where either nothing on their feet at all or some sort of minimalist shoe. The most headturning of these minimalist shoes have to be the Vibram Five Fingers shoes. You’ve seen them–they look like gloves for feet.

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I’m certainly no expert on running or barefoot running, but the jury still seems to be out on whether or not barefoot running is the right way to go. I recently heard from a podiatrist friend that he was seeing a significant increase in patients who had running injuries from the barefoot style. This has also been noted on sites like Competitor. The injuries seem to stem primarily from those runners who make a dramatic switch to barefoot running rather than making a gradual change.

So what does barefoot running have to do with desktop and server security technologies? Let me draw a parallel to cloud computing and new cloud initiatives. Frequently enterprise IT organizations embark on new cloud initiatives and often sink a lot of money into exploring the options available. Sometimes the rollout is underway before the planning phase has even gotten approval from the CIO.

With virtualization and the cloud getting all the hype these days, it’s certainly enticing to want to jump right in and start virtualizing everything. We know the benefits: pay for only what you use, greater reliability, replication of data, disaster recovery, etc. However, in many cases, the new cloud initiatives fail to examine the most important aspect of any virtual deployment–security.

Much like the barefoot runners who go all barefoot without a gradual entry and careful planning of their “migration” to the barefoot style, IT departments can essentially be “injured” by security breaches if they fail to properly secure their cloud environments.

Security in the private cloud starts at the hypervisor level. At BeyondTrust we’re primarily concerned with keeping insider threats–the threats posed by employees and internal trusted users. And, the best way to ensure that data in the private cloud stays secure and insider threats are kept at bay is to make sure that users are logging on to the hypervisors with their directory credentials.

From there, IT administrators can make sure that users are logging on to virtual machines–both desktops and servers–using their directory credentials provisioned in Active Directory. PowerBroker Identity Services features tools for securing desktops and servers–whether physical or virtual–and hypervisors. So don’t get caught up in the hype and end up with a cloud “injury.” Proper planning of your security and identity management is essential.

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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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