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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

Are Your Data Security Efforts Focused in the Right Area?

Posted January 28, 2015    Scott Lang

Vormetric Data Security recently released an insider threat report, with research conducted by HarrisPoll and analyzed by Ovum. Based on the survey responses, it is apparent that there is still a great deal of insecurity over data. However, the results also show that there may be misplaced investments to address those insecurities. I will explain…

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GHOST Vulnerability…Scary Indeed

Posted January 28, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

A vulnerability discovered by Qualys security researchers has surfaced within the GNU C Library that affects virtually all Linux operating systems. The vulnerability lies within the various gethostbyname*() functions and, as such, has been dubbed “GHOST.” GHOST is particularly nasty considering remote, arbitrary code execution can be achieved. In an effort to avoid taxing DNS lookups, glibc developers introduced…

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Your New Years Resolution: Controlling Privileged Users

Posted January 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Is 2015 the year you get a better handle on security? The news last year was grim – so much so, in fact, that many in the information security community despaired a bit. Really, the end-of-the-year infosec cocktail parties were a bit glum. OK, let’s be honest, infosec cocktail parties are usually not that wild…

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