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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.

Can Eliminating Admin Rights Reduce My Virus Protection Problems?

Posted November 22, 2010    Peter McCalister

So you’ve invested heavily in antivirus software but still seem to have to deal with the latest virusestrojansransomware until your AV provider can can formulate and download the cure. The question that should be top of mind is whether or not there is a way to prevent or at least limit malware from ever even entering your IT environment?

To answer this question you need to understand that most malware attacks are successful because the code hijacks administrator credentials of an individual or program and uses those credentials to write directly to operating level areas of the computer or network (i.e. kernel, memory, registry).  This is a form of “indirect misuse of privilege” because the owner of those credentials isn’t even aware that they are responsible for the infection.

So in the spirit of “Doctor, doctor when I do this it hurts”, the obvious answer is “don’t do it.” The equivalent of this in your IT environment is eliminating admin rights across all physical (server, desktop, network) as well as virtual and cloud environments.  Then implementing a “least privilege” environment through the use of a privileged identity management (PIM) solution. Some industry analysts call these solutions SuperUser Privilege Management (SUPM) and the lack of such solutions in your enterprise can lead to major consequences.

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Additional articles

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How to Audit VMware ESX and ESXi Servers Against the VMware Hardening Guidelines with Retina CS

Posted February 27, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Retina CS Enterprise Vulnerability Management has included advanced VMware auditing capabilities for some time, including virtual machine discovery and scanning through a cloud connection, plus the ability to scan ESX and ESXi hosts using SSH. However, in response to recent security concerns associated with SSH, VMware has disabled SSH by default in its more recent…

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Privileged Passwords: The Bane of Security Professionals Everywhere

Posted February 19, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Passwords have been with us since ancient times. Known as “watchwords”, ancient Roman military guards would pass a wooden tablet with a daily secret word engraved from one shift to the next, with each guard position marking the tablet to indicate it had been received. The military has been using passwords, counter-passwords, and even sound…

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Privileged Account Management Process

In Vulnerability Management, Process is King

Posted February 18, 2015    Morey Haber

You have a vulnerability scanner, but where’s your process? Most organizations are rightly concerned about possible vulnerabilities in their systems, applications, networked devices, and other digital assets and infrastructure components. Identifying vulnerabilities is indeed important, and most security professionals have some kind of scanning solution in place. But what is most essential to understand is…

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