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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.

Cloud Security Fears an Exaggeration? We Think Not.

Posted August 9, 2011    Peter McCalister

According to a recent Computerworld article, outgoing Federal CIO Vivek Kundra was quoted as saying that cloud security fears are being exaggerated. Let’s take a brief look at some of the top government cloud service providers approved by the General Services Administration and see how they have fared in security, just in terms of malicious insiders.

AT&T
On June 27, The Tech Herald reported that recently leaked AT&T documents to LulzSec came from an insider.

Microsoft
Computerworld reported this past February that Microsoft accused a former employee of stealing 600MB of confidential documents.

Verizon
CNN reported in November 2008 that Verizon Wireless fired employees after they gained unauthorized access and viewed President Obama’s old cell phone accounts.

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute on the Security of Cloud Computing Providers reports that “the majority of cloud computing providers do not consider security as one of their most important responsibilities.” Organizations that outsource to a cloud vendor often times make their choices based on price instead of security. Often this transition involves multiplying the number of IT admins with access to the company’s data several-fold and without proper admin controls. Kind of a scary thought, isn’t it?

If cloud computing providers don’t consider security one of their top responsibilities, are the fears around cloud security really being exaggerated? Let’s ask the millions of customers who have had their personal information compromised or the thousands of organizations who have had their sensitive corporate data divulged.

Jim Zierick, EVP of product operations here at BeyondTrust, recommends that if an organization is going to move processing to the cloud, they prioritize and oversee security at cloud vendors, insist on reporting and improve protections of even less sensitive data.

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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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