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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

PowerBroker for Unix & Linux helps prevent Shellshock

Posted September 25, 2014    Paul Harper

Like many other people who tinker with UNIX and Linux on a regular basis, BASH has always been my shell of choice.  Dating back to the early days moving from Windows to a non-Windows platform, mapping the keys correctly to allow easy navigation and control helped ensure an explosion of use for the shell. Unfortunately,…

Bash “Shellshock” Vulnerability – Retina Updates

Posted September 24, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

A major vulnerability was recently discovered within bash which allows arbitrary command execution via specially crafted environment variables. This is possible due to the fact that bash supports the assignment of shell functions to shell variables. When bash parses environment shell functions, it continues parsing even after the closing brace of the function definition. If…

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7 Reasons Customers Switch to Password Safe for Privileged Password Management

Posted September 24, 2014    Chris Burd

It’s clear that privileged password management tools are essential for keeping mission-critical data, servers and assets safe and secure. However, as I discussed in my previous post, there are several pitfalls to look out for when deploying a privileged password management solution. At this point, you may be wondering how BeyondTrust stacks up. With that,…

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