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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.

Data Breaches…And How Insiders Affect Them

Posted October 31, 2011    Peter McCalister

With all the data breaches in the news these days, security is definitely a hot topic in the information technology community. Preventing risks and threats is the core of keeping information, and ultimately people, safe.

A lot of discussion goes on about the best way to do this- which is often quite unnecessary, in my opinion. Instead of debating whether it’s criminal outsiders of disgruntled/malicious/accident prone insiders, let’s take a look at how your assets get hacked/breached/leaked/etc. in the first place. It starts with insiders. Your employees and your 3d party contractors are given access to information within a database, which creates a gateway for critical information to get out. Whether those insiders abuse that information or not, they are still acting as the access point for data to escape. Sometimes data is leaked and/or stolen when outsiders hijack credentials and hack into your network. Other times it’s the actual employee who is responsible. Either way- the more people who have unmanaged access to data, the wider you are opening your door for a breach.

When we look at this situation, which plagues most organizations in many different industries, it seems daunting and nearly impossible to control. Fortunately, there is a fix- and a seemingly simple one at that. The key is to create as few access points as possible across all platforms in your organization, and then granularly monitor and manage the access points that are necessary. For example, desktop users should run as standard users, and those with access to servers should not be given the root password. In database environments, all DBA activity should be closely monitored, and hypervisor privileges in virtual enterprises must be granularly managed. It is through this process, which has been identified multiple times on this blog, that least privilege is truly implemented.

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Additional articles

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Big Surprise: Cost of Data Breaches Up; Are you Doing the *Right* Things to Mitigate the Costs?

Posted May 28, 2015    Scott Lang

Ponemon Institute Cost of Data Breach Study – costs are going up – to the tune of a 23% increase in total costs of data breaches, and a 12% increase in per-record cost since 2013. Are you doing the right things to mitigate costs?

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The tip of the IRS data breach – and it IS an iceberg

Posted May 27, 2015    Morey Haber

The IRS has been warned for decades about their security best practices. And now, at least 100,000 Americans have had their records compromised. How? The IRS uses a service called “Get Transcript”.

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Tales from the Datacenter: Vulnerability Management Nightmares

Posted May 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Vulnerability scanning, threat management, risk analysis, patching, and configuration management are some of the major activities usually associated with vulnerability management, and none of these are new…so why are we failing so badly at many of them?

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