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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Data Lost: Covering Your Assets

Posted May 4, 2012    Peter McCalister

According to a recent CDW poll, one in four organizations experienced data loss in the past two years. Imagine the amount of customer, student, employee and patient information lost because of those incidents, never mind the ones that go unreported.

Aligning with this shocking stat is that according to the same study, the number of people accessing business networks increased by 41 percent during the last two years. If we can learn anything from this stat, we must consider partners as potential insider threats too. Information assets are some of the most important ingredients to a corporation’s success, but also the hardest to effectively protect across the extended enterprise given the proliferation of distributed users’ communities, mobile devices, virtualized platforms and cloud computing.

While it is important to provide the information and access necessary for third-party resources to do their jobs, at the same time it’s irresponsible to allow vendors free reign over sensitive data or network assets. An all or nothing approach to granting users access doesn’t work here. Effective privileged identity management coupled with comprehensive knowledge of your partners’ and vendors’ security policies and practices is the best way to safeguard your company’s most valued assets.

A recent Ponemon Institute study discovered that organizations suffering a data loss in 2011 paid an average of $5.5 million per breach, which translates into $194 per record lost. Human nature is the weakest link when it comes to the intersection of people, processes and technology. You can’t rely on everyone being a saint or competent all of the time. It’s not just malicious employees’ intent on destroying information systems that can cause havoc, but also the negligent, misinformed, and downright nosey, who can compromise sensitive data. In most situations it’s more often than not the case that such people have way too much privileged access – admin rights on the desktop, root password on server – for the role they are required to play.

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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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