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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.

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Posted September 16, 2011    Peter McCalister

Several months ago I commented on the 3 Pillars of Desktop Security – patch management, virus protection and least privilege. Reviewing our 2010 Microsoft Vulnerability report, I realized just how much most people in IT underestimate the importance of properly limiting administrative privileges in protecting desktops for vulnerabilities.

As I now talk to customers about desktop virtualization and cloud computing its déjà vu all over again. I see some who think that because they can easily spin up a new virtual desktop they don’t need to worry about up to date patches and virus protection Least privilege on a virtual desktop – not a big deal, I can lock down the corporate image and let people spin up their other apps in a virtual sandbox. And it’s worse for cloud based apps. “Well the app is in the cloud so that’s’ where we apply security”.

While there is some truth in all of these strategies, the reality is that the physical device – desktop, laptop or mobile – on which the virtual applications run or where the cloud is accessed from is the weak link in the security chain. All the attack surfaces in the purely physical world are still there in the virtual world. A user with administrative rights can still control access to memory, processes and storage and reroute data and passwords and so can anyone who hacks their way into that desktop. They can install anything they want – like a keystroke logger – change security settings and cover their tracks. So if you are worried about the vulnerability of your desktops in the brave new world of virtualization and clouds then continue to use all three pillars of desktop protection – patch management, virus protection and implement a secure least privilege solution.

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Additional articles

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Implementing Least Privilege for Windows the Easy Way

Posted July 31, 2014    Morey Haber

The concept of least privilege states that asset users should have the lowest level of access privileges required to effectively conduct their jobs. Implementing least privilege can bring several benefits to your organization, including: Increased security by reducing the attack surface available to users and to potential attackers who compromise user systems via phishing, malware,…

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gartner market guide image - aug 2014

Introducing the Gartner Market Guide for Privileged Account Management

Posted July 29, 2014    Chris Burd

Gartner recently released a new Market Guide for Privileged Account Management (PAM), and we’d like to share a complimentary copy with you. The report includes PAM market analysis and direction, vendor overviews, and recommendations for selecting PAM solutions for your environment. BeyondTrust is one of two representative vendors (out of 20) to address all solution…

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Integrating Least Privilege and Password Management to Solve Account Security Challenges

Integrating Least Privilege and Password Management to Solve Account Security Challenges

Posted July 24, 2014    Morey Haber

There is a reason all BeyondTrust Privileged Account Management (PAM) solutions share the PowerBroker name: They all inherently enable you to reduce user-based risk and can be integrated under a centralized IT risk management platform. Here’s one common use case that demonstrates how this integration changes the playing field. Consider the challenge of privileged access:…

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