BeyondTrust

Security In Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting your critical IT infrastructure.

Don’t say “Lockdown”!

Post by Peter McCalister October 15, 2012

Here at BeyondTrust, we have been fortunate to be able to speak with thousands of security professionals in dozens of industries, and it is astonishing how differently organizations assess risk and approach computer security. Some organizations are very strict about security and are able to completely lock down desktops. Others are significantly more lax about the security of their desktop computers, and place a bigger emphasis on servers and backend infrastructure. What is interesting about these two ends of the spectrum is how the organization ends up where they are. When we speak to IT professionals who have loosely managed desktops, they universally cite the fact that it is difficult to change the culture of the organization to implement the controls to better manage those desktops and improve security. For folks who have very locked down environments, we find that they did, in fact, have to change the culture in order to improve security. Here are a few things that you can do to help smooth the transition to a new and improved security position.

  • Don’t use words like “Locked Down Desktop.”  The end users will freak out if you say this.  Even though the end user doesn’t own the desktop, they still think it is theirs.  It’s better to brand any project to improve desktop security as “Trusted Desktop Initiative” or “Secure Desktop” instead of using the words “lock down.”
  • Do explain to the end users why improving security is good for them.  More security means fewer viruses and malware.  A well-managed desktop means fewer application conflicts.  Following security best practices like removing admin rights from users, means less configuration drift and more stability, reliability and speed in the long run.
  • Don’t try to do too much.  Many organization want to roll out too much security, all at the same time.  Some organizations want to deploy more control at the same time they roll out a new operating system.  The most successful organizations that we have worked with set the foundation first.  By implementing security best practice (Anti-virus, Least Privilege, Vulnerability Scanning, etc.) and then layering on additional tools (Application Whitelisting, Device Control, etc.), you will end up with a more robust implementation in the long run.
  • Do get executive buy-in.  Everything goes much more smoothly when the boss sponsors what you are trying to do.
  • Don’t go it alone.  As we learn more about our industry and what is available, we realize just how much we don’t know.  Technology is constantly changing, and no one person can keep up with all of the knowledge, so seek out advice from others.  Talk with your vendors, peers at other organizations and your colleagues.  They can be a huge asset when undertaking a project to improve security.
  • Don’t forget to communicate.  End users hate surprises.  All they want to do is get their job done.  That’s how their performance is measured.  If they are surprised by some new security restriction that slows them down, they are going to kick and scream, but if you’ve communicated appropriately, your chances of headaches are lessened.
Tags:
, ,

Leave a Reply

Additional articles

Vulnerability Expert Forum Highlights: April 2014

We had a great turnout for last week’s April 2014 Vulnerability Expert Forum (VEF) webcast. BeyondTrust Research experts, Carter and DJ, provided in-depth knowledge about the latest vulnerabilities and their potential impacts on network environments. Below are highlights from the Forum, plus an on-demand video of the presentation. Latest critical vulnerabilities, vendor patches, and zero-day…

Post by Chris Burd April 16, 2014
Tags:
, , , , ,
BI-5.1-user-asset-visibility-img

Understanding Who Has Access to What with BeyondInsight v5.1

Today, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to BeyondInsight version 5.1, the latest release of our IT Risk Management platform, which unifies several of our solutions for Privileged Account Management and Vulnerability Management. BeyondInsight v5.1 embodies BeyondTrust’s mission to give our customers the visibility they need to make smart decisions and reduce risk to their…

Post by Morey Haber April 15, 2014
Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , , ,

PowerBroker for Unix & Linux Now Available via Web Services

This week BeyondTrust released a fully functional Web Services interface (REST API) for its PowerBroker for Unix & Linux product.  With this new feature users of the solution will now be able to remotely and securely configure and retrieve data via the API.  The Web Services interface implemented by BeyondTrust is an industry standard that…

Post by Paul Harper April 10, 2014
Tags:
, , , , ,