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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.

eEye Research Report: In Configuration We Trust

Posted May 9, 2011    Marc Maiffret

In configuration we trust. This statement couldn’t be truer to my research team and me, especially after discovering some of the findings in our latest report, which we publicly released last week. In the report, we describe simple configuration changes and software version upgrades that could mitigate many application vulnerabilities before patches are available. Some of these changes could even repel highly sophisticated attacks like Stuxnet and Aurora.

I wanted to post a quick blog on why I am personally pushing IT security people to read this information and where possible, make the changes we recommend. First things first: please go download the paper at www.eeye.com/securityresearch.

So, one of the main reasons I’m strongly encouraging you to take these recommendations seriously is that you can’t simply rely on technology solutions to protect your IT environment. As we state in the paper, you must step back and look beyond technology to build a strong foundation. Properly configuring your systems is a relatively easy and totally free way to do this.

For example, by simply disabling certain features within MS WebDAV and document converters, you would mitigate 12 percent of related vulnerabilities and defend against DLL Hijacking attacks. Another huge finding that will surely cause some heads to shake is fact that upgrading to the latest major release versions of Microsoft software will mitigate more than 50 percent of all MS vulnerabilities identified in 2010.

The other reason that I feel strongly about publishing this report is my desire to kick-start conversation about security best practices within the IT community. The eEye research team chose to cover areas that we feel are important, but the broader point is that there are many things that can be done around proper security configuration and this report only scratches the surface. If researchers and other tech experts contributed more to the conversation, we wouldn’t just hear about big scary attacks or the latest super product. We’d bring the dialogue into a much more reality-based realm and do more to educate and improve the security of business networks.

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Additional articles

Are Your Data Security Efforts Focused in the Right Area?

Posted January 28, 2015    Scott Lang

Vormetric Data Security recently released an insider threat report, with research conducted by HarrisPoll and analyzed by Ovum. Based on the survey responses, it is apparent that there is still a great deal of insecurity over data. However, the results also show that there may be misplaced investments to address those insecurities. I will explain…

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GHOST Vulnerability…Scary Indeed

Posted January 28, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

A vulnerability discovered by Qualys security researchers has surfaced within the GNU C Library that affects virtually all Linux operating systems. The vulnerability lies within the various gethostbyname*() functions and, as such, has been dubbed “GHOST.” GHOST is particularly nasty considering remote, arbitrary code execution can be achieved. In an effort to avoid taxing DNS lookups, glibc developers introduced…

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Your New Years Resolution: Controlling Privileged Users

Posted January 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Is 2015 the year you get a better handle on security? The news last year was grim – so much so, in fact, that many in the information security community despaired a bit. Really, the end-of-the-year infosec cocktail parties were a bit glum. OK, let’s be honest, infosec cocktail parties are usually not that wild…

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