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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.

Firewalls Not Preventing Data Breaches? Try a Dose of Least Privilege

Posted April 4, 2012    Peter McCalister

An article was published last month indicating a malware-infected computer at ConnecticutCollege was the cause of the breach of 18,000 social security numbers of teachers, employees, and student workers. According to the report, “a computer in the CCSU business office was infected in December, and sat on the system for eight days before it was detected and removed.” By now we all know that data breaches are bad. We understand the ramifications of lost/manipulated/stolen data. We know they should be avoided at all costs. So why do they keep happening?

Maybe it’s because IT organizations aren’t treating the root cause of the problem. Since we led with the Connecticut College incident, let’s use it as an example. I’m sure there were extensive firewalls protecting the sensitive information of those 18,000 people. I have no doubt that a lot of thought and planning went into the anti-malware software that was supposedly protecting the corporate network. But what happens when that’s not enough? Firewalls and anti-malware software are just Band-Aids when it comes to treating IT security as a whole. While they help by placing a barrier between the outside world and the goings on of the corporate network, they don’t actually treat or solve the cause of why the breaches are occurring in the first place.

Unmanaged and unaudited administrative credentials and root access are at the cause of data breaches. Bottom line. These credentials can be hijacked by malware and allow hacks to occur in otherwise secure corporate networks. To properly treat the problems that cause data breaches, these credentials MUST be managed. Users must have access to tasks necessary for job functionality, but not too many that they can access anything at any time. When this kind of freedom is allowed your users, malware can take hold and your data becomes insecure. Fortunately, BeyondTrust can help. Click here for more information on ways to manage administrative credentials the right way and reduce the threat of malware in your organization.

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Additional articles

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On Demand Webinar: Advanced Windows Tracing

Posted April 17, 2015    BeyondTrust Software

Webinar: Security MVP, Paula Januszkiewicz, shows Windows administrators how to be more aware of what happens whenever somebody does something within the system.

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The Delicate Art of Remote Checks – A Glance Into MS15-034

Posted April 15, 2015    Bill Finlayson

Remote vulnerability detection – using ms15-034 as an example.

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2015 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report: More End Users as Threats

Posted April 15, 2015    Scott Lang

The 2015 Verizon report says end users are the number one source of insider abuse incidents. Find out how to mitigate the risks.

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