BeyondTrust

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.

Hard Versus Soft Cost Of Privilege Misuse

Posted December 19, 2011    Peter McCalister

All costs aren’t completely obvious. Simply stated, the principle of least privilege means that a user must run with the least amount of privilege for the least being performed. And what does this mean for you?

It means you should look closely at eliminating administrator rights from users who don’t absolutely need them, and elevate privileges for users who require them. Let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios that will better paint this picture and its relevance to hard versus soft costs:

Scenario A: A user in your company needs to install an application, and your IT department is slammed (as usual) and won’t be able to help for several hours. Now that user can’t install the application necessary for their job function, which results in loss of work and overall production.

Scenario B: A user in your company is operating with full administrator rights, and is unfortunately a little too cavalier in their download habits. Because they are operating with admin rights, malware hijacks their computer and enters your database. Now your IT department has to get involved to fix and debug your system, which is both expensive and time-consuming.

Both situations color the importance of least privilege and further emphasize how important it is to find the right amount of privilege for all end users. Scenario A is of course the soft cost example, while Scenario B is the hard cost example. Both can have measurable negative impact to your organization if you are looking out for signs of these scenarios and implemented vehicles for accurate impact assessment. As we move into 2012 it will be important for you to learn to spot both of these scenarios throughout your organization in order to protect against privilege misuse as well as the associated costs. If you’d like help then contact us.

Leave a Reply

Additional articles

powerbroker-for-mac-diagram-small

PowerBroker for Mac: A Least-Privileged Apple a Day…

Posted July 27, 2015    Jason Silva

BeyondTrust PowerBroker for Mac reduces the risk of privilege misuse by enabling standard users on Mac OS X to perform administrative tasks successfully without entering elevated credentials.

Tags:
, ,
PrivilegedAccountManagement

On Demand Webinar – Now is the time for Privileged Account Management

Posted July 24, 2015    BeyondTrust Software

In this webinar, SANS Instructor and Founder of Voodoo Security, Dave Shackleford, will revisit several hacking and breach scenarios that involved privileged accounts, and use these as examples while discussing tools and tactics to get this problem under control once and for all.

Tags:
, ,
dave-shackleford-headshot

Privileged Account Management: The Time is Now

Posted July 22, 2015    Dave Shackleford

There’s plenty of problems we don’t have great options for in InfoSec today. Malware is a pain point that keeps evolving rapidly. 0-day exploits are tough to prepare for. Privileged account management? We got this. We know the root causes, we know how it manifests, we know how to get it under control effectively, and there are great technology solutions that are enterprise-class.

Tags:
, ,