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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.

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.

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Failing the Security Basics: Backoff Point-of-Sale Malware

Posted August 22, 2014    Marc Maiffret

At the beginning of this month, US-CERT issued a security alert relating to a string of breaches that had been targeting Point of Sale (POS) systems. The alert details that attackers were leveraging brute forcing tools to target common remote desktop applications such as Microsoft’s Remote Desktop, Apple Remote Desktop, Splashtop and LogMeIn among others….

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Troubleshooting Windows Privilege Management Rules with Policy Monitor

Posted August 21, 2014    Jason Silva

When defining and testing PowerBroker for Windows rules for production or pilots, customers sometimes tell us, “I don’t think this policy / program is working.” This is usually a case of the policy not properly triggering because of the way the rule was created. A unique feature of PowerBroker for Windows compared to other solutions is a client-side…

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BeyondTrust Webcast: Darren Mar-Elia’s 4 Active Directory Change Scenarios to Track

Posted August 20, 2014    Chris Burd

In our latest webcast, we joined Darren Mar-Elia, CTO at SDM Software, to discuss best practices for Active Directory (AD) change management. Here are some key takeaways from the presentation, followed by a link to a full-length video of the presentation. Mar-Elia kicks things off with a critical insight: that the best AD change management…

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