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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.

HR and IT – How Data Security Can Make for Strange Bedfellows

Posted May 31, 2011    Peter McCalister

Yes, you read my lead correctly. I am going to talk about how HR and IT can team up to improve Network Security in the Cloud. So bear with me…

Recently we posted on The Cloud and Liability issues. The Cloud – as ingenious a solution it is for information obtain-ability and computing flexibility – it also eliminates most of your control over who can access your organization’s most valuable asset: your data.

Think about it. The cloud presents an ever-changing, externally determined chain of custody for sensitive data and applications. For many business functions commonly run in the cloud, such as hosting websites and wikis, it is often sufficient to have a cloud provider vouch for the security of the underlying infrastructure. However, for business-critical processes and sensitive data, it is absolutely essential for organizations to be able to verify for themselves that the underlying cloud infrastructure is secure. The cloud can drastically compromise confidentiality if your provider can’t guarantee the integrity of the people manning your property.

The Cloud brings up basic question: How much do you trust your Cloud provider’s HR department?

What are the IT employee hiring protocols or security checks employed by your cloud provider? The lack of visibility into the hiring standards and practices for cloud employees and a general lack of transparency into provider processes and procedures, such as how its employees are granted access to physical and virtual assets, make preventing data theft a potential nightmare. Depending on the level of access granted, a malicious outside-insider may be able to harvest your organization’s confidential data or even gain control of the entire infrastructure with little or no risk of detection.

But we don’t think that security concerns should be an absolute barrier to the adoption of Cloud computing technologies. What we do think is that organizations are right to consider the implications of the Cloud – and demand visibility into their suppliers technology and processes to ensure the appropriate level of administrative privileges for better information protection.

Perhaps its time to ‘geek up’ HR. For example, Application and Privilege controls can provide HR visibility into how businesses and individuals access and manage applications. With HR and IT in concert on privilege user parameters and administrative rights, policy enforcement can become more distributed and effective.

Security is an on-going, collaborative process. Constant review of both policy and technology is necessary to safeguard corporate networks. And although you can never eliminate risk completely, when you improve relations between HR and IT, so that policy and technology go hand in hand, an organization’s security becomes a great deal tighter. Check out our latest cloud security whitepaper.

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Additional articles

How To Implement The Australian Signals Directorate’s Top 4 Strategies

Posted October 20, 2014    Morey Haber

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), also known as the Defence Signals Directorate, has developed a list of strategies to mitigate targeted cyber intrusions. The recommended strategies were developed through ASD’s extensive experience in operational cyber security, including responding to serious security intrusions and performing vulnerability assessments and penetration testing for Australian government agencies. These recommendations…

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Exploiting MS14-059 because sometimes XSS is fun, sometimes…

Posted October 17, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This October, Microsoft has provided a security update for System.Web.Mvc.dll which addresses a ‘Security Feature Bypass’. The vulnerability itself is in ASP.NET MVC technology and given its wide adoption we thought we would take a closer look. Referring to the bulletin we can glean a few useful pieces of information: “A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists…

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Four Best Practices for Passing Privileged Account Audits

Posted October 16, 2014    Chris Burd

Like most IT organizations, your team may periodically face the “dreaded” task of being audited. Your process for delegating privileged access to desktops, servers, and infrastructure devices is a massive target for the auditor’s microscope. An audit’s findings can have significant implications on technology and business strategy, so it’s critical to make sure you’re prepared…

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