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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Insider Threats Aren’t Perpetrated By The Obvious: Part 1

Posted June 7, 2011    Peter McCalister

It would be nice if every villain inside your organization walked around wearing a big sign that broadcasts “bad guy looking to do bad things”, but alas it is only in the cartoons and movies of Hollywood where you can always find the stereotypical bad guy: black top hat, curled black mustache and sinister grin.

In real life enterprises, insiders look like you and me. Just regular employees doing their job and collecting their paycheck. That’s why “securing the perimeter within” is so important.

What are the boundaries within your extended enterprise (read: “the perimeter within”)?
Physical: This seems fairly obvious as the physical server and desktops through out the organization; however if you dig a little deeper, you discover a whole lot more. Mobile devices have infiltrated the enterprise as has supporting network devices which require individual privileged accounts to exist on the corporate network and a proliferation of databases and directories which also contain sensitive information. When defining the perimeter within, it is important to consider any and everything that either has privileged account designations or can contain sensitive information.
Virtual: Nowadays a server or a desktop isn’t always just a physical manifestation of a machine, but can be just one of multiple “virtual images” that exist on one physical machine in order to leverage the unused computing capacity within the enterprise. Don’t forget to monitor the virtual sprawl that also proliferated because of this.
Cloud: The buzz word du jour is cloud. Whether of the public (outsourced) or private (internally managed) variety, this is just making data and applications available via the internet. Anyone who has been in enterprise computing for longer than three years will recognize this as better marketing for concepts that have been around for decades: SaaS/Paas/IaaS for public cloud and portal/intranet/extranet for private cloud. Either way, this unique way of managing information also brings unique security, identity management and regulator compliance requirements to bear.

Now that you have a better understanding of what the perimeter within looks like, we can move on to talk about the types of things insiders can do to threaten your security, compliance and governance policies…but that will be another blog. In the interim, check out this whitepaper on Demystifying Privilege Identity Management.

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Additional articles

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How to Audit VMware ESX and ESXi Servers Against the VMware Hardening Guidelines with Retina CS

Posted February 27, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Retina CS Enterprise Vulnerability Management has included advanced VMware auditing capabilities for some time, including virtual machine discovery and scanning through a cloud connection, plus the ability to scan ESX and ESXi hosts using SSH. However, in response to recent security concerns associated with SSH, VMware has disabled SSH by default in its more recent…

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Privileged Passwords: The Bane of Security Professionals Everywhere

Posted February 19, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Passwords have been with us since ancient times. Known as “watchwords”, ancient Roman military guards would pass a wooden tablet with a daily secret word engraved from one shift to the next, with each guard position marking the tablet to indicate it had been received. The military has been using passwords, counter-passwords, and even sound…

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In Vulnerability Management, Process is King

Posted February 18, 2015    Morey Haber

You have a vulnerability scanner, but where’s your process? Most organizations are rightly concerned about possible vulnerabilities in their systems, applications, networked devices, and other digital assets and infrastructure components. Identifying vulnerabilities is indeed important, and most security professionals have some kind of scanning solution in place. But what is most essential to understand is…

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