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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.

Is Public Cloud Security As Mysterious As Crop Circles?

Posted August 18, 2011    Peter McCalister

There are many of you out there who have seen pictures of crop circles and believe that they are truly a mystery that no one will ever get to the bottom of. For those of us in the information security field, I think we are starting to believe that the key to security in public clouds may be as elusive as the secret to crop circles.

Case in point, Amazon continues to deliver new, enterprise grade capabilities in its AWS cloud offering. Their recent release of federation capabilities is quite impressive. Coupled with their earlier release of policy based IAM capabilities. it gives their security and compliance sensitive customers a number of powerful tools to work with. Enterprises can now create temporary security credentials for AWS to allow existing identities (from, for example, a LDAP server) to make use of IAM’s fine-grained access controls.

Others like IBM with their Smart Cloud Enterprise and Enterprise+ offerings are also stepping up to meet the security and reliability standards of their most demanding customers.

But talking to a former Peregrine Systems colleague who is spending a lot of time with cloud vendors, highlighted that one big remaining issue is the mystery of what goes on at the hypervisor level in public clouds. As I highlighted in an earlier post the recent report by the Ponemon Institute on the Security of Cloud Computing Providers shows that cloud providers are “least confident in their ability to restrict privileged user access to sensitive data”.

We are helping our customers extend their existing insider security infrastructure, policies and compliance reporting to their private, public and hybrid clouds (more on that next week) but we can’t yet help control and monitor what the cloud provider’s many insiders are doing. But I will say this, if the cloud providers want to remove the mystery, we are happy to help provide the tools to do it.

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Additional articles

PowerBroker for Unix & Linux helps prevent Shellshock

Posted September 25, 2014    Paul Harper

Like many other people who tinker with UNIX and Linux on a regular basis, BASH has always been my shell of choice.  Dating back to the early days moving from Windows to a non-Windows platform, mapping the keys correctly to allow easy navigation and control helped ensure an explosion of use for the shell. Unfortunately,…

Bash “Shellshock” Vulnerability – Retina Updates

Posted September 24, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

A major vulnerability was recently discovered within bash which allows arbitrary command execution via specially crafted environment variables. This is possible due to the fact that bash supports the assignment of shell functions to shell variables. When bash parses environment shell functions, it continues parsing even after the closing brace of the function definition. If…

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7 Reasons Customers Switch to Password Safe for Privileged Password Management

Posted September 24, 2014    Chris Burd

It’s clear that privileged password management tools are essential for keeping mission-critical data, servers and assets safe and secure. However, as I discussed in my previous post, there are several pitfalls to look out for when deploying a privileged password management solution. At this point, you may be wondering how BeyondTrust stacks up. With that,…

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