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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.

Just One Open Server Is Enough For Misuse Of Privilege

Posted January 30, 2012    Peter McCalister

Gambling on the odds may be fine for a weekend in Las Vegas, but do you really want to take that same risk with your precious corporate information assets? Zappos learned the hard way what happens when even one server is at risk from a security perspective.

A recent Dark Reading articled entitled “Zappos Dealing With Data Breach” reported on the recent need for the online shoe and clothing retailer (owned by Amazon) to email its 24 million customers with a notification of an internal breach. The article goes on to quote Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh: “We were recently the victim of a cyberattack by a criminal who gained access to parts of our internal network and systems through one of our servers in Kentucky. We are cooperating with law enforcement to undergo an exhaustive investigation.”

I recently read Mr. Hsieh’s excellent book Delivering Happines and was thoroughly impressed with his attention to corporate culture and customer service. His 10 core values can be an inspiration for every company looking to differentiate itself in this hyper-competitive global economy. The challenge that needs to be highlighted in this story is that all it ever takes in a single server with full admin rights available for someone to abuse that privilege and gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Implementing a least privilege solution across every server (physical, virtual and cloud-based) is a great first step in preventing this type of embarrassment from happening to you.

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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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Privileged Account Management Process

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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