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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.

Least Privilege Becoming a Matter of National Security

Posted August 5, 2011    Peter McCalister

We’ve been saying for years that enterprises need to pay attention to the risk of insider threat. Managing privileged access to IT information is both a security best practice as well as a stepin the right direction as far as productivity goes. Allowing employees and contractors to access information beyond what they need is both irresponsible and expensive, especially as more and more companies fall victim to breaches caused by supposed “trusted” insiders. It’s a very real IT threat, and one that must be addressed at every level. Especially by major utility facilities, as this special report by ABC points out.

U.S. Officials are raising warning flags about the activities of malicious insiders. They posted a bulletin about the threat insiders and their actions can pose when access to resources is not managed and monitored. They explain that, “past events and reporting also provide high confidence in our judgment that insider information on sites, infrastructure, networks, and personnel is valuable to our adversaries and may increase the impact of any attack on the utilities infrastructure.”

Not only is the misues of privileges by those inside our companies critical to our businesses and other information, it’s becoming a matter of national security. Knowing which employees have access to what resources is paramount to the security of both our own enterprises and the safety and success of our Nation. What we need to remember here is that our employees are wildcards. We don’t know if they have accident-prone tendencies or are looking to harm us. If they are malicious, there’s no telling if they want to leak and/or sell the sensitive information held in databases, or if their intentions (like that in the report) are much more grievous. The key is to treat all users the same and allow them access to only those things they absolutely need.

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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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