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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.

Looking At Security From The Inside Out With Least Privilege

Posted July 5, 2011    Peter McCalister

Many organizations have invested heavily in perimeter security, helping to protect against hackers and outside threats, but very few have addressed the weak link in the security chain. Users with excessive privileges are that weak link, and allowing users to make security decisions can have disastrous consequences.

Over the past several months, we have seen news articles describing more and more malware that is posing as legitimate software updates and anti-virus software. Once installed by the end user, the malware will infect a machine and then attempt to extort money from the end user to purchase the bogus fix for the infection. The main goal of the malware is to coerce users to give up their credit card details for the fix to remove the problem application. Recently, an article from PCWorld highlighted one such malware attack that leaves a machine running a Firefox browser potentially vulnerable to this malware.

In the comments section, a user emphatically discusses the importance to run as a standard user, not an administrator. Most malware of this type requires administrator privileges to install and get its hooks so deeply into the operating system. If more organizations removed administrator privileges from users, and if more home users ran without administrator privileges for day to day use, malware would have a much harder time infiltrating a system.

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Additional articles

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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patch-tuesday

December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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