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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

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

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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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