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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 For A Needle In A Haystack Without Least Privilege

Posted December 7, 2011    Peter McCalister

Ever use the phrase that looking for something was like “finding a needle in a haystack”? If you’ve ever seen (or especially played in) a haystack then you understand the magnitude of that challenge. This also applies to IT security when trying to uncover who or what was able to access confidential information and either steal, damage or delete it altogether.

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As I talk to CIO’s around the world I am always perplexed why they lament the challenge of rooting out (excuse the pun) potential insider threats responsible for data loss and the possibility of a failed compliance audit. In organizations where everyone has full administrator access to the network, determining who might have leaked, stolen or damaged data would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

For organizations running good least privilege systems, it’s possible to narrow down the possibilities of who had access to what and when to fewer individuals. With that in mind, employees might think again before blowing the whistle. This is especially true for server-based least privilege solutions where keystroke logging will record everything done at a granular level, whereas desktop least privilege usually just tracks at an event level.

This doesn’t, by any stretch, prevent data breaches from happening. If someone has privilege access, they can still steal or leak sensitive data. As suggested in previous blog posts, what good least privilege solu- tions can do, however, is provide a strong deterrent, because a good least privilege solution means access is not just leveraged on a “needs must” basis, it is logged too. Connect with an expert to find out what can be done for your organization.

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Additional articles

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Webinar March 4th: Recreating the Carbanak Breach & Techniques for Mitigating Similar Attacks

Posted March 3, 2015    Lindsay Marsh

Join BeyondTrust Research and Development team for an in-depth live webinar that will explore the attack vectors used in the Carbanak Bank Breach and share successful mitigation techniques needed to prevent this type of attack.

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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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