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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

Are Your Data Security Efforts Focused in the Right Area?

Posted January 28, 2015    Scott Lang

Vormetric Data Security recently released an insider threat report, with research conducted by HarrisPoll and analyzed by Ovum. Based on the survey responses, it is apparent that there is still a great deal of insecurity over data. However, the results also show that there may be misplaced investments to address those insecurities. I will explain…

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GHOST Vulnerability…Scary Indeed

Posted January 28, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

A vulnerability discovered by Qualys security researchers has surfaced within the GNU C Library that affects virtually all Linux operating systems. The vulnerability lies within the various gethostbyname*() functions and, as such, has been dubbed “GHOST.” GHOST is particularly nasty considering remote, arbitrary code execution can be achieved. In an effort to avoid taxing DNS lookups, glibc developers introduced…

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Your New Years Resolution: Controlling Privileged Users

Posted January 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Is 2015 the year you get a better handle on security? The news last year was grim – so much so, in fact, that many in the information security community despaired a bit. Really, the end-of-the-year infosec cocktail parties were a bit glum. OK, let’s be honest, infosec cocktail parties are usually not that wild…

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