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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.

Los Alamos Replaces sudo with PowerBroker for Servers

Posted April 20, 2011    Peter McCalister

Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico delivers scientific and engineering solutions for the nation’s most crucial and complex problems. Its primary responsibility is to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent. Los Alamos employs more than 11,000 employees and contractors, making it one of the largest multi-disciplinary institutions in the world.

As with any institution of this nature, Los Alamos National Laboratory was required to perform an audit of the organization’s cyber security systems. This analysis included the inspection of security functions, reviewing documents and records to ensure adequate security policies, and verifying the organization was in compliance with federal regulations. At the time of the audit, the institution emplyoed sudo (an open-source software program that tracks activity on a machine-by-machine basis) to manage privileged access across their UNIX and Linux systems. With so many servers in the network, Los Alamos National Laboratory found their IT administrators were spending excessive amounts of time managing the activity and reports of each individual machine. When the lab found out it would be adding an additional 200 UNIX and Linux systems, it became clear that sudo was no longer a viable solution for securely managing user access. This is where BeyondTrust came in.

 

Los Alamos National Laboratory selected PowerBroker for Servers as the answer to their access management problem. After extensive review and analysis, it became clear this was the best solution as it allowed for centralized authorization and reporting across the lab’s heterogeneous network. With PowerBroker for Servers, Los Alamos National Laboratory was able to granularly delegate root admin privileges, complete and secure an audit trail of all delegated actions, and capture keystrokes for easier backtracking.

 

If your enterprise is still using sudo for access management, click here to read about a better, more secure solution. You can also read the full case studyhere.

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Additional articles

How To Implement The Australian Signals Directorate’s Top 4 Strategies

Posted October 20, 2014    Morey Haber

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), also known as the Defence Signals Directorate, has developed a list of strategies to mitigate targeted cyber intrusions. The recommended strategies were developed through ASD’s extensive experience in operational cyber security, including responding to serious security intrusions and performing vulnerability assessments and penetration testing for Australian government agencies. These recommendations…

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Exploiting MS14-059 because sometimes XSS is fun, sometimes…

Posted October 17, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This October, Microsoft has provided a security update for System.Web.Mvc.dll which addresses a ‘Security Feature Bypass’. The vulnerability itself is in ASP.NET MVC technology and given its wide adoption we thought we would take a closer look. Referring to the bulletin we can glean a few useful pieces of information: “A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists…

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Four Best Practices for Passing Privileged Account Audits

Posted October 16, 2014    Chris Burd

Like most IT organizations, your team may periodically face the “dreaded” task of being audited. Your process for delegating privileged access to desktops, servers, and infrastructure devices is a massive target for the auditor’s microscope. An audit’s findings can have significant implications on technology and business strategy, so it’s critical to make sure you’re prepared…

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