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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.

Mobile Workers Require Setting Boundaries vs Building Walls

Posted November 24, 2010    Peter McCalister

Although corporate networks today are increasingly open to subcontractors, partners or affiliates, or simply a workforce on the move, the tendency is still to think of security in the same way castles were defended in the middle ages, by building bigger walls – higher, wider and with more built in obstacles.

Indeed, a recent report Borderless Security, has reached similar conclusions – a combination of more mobility, increased social access to information and outsourcing to the cloud requires a change in traditional information security paradigms.

The reports authors add: “People and organizations outside the borders of the traditional corporate environment – play a role in helping to achieve information security objectives, but can also pose a risk to protecting your information.”

Today, personal mobile devices are used regularly by employees for business and to connect to the network, and while known as a vulnerable attack surface for malware, employees are increasingly willing to communicate with each other via social networking sites.

According to Symantec, workers are 35 percent more likely to violate corporate surfing policies when they are on the road, rather than in the office.

While Computerworld also reports that mobile workers are more than five times as likely to trigger blocks relating to prohibited downloads.

Obviously, when we talk about desktops today, it doesn’t just mean the number of MDF bureaus in your building.

So, with so many potential points of entry to sensitive data, so many different attack surfaces from which infection can happen, the shift in perspective required is to think less about building walls and more about establishing clear boundaries.

Employee at their desk or on the move, subcontractor or partner, access to the network should be the same.  When we talk about privileged access, it’s not who is more privileged than who, in terms of their relationship to the company, it simply refers to who gets access to what as defined by their role definition.

As the straight lines of traditional security practice get increasingly blurred and permeable, privilege access, becomes the cornerstone of not just good network security but also good people management.

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Additional articles

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On Demand Webinar – Why You Still Suck at Patching

Posted March 27, 2015    Lindsay Marsh

On Demand Webinar: Dave Shackleford recounts some of his personal experiences in patch management failure, and breaks down the most critical issues holding many teams back from patching more effectively.

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Why You Still Suck at Patching…and How to Turn Your Life Around

Posted March 25, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Live webinar | March 26, 2015 | 10am PT/1pm ET | Dave Shackleford, SANS Instructor | Why You Still Suck at Patching…and How to Turn Your Life Around

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Privilege Gone Wild 2: Over 25% of Organizations Have No Privileged Access Controls

Posted March 24, 2015    Scott Lang

BeyondTrust recently conducted a survey, with over 700 respondents, to explore how organizations view the risk of misuse from privileged account misuse, as well as trends in addressing and mitigating those risks.

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