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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.

Obama’s New CyberSecurity Legislation

Posted May 23, 2011    Peter McCalister

On Monday, May 16 the White House revealed language on new legislation directing private industry to improve computer security voluntarily and have those standards reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security. By increasing and clarifying the penalties for federal and enterprise computer crimes, the administration hopes to temper the perception that the consequences for cyber attacks and data theft are comparatively trivial.

Administration officials admit that they will designate certain privately run computer systems as part of a “critical infrastructure” over which the DoHS can have enhanced authority. The agency will also be tasked with working with energy companies, water suppliers and financial institutions to rank and combat the most serious threats. The new law will also require that these businesses work with independent commercial auditors to assess their plans, and, in the case of financial firms, report those plans to the Security and Exchange Commission. The language also includes the simplification and standardization of the existing 47 state laws regarding national data breach reporting, which require businesses that have suffered an intrusion to notify consumers if the intruder had access to the consumers’ personal information.

The result: Many companies will immediately assign added budget and manpower to the task of barricading against external threats – forgetting that these new laws equally mandate for the monitoring and auditing of internal compromises.

But in addition to outward-facing barricades, organizations will need to address internal access controls, employee IT administrative rights and user privilege delegation solutions. Administers should be required to view how data assets are internally accessed (and by whom), monitor changes to application controls that secure and protect the integrity of assets, and even pro-actively assess the impact of IT changes to business and IT security.

If you read this blog, you know that we have labeled this critical role of IT security “securing the perimeter within,” and strongly counsel that businesses look inward – as well as outward – to strengthen security around data assets by better controlling user database administration and activities and allowing desktop users to operate using the least set of privileges necessary to complete their jobs.

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Additional articles

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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patch-tuesday

December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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