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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

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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