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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.

PowerBroker for Windows Rule Creation with Retina CS

Posted February 20, 2013    Morey Haber

For any enterprise solution, manually creating rules can be a daunting task and repetitive exercise. This problem is even more complex when working with solutions that potentially touch every application within your environment. Consider the complexity of identifying every application that requires escalated privileges for a least privilege project. How can you identity every user application and the privileges they require to create the correct rules? Fortunately, PowerBroker for Windows comes with the Retina CS management console to collect privilege-related event log data from Assets. This data includes information about the applications being used, the privileges they require, and how they are launched, as well as information about which users have administrator privileges.

Using Retina CS, administrators can sort and filter this data into useful reports and generate PowerBroker rules for applications based on user needs for privilege elevation. This is a best practice approach for discovering applications and the construction of quick and concise rules for any user or computer.

After the solution is properly configured, Assets will forward application events to Retina CS using a web services connection and even perform throttled store and forward functions if the device is offline.  An admin can select events and use the Action Menu to perform the following functions:

* Generate Active X Rule
* Generate Hash Rule
* Generate Publisher Rule
* Generate MSI Rule
* Exclude Publisher
* Exclude Application
* Admin Rights Exclude Application

Then, administrators can filter the events, remove duplicates, sort on any column, and even export the events to a spreadsheet or text file from Retina CS. This is illustrated below:

RetinaCS

To build a new rule, an administrator simply clicks on the Action Menu and selects a Rule Type. The PowerBroker Rule dialog box is then displayed for creation of the new rule within GPME with all the required fields and context properly completed.

PBW-Rule-Dialog

As a best practice, BeyondTrust recommends creating a new collection to stage newly created rules before production deployment. This collection should not have an Action assigned but use Item Level Targeting to restrict the rule’s adoption to test machines or trusted users. Once the rule passes quality assurance, it can be copied into a production collection when change control schedules permit.

Finally, any applications that are marked for exclusion, either by publisher, application, or right, can be managed under the Configuration tab of Retina CS. This is illustrated below and represent common applications or operating system functions that do not need to be monitored or displayed in the standard event stream and reports.

EventStream-Reports

BeyondTrust recommends using Retina CS as the primary mechanism for creating new rules during an enterprise deployment in lieu of manually creating them.  In addition, BeyondTrust offers a sample Rule Library with hundreds of common rules that supplement this functionality to expedite you implementation. For more information on Retina CS, please click here. For PowerBroker for Windows, please click here.

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