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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.

Prevent Security Storms by Eliminating Admin Rights

Posted February 1, 2011    Peter McCalister

How many times have you heard the old proverb, “after the storm comes the calm?” And how many times have you just accepted “storms” as part of life? From my point of view, these downpours aren’t actually necessary.

I also find, from an enterprise point of view, that the best kind of storm to steer clear of is the security storm. Do we have to wait for a rough and tumble tempest that completely derails everything we’re working towards? Absolutely not- we can prevent the loss of secure information and keep our businesses calm and running smoothly, thus bypassing the storm and going straight for the calm. Let me show you how.

To prevent a “storm” in your company, take a good hard look at your enterprise. Is there a measure in place to secure your sensitive information from being blasted for the world to read? Are your users all operating at the super user level? Are you setting yourself up for a problem, or have you taken the steps to bypass any damage? The reason for this internal assessment is clear: all around us are unsettling reports of breached databases and purloined trade secrets. I’m sure you’ve seen these intentional security storms: whether it’sthe Goldman code which was stolen, then sold, or the iTunes accounts that were hacked and up for sale…both of these incidents point out how prevalent storms are in today’s information security sector. But what is at the root of the problem? The answer is shocking. Many think its hackers, thieves, and malware vulnerabilities. While those can play a role, most breaches are caused by the abuse of admin rights.

Preventing security storms in your enterprise is easy. The answer is to take away the admin rights of all individuals who don’t need them. Don’t let them abuse their privileges- implement and practice a least privilege management solution. Give users access to information based on what is essential to their job. This will stabilize, secure, and streamline your system, thus preventing storms and allowing you to enjoy the calm.

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