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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.

Putting Mobile Security in a Different Light

Posted April 19, 2011    Peter McCalister

The increasingly popular bring your own computer to work model seems like a good deal for everyone.  You get to carry one device that fits you best and IT saves a lot of work buying and provisioning hardware.  But the highly publicized problems with Droid Dream malware highlighted the vulnerability of the Android platform and raises some fundamental questions about who controls employee owned devices that may contain or have access to sensitive company data.

As I said in my previous post, it’s not that Android is particularly insecure.  We have seen these kinds of problems on desktops and servers.  Control of access to the administrative account is a critical part of the security model on every platform.  In fact, Google is doing more to make Android as secure as Blackberry’s and I phones.

Other vendors are responding to these needs as well.  Headlines get companies like BeyondTrust to pay attention to a market.  Many solutions exist today for mobile devices that do a good job on the basics of access, asset and expense management.  Microsoft is extending its system management tools to Apple and Android devices.  And Motorola recently announced they are working to fill the security gap in Android smart phones.

But even if the technology for mobile devices catches up and future versions of Android have a stronger security model, we need to address a key question for any business that has their employees using their own devices for company business.   Who has control of the permission model for what happens on the device?   Even if the device has the capability to control root access, enforce data encryption or wipe a lost phone, does that assure compliance with company security policies if the end user has control over these functions as the owner of the device.  On the other hand,  do you want your company having access and control over your personal data?

The bring your own computer to work model puts company security in a different light.  I don’t think there are any easy answers, just some tough choices about limiting the flexibility of your employees or buying them a device you can control.

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Additional articles

PBPS-screenshot-blog aug2014

Failing the Security Basics: Backoff Point-of-Sale Malware

Posted August 22, 2014    Marc Maiffret

At the beginning of this month, US-CERT issued a security alert relating to a string of breaches that had been targeting Point of Sale (POS) systems. The alert details that attackers were leveraging brute forcing tools to target common remote desktop applications such as Microsoft’s Remote Desktop, Apple Remote Desktop, Splashtop and LogMeIn among others….

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Troubleshooting Windows Privilege Management Rules with Policy Monitor

Posted August 21, 2014    Jason Silva

When defining and testing PowerBroker for Windows rules for production or pilots, customers sometimes tell us, “I don’t think this policy / program is working.” This is usually a case of the policy not properly triggering because of the way the rule was created. A unique feature of PowerBroker for Windows compared to other solutions is a client-side…

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BeyondTrust Webcast: Darren Mar-Elia’s 4 Active Directory Change Scenarios to Track

Posted August 20, 2014    Chris Burd

In our latest webcast, we joined Darren Mar-Elia, CTO at SDM Software, to discuss best practices for Active Directory (AD) change management. Here are some key takeaways from the presentation, followed by a link to a full-length video of the presentation. Mar-Elia kicks things off with a critical insight: that the best AD change management…

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