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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.

Reducing Help Desk Costs Is a Least Privilege Benefit

Posted December 15, 2010    Peter McCalister

The problem exists between the keyboard and the chair (PEBKAC).  This is the recurring mantra of most help desk technicians and a leading cause of budget dollars bleeding out of most organizations.  Why, you may ask?  The answer is simple:

  • Users use computers
  • Users are human (usually)
  • Humans make mistakes often: sometimes intentionally, usually accidentally and occasionally indirectly
  • When users have excessive admin rights these mistakes can be very costly

Implementing a privilege identity management solution will effectively limit the potential for impact on these mistakes through a least privilege environment.  One of the most compelling areas will be for the desktop users as there are over 200 documented vulnerabilites in MS Windows. Check out the “3 Ways to Reduce Help Desk Costs” blog for specifics on cost savings, but the intangible benefit that your techs will appreciate the most is the reduction of PEBKAC calls.  With the implementation of a least privilege solution, the user community will only have enough privilege to get their job done but not enough to have a misuse of privilege problem. Now the problem won’t be the user (what lies between the keyboard and the chair), but a genuine technical problem, like installing a print driver.  What price can be put on the sanity of your help desk staff?

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Additional articles

IRS-Data-Breach

The tip of the IRS data breach – and it IS an iceberg

Posted May 27, 2015    Morey Haber

The IRS has been warned for decades about their security best practices. And now, at least 100,000 Americans have had their records compromised. How? The IRS uses a service called “Get Transcript”.

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Tales from the Datacenter: Vulnerability Management Nightmares

Posted May 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Vulnerability scanning, threat management, risk analysis, patching, and configuration management are some of the major activities usually associated with vulnerability management, and none of these are new…so why are we failing so badly at many of them?

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Don’t Create a Different sudoers File for Each System

Posted May 20, 2015    Randy Franklin Smith

What if you have multiple Linux and/or Unix systems? Sudo management can become onerous and unwieldy if you try to manage a different sudoers file on each system. The good news is that sudo supports multiple systems.