BeyondTrust

Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Rock the Cradle of Root Access Gently

Posted February 11, 2011    Peter McCalister

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. This is an absolute truth. Although originally referring to motherhood, there is an especially poignant application from an enterprise point of view.  As long as the hand (your IT manager with root access) handles that cradle gently (your server and the sensitive information therein), your world will remain a secure place.

It’s when the cradle rocks a little too hard that walls start crumbling. And how do you keep that cradle calm and steady? The answer lies with the hand. Having an all-powerful IT administrator is dangerous and expensive- a cost that is not worth the security of your enterprise. Want your framework to stay standing? Let’s look at a few things you can do.

  1. Adopt the four golden words of server security: lock down root access. Your IT manager should not be allowed to be “the hand.” With root access they have can look at, move, and/or manipulate everything. There is no one in your organization, under any circumstances, that should be allowed rule the world. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your IT manager would never do such a thing, or that a breach won’t happen to you. Chances are good that’s exactly what the University of Hawaii thought. If they had integrated a solution to lock down root access, 40,000 confidential student records wouldn’t have been exposed.
  2. Create and maintain a keystroke log. All actions should be transparent and a record must be kept. This way, in the event that a breach does occur, all keystrokes are documented for easy auditing and identification. This will also raise the flag on any suspected wrongdoing.
  3. Install a solution that will alert you to the use of any forbidden keywords. This will proactively keep your sensitive and mission-critical information protected while warning you about any employee or contractor who may potentially have the intention of harming your company.

Securing your sever boils down to eliminating admin rights. It’s important to give all employees access to only the information they need, which is never root access. Participate in this enterprise security best practice today. Protect your cradle from the all-powerful IT hand keep it rocking smooth and slow

Leave a Reply

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….

Tags:
, , , , , ,

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…

Tags:
, , ,
darren-mar-elia

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…

Tags:
, , , , , , ,