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

Are Your Data Security Efforts Focused in the Right Area?

Posted January 28, 2015    Scott Lang

Vormetric Data Security recently released an insider threat report, with research conducted by HarrisPoll and analyzed by Ovum. Based on the survey responses, it is apparent that there is still a great deal of insecurity over data. However, the results also show that there may be misplaced investments to address those insecurities. I will explain…

Tags:
ghost

GHOST Vulnerability…Scary Indeed

Posted January 28, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

A vulnerability discovered by Qualys security researchers has surfaced within the GNU C Library that affects virtually all Linux operating systems. The vulnerability lies within the various gethostbyname*() functions and, as such, has been dubbed “GHOST.” GHOST is particularly nasty considering remote, arbitrary code execution can be achieved. In an effort to avoid taxing DNS lookups, glibc developers introduced…

Tags:
,
dave-shackleford-headshot

Your New Years Resolution: Controlling Privileged Users

Posted January 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Is 2015 the year you get a better handle on security? The news last year was grim – so much so, in fact, that many in the information security community despaired a bit. Really, the end-of-the-year infosec cocktail parties were a bit glum. OK, let’s be honest, infosec cocktail parties are usually not that wild…

Tags:
, , ,