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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.

Speaking of Human Nature, Desktop Computing And Least Privilege

Posted October 10, 2011    Peter McCalister

Indeed, people are known to behave differently inside and outside of the office, where the culture is different. Lines between professional and home life become blurred, and people take the suit off at home, log in in their shorts, but that doesn’t mean they should take their corporate hat off, as well. But what is the answer? Eliminating administrator rights without allowing for the elevation of certain job-necessary privileges is not the answer. Locking down a system is like asking everyone to raise his or her hand to go to the bathroom, – it shows the downside of mistrusting human nature.

Trust is not a value that can be applied in a fixed dose; it has to be measured to meet the needs of the individual’s role. Trust is a medicine that has to be applied carefully in prescribed doses based on role, policy and circumstance. Just as you shouldn’t just gulp down an entire prescription when leaving the pharmacy assuming it will cure the problem in one go, so to you can’t just apply blanket privileges to users throughout your organization and expect that to solve your potential insider breach problem.

If you’ve read the marketing propaganda delivered by most operating system vendors, you have seen that they would like you to believe that their latest version will solve every problem known to exist just short of world hunger and world peace in the process. It behooves you therefore to be aware of many glaring gaps that Windows exposes in privileged identity management.

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Additional articles

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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