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The Intersection of Policy, Technology & People

Posted May 16, 2011    Peter McCalister

Lot’s of things come in threes. You can’t get fire unless you have heat, fuel and oxygen and a great swing just needs a tree, a tire and some rope. Turns out that you also can’t get to a least privilege environment unless you’ve dealt with the intersection of policy, technology and people.

Achieving least privilege isn’t as elusive as one might perceive and it certainly is one of the key requirements to eliminate the misuse of privilege throughout the extended enterprise (physical servers and desktops, cloud and virtual environments) or to greatly mitigate the risk of an insider breach. We have reported extensively on the cost of intentional, accidental and indirect misuse of privilege as well as highlighted numerous examples where insider breaches have cost organizations millions of dollars in the blog over the last year.

So why is it that most organizations still struggle with the decision to implement a least privilege solution let alone the steps necessary to implement it correctly? All too often, the solution is simple if one just steps back and chooses not to over-complicate the requirements. In this case the 3 step process would be:

Decide to invest in eliminating insider threats with as much tenacity and urgency as you have in preventing outsider threats.
Determine which roles (people) should have access/authorization to do what (policy) and implement a least privilege solution (technology) that enforces those policies to those people.
Monitor, measure and refine for further improvements as well as satisfy governance and compliance audit requirements.

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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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