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

There is No Patch For Stupidity

Posted January 24, 2011    Peter McCalister

No, I’m not talking about a Boy or Girl Scout patch (or merit badge) now awarded for making dumb errors with information technology at work.  I’m referring to the ever present vendor tech support cry of “just install the patch” whenever something goes wrong.

In this case, the patch is a “fix” for the buggy software that invariably caused some loss of data and/or productivity.  But what happens when the error is human error?  Unfortunately there are no “patches” for that, unless you count getting rid of said employee and replacing him/her with someone smarter.  A common cry of helps desk personnel worldwide is PEBKAC! If you forgot what that means then remind yourself at this post on Reducing Help Desk Costs Is a Least Privilege Benefit.

Accidents happen and if you are still providing excessive privileges to your desktop/laptop users or server/network/database/cloud/virtual administrators, then you are at risk of the accidental misuse of privilege.  Sometimes these accidents can cause harm that is newsworthy.  In this instance you not only have to deal with the problems created, but the public fall out that follows from the press and blogosphere.

First you need to eliminate admin rights on windows desktops and root privileges off of servers, then you implement a privilege identity management solution to create a “least privilege” environment such that no one will have enough permission to cause harm if they misuse their privileges.  In this way you can mitigate the severity of potential user stupidity and not have to deal with the help desk crying PEBKAC or fear an unpleasant expose in the Wall St Journal, local paper, wikileaks.com or the blogosphere.

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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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patch-tuesday

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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