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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

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How to Audit VMware ESX and ESXi Servers Against the VMware Hardening Guidelines with Retina CS

Posted February 27, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Retina CS Enterprise Vulnerability Management has included advanced VMware auditing capabilities for some time, including virtual machine discovery and scanning through a cloud connection, plus the ability to scan ESX and ESXi hosts using SSH. However, in response to recent security concerns associated with SSH, VMware has disabled SSH by default in its more recent…

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Privileged Passwords: The Bane of Security Professionals Everywhere

Posted February 19, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Passwords have been with us since ancient times. Known as “watchwords”, ancient Roman military guards would pass a wooden tablet with a daily secret word engraved from one shift to the next, with each guard position marking the tablet to indicate it had been received. The military has been using passwords, counter-passwords, and even sound…

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Privileged Account Management Process

In Vulnerability Management, Process is King

Posted February 18, 2015    Morey Haber

You have a vulnerability scanner, but where’s your process? Most organizations are rightly concerned about possible vulnerabilities in their systems, applications, networked devices, and other digital assets and infrastructure components. Identifying vulnerabilities is indeed important, and most security professionals have some kind of scanning solution in place. But what is most essential to understand is…

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