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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.

Think You’re Safe from Internal Threats? The NSA Breach Will Make You Think Twice.

Posted June 13, 2013    Rod Simmons

When reading a recent article in the USA Today about how Edward Snowden, a former Booz Allen Hamilton employee and NSA contractor, was able to steal sensitive data via non-specific vectors, I was reminded of the illusion that threats are predominately external to organizations. Even though we might not know exactly how Snowden was able to access sensitive information, we do know that internal threats are as considerable a problem as external threats.  Tools like PowerBroker Unix & Linux, PowerBroker for Windows, PowerBroker PasswordSafe and/or PowerBroker Database help mitigate privilege related risk. We recently did a webinar on How to Manage and Secure Privileged Accounts, which highlights the technical and business challenges organization are faced with as they try to control access to sensitive data.

There is nothing technically savvy about taking advantages of a company’s inability to recognize the importance of privileged accounts. Organization need to do an internal audit and ask themselves:

  • Do we need a better way to manage our privileged accounts?
  • Should some accounts be put into a password safe and require workflow approval for access?
  • Should we delegate using a policy of what, when, where, and under what conditions people can do without exposing the root password?
  • Should we audit and report on all database activities?

If you did not know, the only right answer to these questions is “yes”.

At the end of the day, you have to trust your employees and contractors. Given the NSA likely does better background checks than any organization, some things cannot be avoided. However, that does not mean you can ignore the importance of securing your organization starting with privileged accounts, along with proactive vulnerability assessment and prioritized patching.

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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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