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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.

Time Is Of The Essence When Implementing Security Best Practices

Posted October 18, 2011    Peter McCalister

Six years ago the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized the IRS for lax security practices. Now it would seem that six years is plenty of time to get the right security policies in place, but while the IRS is showing progress, it has yet to remediate 65 of the 88 previously reported weaknesses – and now the most recent GAO audit has turned up 37 new weaknesses to add to the list. This news affects every tax-paying citizen in the U.S., as all of our information is at risk, and it’s a good example of why every organization needs to be paying attention to their own security policies.

It was reported that many of these security deficiencies are related to access control, configuration management and segregation of duties. Every day that employee responsibilities are not clearly defined and the right least privilege policies are not in place, the IRS, is putting their sensitive information – OUR sensitive information – at risk. Security weaknesses in these critical areas increase the risk of insider threats, both accidental and intentional.

Six years is way too long to know there are gaping holes in your security without taking steps to fix the problems. There isn’t time to waste, as every day that goes by without a security breach is just dumb luck. Organizations, including the IRS, need to take action now to implement comprehensive security plans, starting by getting least privilege and segregation-of-duty policies in place right away.

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Additional articles

How To Implement The Australian Signals Directorate’s Top 4 Strategies

Posted October 20, 2014    Morey Haber

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), also known as the Defence Signals Directorate, has developed a list of strategies to mitigate targeted cyber intrusions. The recommended strategies were developed through ASD’s extensive experience in operational cyber security, including responding to serious security intrusions and performing vulnerability assessments and penetration testing for Australian government agencies. These recommendations…

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Exploiting MS14-059 because sometimes XSS is fun, sometimes…

Posted October 17, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This October, Microsoft has provided a security update for System.Web.Mvc.dll which addresses a ‘Security Feature Bypass’. The vulnerability itself is in ASP.NET MVC technology and given its wide adoption we thought we would take a closer look. Referring to the bulletin we can glean a few useful pieces of information: “A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists…

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Four Best Practices for Passing Privileged Account Audits

Posted October 16, 2014    Chris Burd

Like most IT organizations, your team may periodically face the “dreaded” task of being audited. Your process for delegating privileged access to desktops, servers, and infrastructure devices is a massive target for the auditor’s microscope. An audit’s findings can have significant implications on technology and business strategy, so it’s critical to make sure you’re prepared…

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