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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

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Webinar March 4th: Recreating the Carbanak Breach & Techniques for Mitigating Similar Attacks

Posted March 3, 2015    Lindsay Marsh

Join BeyondTrust Research and Development team for an in-depth live webinar that will explore the attack vectors used in the Carbanak Bank Breach and share successful mitigation techniques needed to prevent this type of attack.

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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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