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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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Big Surprise: Cost of Data Breaches Up; Are you Doing the *Right* Things to Mitigate the Costs?

Posted May 28, 2015    Scott Lang

Ponemon Institute Cost of Data Breach Study – costs are going up – to the tune of a 23% increase in total costs of data breaches, and a 12% increase in per-record cost since 2013. Are you doing the right things to mitigate costs?

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The tip of the IRS data breach – and it IS an iceberg

Posted May 27, 2015    Morey Haber

The IRS has been warned for decades about their security best practices. And now, at least 100,000 Americans have had their records compromised. How? The IRS uses a service called “Get Transcript”.

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Tales from the Datacenter: Vulnerability Management Nightmares

Posted May 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Vulnerability scanning, threat management, risk analysis, patching, and configuration management are some of the major activities usually associated with vulnerability management, and none of these are new…so why are we failing so badly at many of them?

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