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Top 10 Reasons To Implement Least Privilege for Virtualized Servers

Posted December 10, 2010    Peter McCalister

In the spirit of keeping blog posts informative, short and fun, this one takes a cue from David Letterman in format.  So without further fanfare or wasted space… the Top 10 Reasons to Implement Least Privilege for Virtualized Servers are:

#10 – Sam, the CSO can now sleep nights knowing that excess privileges in virtualized environments will no longer be responsible for failing a SOX, HIPAA, PCI, DSS, GLBA or FDCC and FISMA audit (even though he isn’t required to even deal with the last two).

#9 – Andy the Auditor can get a full report of who has what entitlements, even across virtualized environments, to instantly satisfy compliance successfully instead of taking weeks of manual effort.

#8 – Ted in Tech Support won’t be able to reset file and directory permissions on any virtual server he has admin rights to so liberally that anyone with a login can access confidential data just because it makes his job easier.

#7 – Sid in Development won’t be able to download Apache applications or any otherunauthorized open source “tools” and potentially inject malware into our corporate network because he was able to commandeer his own virtual server admin credentials.

#6 – Fiona and Felix, our new VMWare administrators, won’t keeping making the sameView Composer enablement mistake.

#5 – Vito, the ever-industrious programmer and closet gamer, will not be able to run Runescape bots on our corporate virtual servers.

#4 – Alice, our outsourced VM support engineer, will no longer be responsible for DNS misconfiguration errors as her role won’t facilitate this level of admin privilege.

#3 – Fred in IT won’t be able to steal company data from our virtual servers like thatGoldman programmer and sell it to a competitor for $1M.

#2 – Sarah, the CIO, will no longer have to fear that virtual sprawl will be the next topic for a board review because policies weren’t enforced at the hypervisor admin level.

#1 – Tony, the Palo Alto VMWare administrator, will no longer be able clone virtual servers with sensitive data and then delete and remount them to bypass security and steal company secrets.

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