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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Treat The Symptom Or Cure The Disease

Posted August 3, 2011    Peter McCalister

When virus outbreaks, data thefts and other security breaches impact an organizations computing systems, most will treat the symptoms instead of curing the disease. Treating the symptoms might include updating security software or policies, adding additional layers of security technology, and possibly locking down users so tightly that their productivity suffers.

Unfortunately, most will not address the fundamental underlying disease of users who run with excessive privileges. It is well established that running with excessive privileges on any computing platform is a big security risk. Enforcing the principal of least privilege is a key element of a robust security stance in any organization and should be one of the most important treatment to help cure the disease.

To use a metaphor: If I sneeze, will you give me a tissue and send me on my way? Will you give me cold medicine? How about allergy medicine? Without knowing the cause, “the disease”, then reacting to the sneeze, “the symptom”, will ultimately result in a response that may be over-kill or under-kill.

Knowing that excessive privilege is a key “disease” within your organization will allow you to take more proactive steps in dealing with the situation in the most cost effective manner, neither over or under compensating with your coporation’s information technology security.

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Additional articles

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Best Practices for Managing Domain Admin Accounts

Posted August 3, 2015    Russell Smith

The risks of using privileged domain accounts on devices that are not secured to the same level as DCs increases the chances that domain administrator credentials could be exposed. Windows caches credentials by default to authenticate users when a domain controller can’t be reached, including those of domain administrator accounts that have previously logged in to a device. As such, a compromised workstation or member server can also lead to stolen domain administrator credentials.

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PowerBroker for Mac: A Least-Privileged Apple a Day…

Posted July 27, 2015    Jason Silva

BeyondTrust PowerBroker for Mac reduces the risk of privilege misuse by enabling standard users on Mac OS X to perform administrative tasks successfully without entering elevated credentials.

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On Demand Webinar – Now is the time for Privileged Account Management

Posted July 24, 2015    BeyondTrust Software

In this webinar, SANS Instructor and Founder of Voodoo Security, Dave Shackleford, will revisit several hacking and breach scenarios that involved privileged accounts, and use these as examples while discussing tools and tactics to get this problem under control once and for all.

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