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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.

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

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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