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


Closing the Vulnerability Gap

Posted October 7, 2015    Brian Chappell

Managing vulnerabilities is a significant challenge for many organizations. The main difficulties with managing this manifest in two key areas. The first is that the list isn’t static. The second is priority.


Scottrade Breach: Identified by Federal Officials

Posted October 5, 2015    Morey Haber

Late afternoon on October 2nd, news leaked out of another large security breach, now at Scottrade. The identity count of records, in the millions again (4.6 million is the latest). This breach comes on the second day of national CyberSecurity month, the first being Experian/T-Mobile breach.

3d image Data Breach issues concept word cloud background

Experian/T-Mobile Data Breach: When 2 Days is not Enough

Posted October 2, 2015    Morey Haber

On October 1, Experian admitted full responsibility for the loss of T-Mobile customer data. 15 million user records dating back to 2013 were effected in the breach, with data including sensitive information that may be decryptable like social security numbers and drivers licenses.