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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.

We’ll Cross that Active Directory Bridge When We Come to it

Posted July 8, 2011    Peter McCalister

It seems like you can’t turn on the news or surf the web without hearing about yet another data breach or information security attack, all of which lead to further consumer unrest and corporate concern about the protection of their own sensitive data. The security structure within most organizations generally provides a multitude of security mechanisms designed to provide protection of sensitive information, but with so many different aspects of security to consider, IT administrators and security officers need to be sure not to overlook the Active Directory.

Earlier this week we announced the acquisition of Likewise Software’s Enterprise and Likewise Open products, expanding our portfolio of inside perimeter privilege delegation, monitoring and auditing solutions to include authentication and auditing management for cloud environments. While designing a secure Active Directory infrastructure is not a simple task, it’s one that is well worth the investment for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

-Eliminate plain-text passwords or replace basic authentication with Kerberos – a problem that Sony faced during April’s data breach of PSN customers
-Replace a Network Information Service (NIS) environment, an obsolete and insecure directory service
-Provide a common, highly secure authentication framework for a heterogeneous network
-Control access to sensitive resources
-Limit access to different servers and other computing assets to privileged users
-Give Windows users single sign-on to intranets and applications running on Unix servers

Active Directory Bridge products are a valuable tool for the IT department; however it’s critical to take precautions to ensure protection of the Active Directory as part of a larger security infrastructure. We’ve reached the bridge, now it’s time to cross it.

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