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.

What Hackers Don’t Want You To Know About User Privileges

Posted March 9, 2011    Peter McCalister

Believe it or there are people out there that aspire to be hackers.  Not just the run of the mill, crack a password or two, but a bona fide Neo who can play with your secure data like a personal version of the matrix.

These would be data pirates and malcontents have websites that teach them their craft and even annual conferences like DEFCON to compare tips, tricks and vulnerabilities.  They are more organized than the average business executive or auditor realizes and they are inspired by nothing short of total access to any and everything on the information super highway, especially what is hidden within your  servers and on any one of your user’s desktops.

The recurring theme and core principal is basically to find access to admin credentials and you own the keys to the kingdom.  So, when users are granted excessive privileges (admin on desktops, root on servers) then you have an environment just begging for a hacker to attack.

Patient to Doctor: Doctor, doctor, when I do this it hurts

Doctor to Patient: Then don’t do it!

Sage advice that hackers don’t want you to know: if you don’t grant admin rights, you don’t run the risk of someone stealing them, hijacking them or even intentionally misusing them from inside.

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Additional articles


Answering the age-old question, ‘What’s plugged into my network?’

Posted October 9, 2015    Alejandro DaCosta

“What’s plugged into my network?” is a question I hear frequently from security administrators. And, really, it’s no surprise why. No longer do we have to account just for the physical servers in our datacenters, workstations and a few network devices. Now we need to keep track of roaming laptops, dynamic virtual systems, off-site cloud deployments and BYOD.


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.