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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.

What The Dickens Can I Do To Secure My Servers?

Posted February 9, 2012    Peter McCalister

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” these opening words of A Tale of Two Cities (1859), a novel by Charles Dickens, have always stayed with me. While these words were written over 150 years ago they resonate with me when I talk to IT security professionals. There is plenty of technology focused on IT security and yet through accidental or intentional misuse of privilege, data breaches still occur. Does our current age of security wisdom have us acting foolishly believing that our systems and data are secure? Do the security breach headlines reflect the weaknesses in IT security implementations?

Privilege access can be controlled and your critical business systems can be protected. Implementing least privilege for UNIX, Linux and Mac OS X systems will provide more centralized and better protection of your systems and data. Implementing least privilege will ensure that your staff doesn’t access systems using root and puts the checks and balances in place through centralized logging.

Many organizations use sudo as the first step to allow users to run programs with the security privileges of root. This is a good first step, however many organizations find that the manageability and security of sudo won’t meet their needs. The need to go to each machine to update sudoer files and to collect logs hinders the productivity of system engineers. The ability for the super user to alter sudo logs just doesn’t meet the security requirements of many organizations. What is required is a simpler more secure method to secure privileged access. Implementing a robust least privilege solution for UNIX, Linux and Mac OS X will provide centralized accountability, management and reporting and meet the compliance requirements of PCI DSS, HIPPA, FISMA and other regulations.

PowerBroker Servers least privilege solutions from BeyondTrust securely delegate privileges and authorization without disclosing the root password on UNIX, Linux, and Mac OS X platforms. PowerBroker Servers controls user activity flexibly and efficiently through fined-grained policies that can invoke virtually any action through scripting, from initiating an email approval workflow to validating a help desk ticket. PowerBroker Servers controls permissions transparently, ensuring user productivity without sacrificing security or compliance. PowerBroker Servers also logs all session activity down to the keystroke level to comply with internal and external compliance requirements. PowerBroker sudo converter makes it easy to migrate from sudo to PowerBroker Servers.

You can protectect your critical business systems by implementing a robust least privilege for UNIX, Linux and Mac OS X systems.

“Security can only be achieved through constant change, through discarding old ideas that have outlived their usefulness and adapting others to current facts.”
– William O. Douglas (1898 – 1980) U.S. Supreme Court Justice

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Additional articles

How To Implement The Australian Signals Directorate’s Top 4 Strategies

Posted October 20, 2014    Morey Haber

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), also known as the Defence Signals Directorate, has developed a list of strategies to mitigate targeted cyber intrusions. The recommended strategies were developed through ASD’s extensive experience in operational cyber security, including responding to serious security intrusions and performing vulnerability assessments and penetration testing for Australian government agencies. These recommendations…

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Exploiting MS14-059 because sometimes XSS is fun, sometimes…

Posted October 17, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This October, Microsoft has provided a security update for System.Web.Mvc.dll which addresses a ‘Security Feature Bypass’. The vulnerability itself is in ASP.NET MVC technology and given its wide adoption we thought we would take a closer look. Referring to the bulletin we can glean a few useful pieces of information: “A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists…

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Four Best Practices for Passing Privileged Account Audits

Posted October 16, 2014    Chris Burd

Like most IT organizations, your team may periodically face the “dreaded” task of being audited. Your process for delegating privileged access to desktops, servers, and infrastructure devices is a massive target for the auditor’s microscope. An audit’s findings can have significant implications on technology and business strategy, so it’s critical to make sure you’re prepared…

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