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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

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How to Audit VMware ESX and ESXi Servers Against the VMware Hardening Guidelines with Retina CS

Posted February 27, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Retina CS Enterprise Vulnerability Management has included advanced VMware auditing capabilities for some time, including virtual machine discovery and scanning through a cloud connection, plus the ability to scan ESX and ESXi hosts using SSH. However, in response to recent security concerns associated with SSH, VMware has disabled SSH by default in its more recent…

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Privileged Passwords: The Bane of Security Professionals Everywhere

Posted February 19, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Passwords have been with us since ancient times. Known as “watchwords”, ancient Roman military guards would pass a wooden tablet with a daily secret word engraved from one shift to the next, with each guard position marking the tablet to indicate it had been received. The military has been using passwords, counter-passwords, and even sound…

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Privileged Account Management Process

In Vulnerability Management, Process is King

Posted February 18, 2015    Morey Haber

You have a vulnerability scanner, but where’s your process? Most organizations are rightly concerned about possible vulnerabilities in their systems, applications, networked devices, and other digital assets and infrastructure components. Identifying vulnerabilities is indeed important, and most security professionals have some kind of scanning solution in place. But what is most essential to understand is…

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