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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

PowerBroker for Unix & Linux helps prevent Shellshock

Posted September 25, 2014    Paul Harper

Like many other people who tinker with UNIX and Linux on a regular basis, BASH has always been my shell of choice.  Dating back to the early days moving from Windows to a non-Windows platform, mapping the keys correctly to allow easy navigation and control helped ensure an explosion of use for the shell. Unfortunately,…

Bash “Shellshock” Vulnerability – Retina Updates

Posted September 24, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

A major vulnerability was recently discovered within bash which allows arbitrary command execution via specially crafted environment variables. This is possible due to the fact that bash supports the assignment of shell functions to shell variables. When bash parses environment shell functions, it continues parsing even after the closing brace of the function definition. If…

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7 Reasons Customers Switch to Password Safe for Privileged Password Management

Posted September 24, 2014    Chris Burd

It’s clear that privileged password management tools are essential for keeping mission-critical data, servers and assets safe and secure. However, as I discussed in my previous post, there are several pitfalls to look out for when deploying a privileged password management solution. At this point, you may be wondering how BeyondTrust stacks up. With that,…

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