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

Leave a Reply

Additional articles


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.

3d image Data Breach issues concept word cloud background

Experian/T-Mobile Data Breach: When 2 Days is not Enough

Posted October 2, 2015    Morey Haber

On October 1, Experian admitted full responsibility for the loss of T-Mobile customer data. 15 million user records dating back to 2013 were effected in the breach, with data including sensitive information that may be decryptable like social security numbers and drivers licenses.