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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.

Who Controls Your Favorite Personal Computing Device?

Posted April 1, 2011    Peter McCalister

As a longtime Blackberry user I have been looking forward to the release of the Blackberry Playbook. With many of my colleagues using tablets, particularly iPads, I have been getting a little jealous of what they could do. So in addition to the excitement about RIM setting a release date I also noted the excitement about the announcement that the Playbook will support Android Apps.

That announcement also got me wondering if I can continue to be confident in the levels of security I have come to expect with my Blackberry. As a security conscious IT user, I always felt good about the enterprise quality security Blackberry provided. Even though I own my Blackberry Bold I figured I didn’t need to worry too much about anti-virus or add-on security software.  But the highly publicized problems with DroidDream malware highlighted the vulnerability of the Android platform without a least privilege solution.

It’s not that Android is particularly insecure. We have seen these kind of problems on desktops and servers. Control of access to the administrative account is a critical part of security on every platform. In fact Android has a well developed security model that includes application isolation and a fine-grained permission mechanism that enforces restrictions on the specific operations that a particular process can perform. These are advanced features that are considered best practices for desktop security.

The bigger problem these events point out is who has the responsibility for keeping personal computing devices secure. The increasingly popular bring your own comparer to work model seems like a good deal for everyone. You get to carry one device that fits you best and IT saves a lot of work buying and provisioning hardware. But what happens when you merge personal and business data and sometimes apps on employee owned devices? Who’s responsible for security and controls what applications run on the device? These aren’t easy questions, but ones that needs to be answered by every company that takes endpoint security seriously.

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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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