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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

Are Your Data Security Efforts Focused in the Right Area?

Posted January 28, 2015    Scott Lang

Vormetric Data Security recently released an insider threat report, with research conducted by HarrisPoll and analyzed by Ovum. Based on the survey responses, it is apparent that there is still a great deal of insecurity over data. However, the results also show that there may be misplaced investments to address those insecurities. I will explain…

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GHOST Vulnerability…Scary Indeed

Posted January 28, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

A vulnerability discovered by Qualys security researchers has surfaced within the GNU C Library that affects virtually all Linux operating systems. The vulnerability lies within the various gethostbyname*() functions and, as such, has been dubbed “GHOST.” GHOST is particularly nasty considering remote, arbitrary code execution can be achieved. In an effort to avoid taxing DNS lookups, glibc developers introduced…

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Your New Years Resolution: Controlling Privileged Users

Posted January 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Is 2015 the year you get a better handle on security? The news last year was grim – so much so, in fact, that many in the information security community despaired a bit. Really, the end-of-the-year infosec cocktail parties were a bit glum. OK, let’s be honest, infosec cocktail parties are usually not that wild…

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