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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

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Don’t Create a Different sudoers File for Each System

Posted May 20, 2015    Randy Franklin Smith

What if you have multiple Linux and/or Unix systems? Sudo management can become onerous and unwieldy if you try to manage a different sudoers file on each system. The good news is that sudo supports multiple systems.

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What Does Microsoft Local Administrator Password Solution Really Do?

Posted May 19, 2015    Morey Haber

LAPS is a feature that allows the randomization of local administrator accounts across the domain. Although it would seem that this capability overlaps with features in BeyondTrust’s PowerBroker Password Safe (PBPS), the reality is it is more suited for simple use cases such as changing the local Windows admin account and not much more.

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On Demand Webinar: Securing Windows Server with Security Compliance Manager

Posted May 14, 2015    BeyondTrust Software

On Demand Webinar: Security Expert Russell Smith, explains how to use Microsoft’s free Security Compliance Manager (SCM) tool to create and deploy your own security baselines, including user and computer authentication settings.

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