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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.

WikiLeaks: The Disease or the Symptom?

Posted December 7, 2010    Peter McCalister

How much press will we have to endure on the significant problems created by WikiLeaks and the public lynching of those who perpetrate these leaks before we realize that if you give someone an inch (excessive admin rights) they will take a mile (misuse that privilege)?

To use a metaphor: If I sneeze, will you give me a tissue and send me on my way?  Will you give me cold medicine?  How about allergy medicine?  Without knowing the cause, “the disease“, then reacting to the sneeze, “the symptom“, will ultimately result in a response that may be over-kill or under-kill.

Some journalists do get it.  Mike Martin at TechNewsWorld published an insighful story titled WikiLeaks Wrangling May Be Escalating Into Cyberwar.  He rightly points out that “the Wikileaks controversary could be devolving into a wiki-war.”

So why is it that every journalist seems to be focused on the symptom, “the leak”, instead of the disease, the “intentional misuse of privilege” caused by “excess admin rights”?

Implemening a privilege identity management solution and eliminating admin rights from servers, desktops, network devices, virtual servers and cloud environments is a strong move in the right direction to ensure that everyone in your organizaton only has access to what they should have based on corporate policy, thus ensureing governance and regulatory compliance and limiting to potential for other “leaks” from your organization.

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Additional articles

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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