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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

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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