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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.

You And I: The Not So Obvious Insider Threat

Posted December 6, 2011    Peter McCalister

Remember the scene in Jerry Maguire where he has returned to his office to collect his stuff, after learning he has been let go, and he has a bit of a freak-out on the way out the door, grabbing the goldfish and making bold claims about the company he is going to build that will ruin his former employer?

For most of us, that is the perfect visual of a disgruntled former employee and potential insider threat, raising our red flags to immediately take action to remove any and all access privileges that employee had.

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But what about the threats which are in much more mundane packaging? The threats posed by you and me – employees that would never dream of deliberately causing harm to our employer, but that pose just as great a risk of an insider threat, albeit accidental. Over privileged and poorly monitored, these employees have the potential to cause as much damage as the obviously disgruntled.

While the percent of breaches that happen by accident is substantially less than the percent of intentional insider threats, according to the 2011 Verizon Data Breach Report, it is important not to overlook this possibility and to ensure that the right privilege identity management policies are in place. A simple misdirected email, such as the case with Stanford Hospital is all the proof you need that accidental insider breaches can happen, to anyone, at any time and the only way to thwart them is to implement strategic corporate security policies with least privilege.

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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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