Introducing Secret Server 8.5 Pt. 5: PowerShell 3

17 04 2014

Secret Server 8.5 adds a number of new features and functionality. These new features are pretty awesome, so we decided this release deserves a little extra showcasing. Each Thursday post since the 8.5 release highlighted a new Secret Server feature. Check out our previous posts to learn how 8.5 will increase your team’s overall security and productivity. This week we’re finishing up our series with the benefits of PowerShell 3.

Secret Server has an  increasing list of built-in password changers for a wide variety of platforms, including Active Directory, Windows/Unix/Mac, networking devices, databases, and any platform that can connect with an SSH/TELNET connection. Also, Secret Server can update many service/application account dependencies out-of-the-box.

However, there can be unique password changing dependencies, such as when actions have to be daisy-chained after a password change, like restarting a specific device or application. For those situations, PowerShell provides additional flexibility to save time and maintain security.

With the 8.5 release of Secret Server, and the upgrade to .NET 4.5, Secret Server now makes use of the full PowerShell 3 capabilities. The main benefit of this upgrade is eliminating PowerShell’s “Double-Hop” issue, where PowerShell did not allow users to log into one platform (in this case Secret Server) and then jump to another server with those credentials. Now, PowerShell scripts can authenticate Active Directory credentials over multiple connections. This allows you to run PowerShell with an Active Directory Secret to perform multiple tasks across the network. This will be useful for organizations that need to update custom dependencies after a password change, such as SharePoint and IIS metadata. Get full instruction on avoiding PowerShell Double-Hop here.

Want to learn more about using PowerShell with Secret Server? Check out instruction for using PowerShell with Secret Server.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the latest enhancements to Secret Server with our latest release. Of all the 8.5 features, which is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below. If there is still a Secret Server feature you still wish to see, be sure to cast your vote here.





Introducing Secret Server 8.5 Pt. 4: SSH Proxy

10 04 2014

Secret Server 8.5 adds a number of new features and functionality. These new features are pretty awesome, so we decided this release deserves a little extra showcasing. Check back each week through April to learn something new about 8.5 and how it will increase your team’s overall security and productivity. This week we take a look at using Secret Server as a proxy for your SSH Launchers. Enjoy!

Secret Server’s SSH Proxy feature, added with version 8.5, allows increased security of the servers you connect to through SSH. This feature forces any SSH connection made through a Secret Server Launcher to be proxied through your Secret Server web server.

Proxing through Secret Server gives you two major benefits: The ability to enter just one IP address (your Secret Server IP) as an approved SSH connection for your servers and the opportunity for keystroke logging once an SSH session is initiated. This means that instead of including a number of your users’ client machine IP ranges, you can now specify your single Secret Server IP. Once sessions are initiated, you will also get enhanced session monitoring abilities through keystroke logs.

Configuring proxying in Secret Server is simple:

Specify your bind IP address, public host information, and port. Then create a banner to be displayed to users whenever they make an SSH connection through Secret Server. You have the option to provide a host private key or generate a new one.

If you want, you can enable an Inactivity Timeout to control how long a proxied Launcher session can remain idle before the connection is automatically closed.

SSHProxy

Improved Session Monitoring

Whether your SSH Launchers use proxying or not, Session Monitoring (covered in Part 1 of our Introducing Secret Server 8.5 series) is a feature that will help you keep track of (and optionally, terminate) your users’ launched sessions.

SSHProxy

However, proxying your SSH connections through Secret Server provides the added capability to record and then save or search through text from the SSH session.

SSHProxy

Launchers compatible with SSH Proxying

The SSH Proxying feature applies to not only the PuTTY Launcher, but any custom Launchers you create, such as SecureCRT. Just select Proxied SSH Process as the Launcher type when configuring the custom Launcher in Secret Server.

Don’t worry, our Secret Server 8.5 blog post series is not over yet! Next week we’ll be covering changes to PowerShell.





Introducing Secret Server 8.5 Pt. 3: Better Access Control with Secret Server Group Ownership

3 04 2014

Secret Server 8.5 adds a number of new features and functionality. These new features are pretty awesome, so we decided this release deserves a little extra showcasing. Check back each week through April to learn something new about 8.5 and how it will increase your team’s overall security and productivity. Today’s post focuses on implementing better user access control with Group Ownership. Enjoy!

This week we’re spotlighting the Group Ownership feature. Remember when giving a user group administration privileges meant trusting them with access to membership for all groups in Secret Server? That practice is long gone. Now, administrators can delegate group membership privileges to other users for their specific groups only. The result? Less burden on Secret Server administrators to manage groups, and more control for teams over their own individual groups.

Underlying Concept

Ready for the details? Here’s how it works:

An administrator (or any user with the Administer Groups role permission), chooses a local group to edit. By default, the group is managed by “Group Administrators,” but administrators can now select one or more “Group Owners” to manage the group instead. Group Owners can be multiple individuals and/or other groups. Once a group has been switched to the “Group Owners” model, Group Administrators will no longer have inherent permissions to make any changes to that group. As soon as a user is designated a Group Owner, they’re automatically assigned the Group Owner role. The Group Owner role will allow them to access the Groups administration page, where they will see only the groups they’re an owner of and have the ability to add or remove group member and owners.

Secret Server Group Edit Group Edit Secret Server

Control Folder/Secret Permissions using Group Membership

With the addition of Group Ownership, delegating Secret and Role permissions becomes a more streamlined process. After providing a group permissions to a specific folder and then assigning a Group Owner, the Group Owner will be able to manage membership of the group, which effectively controls permissions to that folder of Secrets.

Secret Server Folder Name

Stay tuned next week for a look at the new SSH Proxy features! Hopefully you’ve had a chance to test drive the new 8.5 features in Secret Server, what do you think? Do you have a favorite 8.5 feature? Share your favorites in the comment section below.

 





Thycotic Partners with LogRhythm to Offer Continued SIEM Support for Customers

1 04 2014

In our ever expanding ecosystem of technology integration alliances, Thycotic has added another leader in SIEM technology to our list of out-of-the-box integrations. Now, Secret Server event logs integrate with LogRhythm’s Security Intelligence Engine to improve network visibility for users.

LogRhythm’s Security Intelligence Platform is known for combining enterprise-class SIEM, log management, file integrity monitoring and machine analytics to provide broad and deep visibility across an organization’s entire IT environment. Using Syslog format, Secret Server can ship important syslog data into LogRhythm to compare events and ensure a more successful audit for your organization. By pairing Secret Server with LogRhythm, administrators can better monitor successful and failed user logins to privileged accounts, secret expirations and unsanctioned changes to administrator privileges.

Out of the box, Secret Server comes standard with 44 different events tracking more than 20 unique data fields, as well as the ability to create custom events based on your organization’s security policy.

A few examples of SIEM events that come standard with Secret Server.

A few examples of SIEM events that come standard with Secret Server.

Implementing an enterprise-class privileged account management tool such as Secret Server with a SIEM solution not only helps organizations reach password compliance and mitigate risk, but also removes the complexities associated with the management and monitoring of privileged account credentials across a network.

For more information on how to successfully integrate SIEM solutions with Secret Server, read our Value of SIEM blog post and integration guide here.





Introducing Secret Server 8.5 Pt. 1: Session Recording Retention and Session Monitoring

25 03 2014

Secret Server 8.5 adds a number of new features and functionality. These new features are pretty awesome, so we decided this release deserves a little extra showcasing. Check back each week through April to learn something new about 8.5 and how it will increase your team’s overall security and productivity. Today we are going to focus on taking control of launched sessions. Enjoy!

While every action to a Secret is audited, administrators of the Enterprise Plus edition have the option to add Session Recording for sensitive accounts or servers. For those of you who are not already familiar with this feature, Session Recording records a video of the session launched from Secret Server and stores it in the Secret audit.

Introducing Session Monitoring:

Those of you with security responsibilities get excited, because 8.5 brings you a whole new level of control. Session Monitoring is a new feature that gives Secret Server administrators the ability to see what sessions currently are open.

Administrators now have a real-time view of all the sessions launched from Secret Server, can watch the live feed of a session, and terminate sessions immediately or send a message directly to the user. Imagine seeing a list of active sessions directly from your dashboard, be able to stream the live video feed and end the session immediately, or send a note, like, “Hey Bob, I need the server. Can you finish up soon?”

SessionMonitoring_Image2

Session Recording Enhancements:

With the 8.5 release, we added Microsoft Video Codec 9 to our list of available codecs (joining XVID, DIVX and Microsoft Video Codec 1). We also changed how the sessions are stored, to give you more storage space flexibility.

Why did we do this? Depending on how many sessions you record, how long each session lasts, and what video codec was used, video recordings can take up a lot of space within the Secret Server database!

What did we change to make this better? First, we now allow administrators to choose where session recordings are stored, whether in the database or a disk. Second, we now have a configurable expiration date for videos. Once a video is expired, Secret Server will automatically purge the old recording, freeing up your disk space.

Session_Retention

Secret Server Session Recording Edit

Stay tuned next week…

Secret Server 8.5 is packed with features to improve functionality and your security options. Check back next week to learn more about 8.5. Want a sneak peek? We’ll be discussing performance enhancements to Discovery, Remote Password Changing and Heartbeat. Do you already have a favorite 8.5 feature? Let us know in the comments!

 





IT’s TIME: Update Those Security Settings with PowerShell

18 03 2014

Secret Server 8.4, released in January, included additional ways to update Secret security settings via the web services API. This week, we’ll show you how to use PowerShell to access the Secret Server web services API and configure security settings for Secrets.

Web Service security settings: What’s available?

The web services API can help you configure Remote Password Changing and advanced security settings, including:

capture3

These settings correspond to those you will see in the browser interface on the Remote Password Changing and Security tabs of a Secret.

The sample script we’ll use today creates a new Secret and then updates it to use the Require Approval for Access security setting. Because this setting also requires Approvers, our PowerShell script includes parameters to set both a user and a group as approvers. For the entire script, see our KB article HERE.

Review: Authentication

First, provide your Secret Server URL in the script. You’ll be prompted for your Secret Server login credentials at runtime:

Webservices1

If you’re using a domain account, add a similar line for the domain. See Using Web Services with Windows Authentication (PowerShell) if you use Integrated Windows Authentication.

Generating Passwords

Utilize the password generator to create new, randomized passwords when you aren’t using an already-existing password:

Webservices2

Create the Secret

Create a Secret by providing the Template ID, new Secret name, field ID’s and value, and destination folder with the AddSecret method. Helper functions findFieldId, findTemplate and findFolderId take care of automating the process of determining ID’s, if you don’t already know these ID values.

Webservices3

Update Secret security settings

Once your new Secret has been created, modify its security settings using the result of AddSecret. In this case, we’ll utilize another method to obtain the object type necessary for adding groups and users, and create new records (one for a user, one for a group). Then we’ll add them to the Secret as approvers:

Webservices4

Finally, we’ll use the UpdateSecret method to apply our new security settings to the same Secret we created earlier.

Keep errors in check!

Don’t forget to use an error-checking function to assist with debugging and determine whether there are any errors to return for each web services call you make:

Webservices5

For an example of retrieving and updating Remote Password Changing settings for existing Secrets, see our previous blog post on the web services API.

For additional resources on using the web services API, see our Knowledge Base and Web Services API Guide. Troubleshooting your own script using Secret Server web services? Our technical support team is always available to help! Contact support HERE.





Bam! Thycotic now integrates with Tenable Security’s Log Correlation Engine

11 03 2014

In a continuation of our discussion around the strengths of combining secure privileged account management with SIEM capabilities, we’re excited to announce our new alliance with Tenable Network Security!

tenable

Integrating Secret Server with Tenable’s log correlation engine, SecurityCenter Continuous View, will provide administrators with improved oversight of their organization’s security practices.

What is Tenable SecurityCenter Continuous View?

Tenable SecurityCenter Continuous View provides organizations with a uniquely integrated vulnerability and SIEM functionality, helping them move from periodic assessment to continuous and instant identification and response for security and compliance threats.

How does it integrate with Secret Server?

Secret Server works with Tenable SecurityCenter CV by sending event engine logs to the tool in the form of syslog. SecurityCenter CV now has built-in support for processing Secret Server events, such as Heartbeat success, Secret expiration and user login activity. For a more detailed description of supported events see Tenable’s forum page.

The benefits of integration:

Incorporating event logs from Secret Server into the rest of your collective SIEM data allows you to maintain more comprehensive records of user access to privileged credentials for every account you manage through Secret Server, from workstations and servers to network devices and many more. Ultimately, this means your administrators have access to faster and more reliable attack detection and mitigation.

For more information:

See our Syslog Integration Guide for details on configuring Secret Server to log events to your SIEM tool.





Streamline Compliance with your Internal Security Policy by using Secret Server

4 03 2014

Incorporating a new tool into your company’s overall security architecture can be a tricky and time-consuming process. Fortunately, Thycotic Secret Server has a several features that streamline the process of complying with your existing corporate requirements. In this post, we will take a look at a few ways Secret Server can work in conjunction with your existing security policy to improve policy compliance and your user experience.

Enforce Password Compliance with Group Policies

Secret Server’s group policy feature allows you to set polices for local and domain account passwords, such as minimum password age, password length and password complexity. Secret Server adheres to the group policy when changing local Windows or Active Directory passwords. For example, if a password change is attempted with a weak password, Secret Server will return an error message to explain the password complexity requirements. Or, if a password change fails because it was too weak, Secret Server can send an email alert to administrators.

To eliminate the possibility that users will set weak passwords or use prohibited characters, Secret Server can automatically generate passwords using the preset password requirements. The result: secure, randomly generated passwords that are guaranteed to meet your group policy requirements each time they’re changed, whether automatically by using Auto Change or manually by a Secret Server user.

Restrict Access with Restricted Launcher Inputs

Group policy can also be used to restrict remote access to servers, which is a great way to decrease the area of attack for an account. However, with a large number of accounts this can be difficult to keep track of. Secret Server provides the ability to restrict launcher inputs to allow users to only see and connect to machines that have been whitelisted for each account. This simplifies the process for end users, who no longer need to keep track of details of their privileged account access, and allows administers to configure more granular access control in a way that is clear and fully audited.

Simplified Web Password Management

Finally, a policy that we have talked about before is allowing a user’s browser to store credentials. Auto fill for browser credentials is certainly convenient, but it does not provide an audit of usage, making it a bit of a problem for the security department. Instead, organizations can disable the browser’s password auto fill option and add those credentials to Secret Server. Users can then use the Secret Server Web Filler to directly log in to websites. This makes your environment more secure by tracking who accessed each web credential and it ensures passwords are stored securely within Secret Server instead of a user’s individual browser.

Check back next week to hear our team’s recap of RSA 2014 San Francisco.






Is Your Hash Being Passed?

25 02 2014

 

A typical day in IT:

It’s another day-in-the-life of an IT administrator and you have yet another 1,000 problems to solve. Around noon you receive a ticket saying Bob is having trouble with his computer’s performance. Instead of grabbing lunch, you RDP into his computer to figure out the problem. You need admin credentials to see what’s going on, so you use your Domain Administrator account.  Turns out Bob needs to update a driver. It was a simple fix and you disconnect from the user’s computer, happy to have a couple minutes left to grab a sandwich.

Later that day you see login alerts from your SIEM tool for several machines you don’t typically access. Alarmingly, they happened while you were picking up your sandwich. Your password is strong and well above the company’s password recommended length, including alphanumeric and symbols. How was it used?

Turns out, the person who “borrowed” your credentials didn’t have to figure out your password. Instead, they infected Bob’s less secure computer and waited for you to log in using your Domain Administrator credentials. When you used RDP to enter Bob’s machine they captured the clear text hash of your password. Congratulations, your hash was passed.

What is Pass-the-Hash?

A Pass-the-Hash attack is where an attacker captures and uses the plain text hash of a user’s password instead of their plain text password. It allows an attacker to impersonate another user, typically a privileged account. This type of attack can affect ANY network using Windows machines. For the attacker, the advantage getting a hash instead of the password is it can be done without a brute-force attack, which is not as effective and takes a lot more time.

How is the Hash acquired?

Hashes can be acquired through a variety of methods, two being the most common. The first is to retrieve the hash from a SAM dump for the local machine users. The second is to grab the dump of a user’s credentials stored by Windows in the LSASS.exe process, allowing the attacker to retrieve the hash of any account that connects to the machine for example; an RDP-connected domain accounts. This is how the attacker compromised the Domain Administrator’s credentials from Bob’s computer in the scenario above.

How can Secret Server mitigate the threat of Pass-the-Hash?

While Pass-the-Hash attacks have existed for the last 17 years, the threat is now bigger than ever, with tools to exploit this vulnerability continuously improving. Currently the best way to protect yourself from a Pass-the-Hash threat is to upgrade to Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2. The new Windows updates have built-in security measures, including making the LSASS.exe a protected process, adding new security identifiers, and changing RDP so it no longer stores the remote login’s credentials on the target machine.

It is typically not practical to upgrade every computer in an organization quickly, and a network would still be vulnerable during the upgrade process. However, there are other protective measures that can be taken by using Secret Server. For example, organizations can use Secret Server’s Check Out feature and configure it to automatically change the password after each RDP session’s Check Out is complete. This would render any hash that was captured during the session useless; when the password is changed, the hash also changes. Secret Server can also restrict which computers can use an account by restricting the launcher inputs. These measures mitigate the chance of a Pass-the-Hash attacks by greatly reducing the amount of time a hash is valid and decreasing the computers accessible for attack on privileged accounts.





Sneak Peek: New Secret Server features only at RSA Conference 2014

20 02 2014

2014 marks Thycotic’s 5th year exhibiting at the RSA cybersecurity conference. RSA is one of the largest gatherings of IT security professionals and analysts in North America. This year, the conference takes place February 24-28th 2014 at the Moscone Center.

RSA Conference 2014

Thycotic to unveil new Secret Server features

We’re excited to demonstrate not-yet-published Secret Server features before they’re officially released at booth 415 during RSA expo hours. Our team will also give demos of our other IT products and are available to answer any questions you have on our products or password management best practices. Product Manager Ben Yoder and CEO Jonathan Cogley will be there, as well as many more of our great team. Look for our 20X20 black and green booth, you can’t miss us!

What to expect from RSA

Informations sessions cover a variety of security hot topics: hackers and threats, governance, risk and compliance, cryptography, data privacy and more. IT security professionals come eager to discover the latest in security technology, debate fiery issues and mingle with the best in breed vendors and industry experts. Oh, and don’t forget the rocking vendor parties that pack the evenings; complete with food, drinks and entertainment of all kinds amidst the backdrop of a lively San Francisco nightlife.

Awesome keynote lineup

RSA 2014 boasts an impressive speaker lineup worth checking out, including Nawaf Bitar of Juniper Networks, Art Gilliland of HP, James Comey of the FBI and a special closing keynote appearance by Stephen Colbert guaranteed to bring some hilarity to the mix.

Thinking about attending? Register for RSA 2014 here.

See you there!

 








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