Dell Quest Unifies, Consolidates Unix Environment Identities

Dell’s attempt to go private and rid itself of the quarterly proctologists’ examinations (earnings auto da fe) is still a work in progress, but the company isn’t standing still. For instance at this week’s RSA security event it has released Quest One Privileged Access Suite for Unix to unify and consolidate identities across the entire environment, assigning individual accountability and enabling centralized reporting for Unix access.

According to a Dell Quest Software survey, 46% of respondents have more than 100 privileged accounts in their organizations, 53% have more than 10 administrators who must access any of those accounts, and 27% share the passwords among 10 or more administrators. Almost two-thirds do not have a high level of confidence that they can track administrative activity performed with shared credentials back to the individual administrator who performed them. Last year there were 855 reported incidents and 174 million compromised records.

There are a lot of privileged access management solutions out there, but there is still an opportunity here, said Jonathan Sander, director of IAM (Identity and Access Management) business unit at Dell Quest. “Customer constantly tell us this is an unsolved solution… not totally unsolved or without solutions, but not satisfactorily solved.”

The frustration arises because this is a moving target, with multiple ways to solve the problems, but no way to tie them together, he said. “That’s what Quest One Privileged Access Suite for Unix does, it combines all these pieces.”

In December Dell Quest was positioned as a Leader in the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for User Administration/Provisioning. Other leaders included Oracle, CA, and IBM, while challengers included Microsoft and SAP.

Dell has been shifting toward being a more general purpose IT supplier in areas like professional services; infrastructure, including servers, storage, and security; and more recently, further up the stack, as exhibited by its acquisition of Quest Software, wrote Evan Quinn, Senior Principal Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, in a recent blog. ‘While the privatization will afford Mr. Dell the opportunity to adapt to market conditions, and ESG feels Dell has proven that it can do so successfully in terms of IT services and systems, the trick is for Dell to learn how to take a pole position again. Privatization affords Dell the opportunity to invest in more start-ups, to remove Dell from constantly trying to tune up the old engine, to create more of a Silicon Valley racing culture for at least part of Dell. If you only plan to drive the speed limit, why bother with a private road?’

Forrester analyst David Johnston is also positive about the pending privatization. ‘Michael Dell knows how to find what customers value, get a unique angle on it, and focus on shortening the time to value.’

Regardless of whether it’s PCs, software or cloud infrastructure – the principles are still the same: Identify, simplify, focus, empower, execute, improve. ‘Dell’s opportunity is to double-down on simple and astoundingly innovative solutions to complex problems with a level of quality, excellence and speed that their still-hobbled public competitors can’t match.’

Most organizations have tons of these privileged accounts sitting around and most of them do not have good solutions in place, said Sander. Looking ahead, the company wants to educate the market that Quest not only has solutions to PAM and IAM issues, but that they are also easy to latch on to. Dell has the most complete security portfolio out there. We have things under the roof that nobody else has… a unique set of offerings to position us as a one-stop shop, he said.

Quest One Privileged Access Suite for Unix bundles three privileged account management solutions under a unified console designed to resolve the management and security shortcomings inherent in Unix:

-Authentication Services extends the security and compliance of Active Directory to Unix and Linux – along with Mac and many enterprise applications – and shares a management interface and integration with both Quest One Privilege Manager for Unix and Quest One Privilege Manager for Sudo;

-Quest One Privilege Manager for Unix is a replacement for sudo that provides fine-grained, policy-based control to protect the full power of root access from potential misuse or abuse, and helps define and enforce security policies stipulating who has access to which root function, as well as when and where individuals can perform those functions; and,

-Quest One Privilege Manager for Sudo plug-ins can enhance sudo 1.8.1 (and newer) with a central policy server, centralized management of sudo and the sudoers’ policy file, and centralized reporting on sudoers access rights and activities, as well as keystroke logging of activities performed through sudo.

The modular and integrated privileged account management solution is available immediately, with pricing starting at $524 per server.


Author: Steve Wexler

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