BeyondTrust Adds Sudo Authentication Management for Unix and Linux

BeyondTrust PowerBroker for Sudo is a new authentication and security management tool for sudo configurations on Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.

Christopher Tozzi, Contributing Editor

December 7, 2015

2 Min Read
BeyondTrust Adds Sudo Authentication Management for Unix and Linux

BeyondTrust says it is making life easier for Linux and Unix systems administrators who use sudo for security and authentication. The company has a new product, PowerBroker for Sudo, that simplifies sudo file and log management.

Sudo is a tool for Unix-like operating systems that lets select users on the system to run particular commands with administrator-level privileges. Its main advantage is allowing multiple users to run commands that require administrator privileges without requiring them to share a single root account password.

Sudo has been a key part of Linux and Unix systems administration for years. Distributions like Ubuntu use it by default.

BeyondTrust says sudo, though venerable, has some shortcomings. "Using sudo for Unix or Linux privilege management is a complex and time-consuming effort, and often does not provide the level of controls required to comply with internal and external IT regulations," the company said in announcing its new product.

The company's PowerBroker for Sudo tool doesn't do away with sudo, but it tries to make management of sudo-related files and data more secure and simpler. It centralizes the storage of sudoers files and logging data, even on clustered system deployments. It also provides version control functionality so that administrators can roll back changes in the sudo configuration.

BeyondTrust says it intends the new product not only to make sudo safer on Linux and Unix, but also to provide a migration bridge for organizations hoping eventually to adopt the company's PowerBroker for Unix and Linux platform. That platform provides an authentication management solution for Unix-like systems that moves beyond sudo.

To be sure, we are still living in the Microsoft Active Directory age, and making sudo more secure is probably less of a concern for most systems admins than is dealing with AD and its discontents. (Toward that end, BeyondTrust offers security and authentication products for the Windows side of the universe, notably its PowerBroker for Windows software.) But some admins, especially those working in a Unix or Linux-only environment, may well find value in more rigorous sudo management tools.

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About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Contributing Editor

Christopher Tozzi started covering the channel for The VAR Guy on a freelance basis in 2008, with an emphasis on open source, Linux, virtualization, SDN, containers, data storage and related topics. He also teaches history at a major university in Washington, D.C. He occasionally combines these interests by writing about the history of software. His book on this topic, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” is forthcoming with MIT Press.

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