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New Report Shows 92 Percent of Critical Microsoft Vulnerabilities are Mitigated by Eliminating Admin Rights
A new study by BeyondTrust found that 92% of critical Microsoft vulnerabilities could have been stopped or mitigated by stopping the practice of giving users "Administrator" rights.No Longer Supported
Its something we probably all know but many of us don't have the power to change - users who login with Administrator rights are at far greater risk from Malware than those that don't. They also are responsible for far more help desk and service calls that users who login with "user" level privileges.

"Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights."


The study also found that eliminating Admin rights would have stopped or mitigated:
  • 94 percent of Microsoft Office vulnerabilities reported in 2008
  • 89 percent of Internet Explorer vulnerabilities reported in 2008
  • 53 percent of Microsoft Windows vulnerabilities reported in 2008.


Further illustrating the benefits to enterprises of removing administrator rights from users, a recent Gartner report states, "The Gartner TCO model shows a significant reduction in TCO between a managed desktop where the user is an administrator, compared with a desktop where the user is a standard user. Among the most remarkable observations is that the model shows a 24 percent decrease in the amount of IT labor needed for technical support." -- Gartner, Inc.


"Companies face imminent danger from zero-day threats as new vulnerabilities continually crop up while patching efforts lag behind, and even worse, many threats exist undetected," said John Moyer, CEO of BeyondTrust. "Our findings reflect the critical role that restricting administrator rights plays in protecting against these types of threats. This is achievable in one simple step—adopting a strategy of Least Privilege security. BeyondTrust has helped over 500 companies equip their end users with those privileges needed to do their jobs, while protecting against zero-day threats and reducing risk."

Of course BeyondTrust sells an excellent product designed to manage computers where users have reduced privileges, but we don't think anyone disputes the facts found in the study. Having Users with Administrator rights is not only dangerous but expensive. Hopefully studies such as this can give you ammunition when discussing the issue with management.

References:



Google
WebNIST.org
NIST.govSecurityFocus.com




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Posted by NIST.org on Tuesday 03 February 2009 - 21:25:55 | |printer friendly
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