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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.

Back to Least Privilege Basics

Posted March 17, 2011    Peter McCalister

Least Privilege is something we’ve talked about before, and odds are good we’ll talk about it again. The reason it keeps coming up is because it’s important! It’s the key to securing Windows desktops, and it’s fundamental in the protection of root access.

Simply stated, the principle of least privilege means that a user must run with the least amount of privilege for the least being performed. And what does this mean for you? It means you should look closely at eliminating administrator rights from users who don’t absolutely need them, and elevate privileges for users who require them. Let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios that will better paint this picture.

Scenario A: A user in your company needs to install an application, and your IT department is slammed (as usual) and won’t be able to help for several hours. Now that user can’t install the application necessary for their job function, which results in loss of work and overall production.

 Scenario B: A user in your company is operating with full administrator rights, and is unfortunately a little too cavalier in their download habits. Because they are operating with admin rights, malware hijacks their computer and enters your database. Now your IT department has to get involved to fix and debug your system, which is both expensive and time-consuming.

 Both situations color the importance of least privilege and further emphasize how important it is to find the right amount of privilege for all end-users.

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Additional articles

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10 Ways to Ensure Your Privileged Password Management Strategy Will Succeed

Posted April 27, 2015    Scott Lang

Leveraging complex, frequently updated passwords is a basic security best practice for protecting privileged accounts in your organisation. But if passwords are such a no-brainer, why do so many data breaches tie back to poor password management?

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PowerBroker for Windows – Most Innovative IAM Solution by Cyber Defense Magazine

Posted April 21, 2015    Scott Lang

PowerBroker for Windows has been selected as a winner by the 2015 Cyber Defense Magazine Awards Program in the category of “Most Innovative Identity and Access Management Solution”.

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Are you changing your passwords as often as the weather changes?

Posted April 20, 2015    Scott Lang

There is one thing that should change more frequently than the weather: Your privileged passwords. Why? If you’re like more than 25% of companies out there, then your current IT environment contains unmanaged accounts putting you at risk of data breaches and compliance violations, and you don’t have a process to control those accounts.

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