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Security In Context

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…But I’ve Always Had Admin Rights!

Post by Peter McCalister April 14, 2011

USER: “What’s that you say?  You’re going to lock down my computer and make me a standard user?  But I’ve always had admin rights! I NEED them to do my job effectively!” ADMIN: “…but do you really?”

USER: “I can’t so much as add a printer without them. The applications I use every day for work require ActiveX controls – don’t you realize that I need admin rights to do these kinds of things? I can’t be a standard user!  You say you’re going to elevate specific privileges so I can perform all my work-related activities? But what about the other things I need to do? It’s not like I’m going to remove my computer from the corporate network or add new users and give THEM admin rights. Well sure, I know these things can be done as an admin but I’m not going to do them!”

“You say you’re worried about security? But I’m protected by my desktop firewall! Of course I know I can – I mean, wow, no, I didn’t realize I could disable the firewall as an admin. Well, I wouldn’t do that.  What about our corporate anti-virus software? It’s automatically updated; I’m protected by that. Yeah, I know a virus needs to infect someone before a patch can be created, but what are the chances that it’ll be ME that gets infected first?”

“Seriously, just let me keep my admin rights. I need to be able to do things. I may need to install software. No, I don’t know what software, just…software. I promise to only download from safe sites. Really. I just need my freedom. Administrative freedom. I’ll heed the warnings of my desktop firewall, I promise, at least when they aren’t totally annoying. I won’t defer my AV scans. I won’t mess with the Group Policy settings….”

IF YOUR USERS HAVE A PROBLEM WITH BEING LOCKED DOWN, MAYBE THEY’RE YOUR PROBLEM.

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