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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.

But Users Aren’t That Savvy….NOT!

Posted February 2, 2012    Peter McCalister

BeyondTrust has been doing Privilege Management for over 25 years. I’ve been with the company for over six of them. I’m constantly talking with people about the benefits of running their enterprise users as standard users, rather than administrative ones. Admin users are able to circumvent Group Policy or other security measures, such as installing pirated software that puts the company on the hook for licensing costs or users stealing data from the enterprise with no trace of it happening.

Just this week I spoke with a company that was audited and flagged for lack of licensing due to pirated software. What I hear sometimes in return is, “Ya, but my users aren’t that savvy”. This is a company destined for some bad press.

Let me share with you a little story from my own life. Recently I was at home hanging out with my youngest daughter, she’s six. She started to fall asleep and I’m thinking, 1. What’s better than your kid snuggling up with ya, you parents know what I mean, and 2. Here’s my excuse to doze off myself, hey, it’s only fair.

A little while later when I woke up, I realized my daughter was already up and bounding around like usual. It wasn’t until later when I went to use my iPad I realized something was awry. I was missing icons. At first, before I connected the dots to what icons where missing, I was upset. But then I noticed a new folder had been created. What my daughter had done was create a folder, give it her name and methodically place the games she apparently considers hers into this folder.

I realize this is literally ‘Child’s Play’ to us, but if my six year old is already savvy enough to do that, is it really that much of a leap for older, more educated users with intent to cause damage to your environment? Having seen the results time after time, it is not.

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