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Security In Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting your critical IT infrastructure.

Cause and Effects of Not Running with Least Privilege

Post by Peter McCalister April 11, 2011

Building an enterprise on least privilege is not just a concept that applies to Microsoft. While Microsoft does contribute to the security issues associated with letting all users run with administrator rights (or no rights at all), it is a situation every operating system is plagued with.

We all know letting users run with administrator rights is dangerous and unwise. There have been countless examples of this as mainstream media pick up on security and information breaches. Take, as an example, the recent breach at Eastern Michigan University. Two former student employees, with too much access to sensitive information, stole and leaked identifying information to a third party. Had their admin rights been properly delegated, this situation could have been avoided.

The alternative, isn’t much better, though, which is to make your employees run as standard user. Zero access to privileges significantly decreases the effectiveness of your employees and the jobs they need to get done. How do either of these scenarios keep a company secure AND productive? It’s a good question. The answer is neither. Both situations sacrifice either working time of your employees or the security of your enterprise. Not convinced? Check out this chart.

It’s clear that least privilege is the only viable way to secure your sensitive data and maintain productivity.  Contact BeyondTrust now to discover how you can protect your organization form insider threats.

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