BeyondTrust

Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Microsoft Vulnerabilities & Admin Privileges

Posted January 28, 2011    Peter McCalister

Some of you may have already seen the annual report we do each year on vulnerabilities in Microsoft products. Our last report found that in 90% of critical vulnerabilities could be mitigated with the removal of administrative rights.

This presents three sources of risks to Windows desktops in a business environment:

  • Users that are slow to download the latest patches leave their PCs vulnerable
  • Discovered vulnerabilities that have not yet been patched
  • Vulnerabilities Microsoft is not yet aware of, but there is some awareness in the hacker community

But alas, today a Computerworld article highlights the trouble with relying on Microsoft patches alone to protect PCs from Microsoft vulnerabilities. Microsoft pulled a December 14th Outlook patch after it caused several performance issues on PCs that downloaded it, reissuing a fixed patch over a  month later.

This means PCs were left unpatched for at least a month and Computerworld reveals, this isn’t the first time. Microsoft’s own blog post responding to a recent FTP vulnerability in Windows 7 seems to indicate that they may not be patching it:

“We’ll continue to investigate this issue and, if necessary, we‘ll take appropriate action to help protect customers.”

I don’t blame Microsoft. They work hard, push out a lot of patches and fix critical vulnerabilities as quickly as possible. But when you’re talking about several suites of software that are amongst the most common applications on the desktop, that’s a big target and a lot of software.

No vendor could possibly keep up with it, but that’s why the organizations has to remove administrative rights to protect themselves under the real-world circumstance of prolific vulnerabilities.

 

Leave a Reply

Additional articles

PowerBroker for Unix & Linux helps prevent Shellshock

Posted September 25, 2014    Paul Harper

Like many other people who tinker with UNIX and Linux on a regular basis, BASH has always been my shell of choice.  Dating back to the early days moving from Windows to a non-Windows platform, mapping the keys correctly to allow easy navigation and control helped ensure an explosion of use for the shell. Unfortunately,…

Bash “Shellshock” Vulnerability – Retina Updates

Posted September 24, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

A major vulnerability was recently discovered within bash which allows arbitrary command execution via specially crafted environment variables. This is possible due to the fact that bash supports the assignment of shell functions to shell variables. When bash parses environment shell functions, it continues parsing even after the closing brace of the function definition. If…

pbps-blog3

7 Reasons Customers Switch to Password Safe for Privileged Password Management

Posted September 24, 2014    Chris Burd

It’s clear that privileged password management tools are essential for keeping mission-critical data, servers and assets safe and secure. However, as I discussed in my previous post, there are several pitfalls to look out for when deploying a privileged password management solution. At this point, you may be wondering how BeyondTrust stacks up. With that,…

Tags:
, , , , ,