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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.

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.

 

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Additional articles

Larry-Brock-CISO

Passwords: A Hacker’s Best Friend

Posted September 1, 2015    Larry Brock

After all the years of talk about biometrics and multi-factor authentication, we still have passwords and will likely have them for a long time. Because many “high risk” systems require complex passwords (zk7&@1c6), most people that use them believe their passwords are secure. But they aren’t.

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CyberResiliency

6 things I like about Gartner’s Cyber Resiliency Strategy

Posted August 27, 2015    Nigel Hedges

There were 6 key principles, or recommendations, that Gartner suggested were important drivers towards a great cyber resiliency posture. I commented more than once during the conference that many of these things were not new. They are all important recommendations that are best when placed together and given to senior management and the board – a critical element of organisations that desperately need to “get it”.

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powerbroker-difference-1

Why Customers Choose PowerBroker: Flexible Deployment Options

Posted August 26, 2015    Scott Lang

BeyondTrust commissioned a study of our customer base in early 2015 to determine how we are different from other alternatives in the market. What we learned was that there were six key differentiators that separate BeyondTrust from other solution providers in the market. We call it the PowerBroker difference,

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