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Security In Context

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

Reducing Help Desk Costs Is a Least Privilege Benefit

Post by Peter McCalister December 15, 2010

The problem exists between the keyboard and the chair (PEBKAC).  This is the recurring mantra of most help desk technicians and a leading cause of budget dollars bleeding out of most organizations.  Why, you may ask?  The answer is simple:

  • Users use computers
  • Users are human (usually)
  • Humans make mistakes often: sometimes intentionally, usually accidentally and occasionally indirectly
  • When users have excessive admin rights these mistakes can be very costly

Implementing a privilege identity management solution will effectively limit the potential for impact on these mistakes through a least privilege environment.  One of the most compelling areas will be for the desktop users as there are over 200 documented vulnerabilites in MS Windows. Check out the “3 Ways to Reduce Help Desk Costs” blog for specifics on cost savings, but the intangible benefit that your techs will appreciate the most is the reduction of PEBKAC calls.  With the implementation of a least privilege solution, the user community will only have enough privilege to get their job done but not enough to have a misuse of privilege problem. Now the problem won’t be the user (what lies between the keyboard and the chair), but a genuine technical problem, like installing a print driver.  What price can be put on the sanity of your help desk staff?

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