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.

The 3 Pillars of Desktop Vulnerability Protection

Posted April 26, 2011    Peter McCalister

Talking to many people last week about our 2010 Microsoft Vulnerability report, I realized just how much most people in IT underestimate the importance of properly limiting administrative privileges in protecting desktops for vulnerabilities. It’s certainly not because of a reduction in the risk from vulnerabilities. Our survey revealed that in 2009, Microsoft published nearly 75 security bulletins documenting and providing patches for nearly 200 vulnerabilities while in 2010 Microsoft published over 100 security bulletins documenting and providing patches for 256 vulnerabilities.

So in today’s environment good security requires using all possible means to deal with these threats Everyone understands the importance of good patch management and nervously awaits Microsoft’s release on patch Tuesday . Virus protection software is near universally deployed in enterprise and most SMB environments.

So what role does properly limiting administrative privileges play? Well, as important as patches and virus protection are they can’t address increasingly frequent zero day attacks. However, limiting the use of administrative privileges reduces the attack surface for malware and reduces their potential impact until a patch or virus detection signature is available. Our analysis showed that removing administrator rights will better protect companies against 64% of all Microsoft vulnerabilities reported in 2010 and 75% of Critical Windows 7 vulnerabilities reported by Microsoft to date
So if you are worried about the vulnerability of your desktops then use all three pillars of desktop protection – patch management, virus protection and implement a secure least privilege solution.

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Additional articles


Closing the Vulnerability Gap

Posted October 7, 2015    Brian Chappell

Managing vulnerabilities is a significant challenge for many organizations. The main difficulties with managing this manifest in two key areas. The first is that the list isn’t static. The second is priority.


Scottrade Breach: Identified by Federal Officials

Posted October 5, 2015    Morey Haber

Late afternoon on October 2nd, news leaked out of another large security breach, now at Scottrade. The identity count of records, in the millions again (4.6 million is the latest). This breach comes on the second day of national CyberSecurity month, the first being Experian/T-Mobile breach.

3d image Data Breach issues concept word cloud background

Experian/T-Mobile Data Breach: When 2 Days is not Enough

Posted October 2, 2015    Morey Haber

On October 1, Experian admitted full responsibility for the loss of T-Mobile customer data. 15 million user records dating back to 2013 were effected in the breach, with data including sensitive information that may be decryptable like social security numbers and drivers licenses.