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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.

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

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Best Practices for Managing Domain Admin Accounts

Posted August 3, 2015    Russell Smith

The risks of using privileged domain accounts on devices that are not secured to the same level as DCs increases the chances that domain administrator credentials could be exposed. Windows caches credentials by default to authenticate users when a domain controller can’t be reached, including those of domain administrator accounts that have previously logged in to a device. As such, a compromised workstation or member server can also lead to stolen domain administrator credentials.

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PowerBroker for Mac: A Least-Privileged Apple a Day…

Posted July 27, 2015    Jason Silva

BeyondTrust PowerBroker for Mac reduces the risk of privilege misuse by enabling standard users on Mac OS X to perform administrative tasks successfully without entering elevated credentials.

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On Demand Webinar – Now is the time for Privileged Account Management

Posted July 24, 2015    BeyondTrust Software

In this webinar, SANS Instructor and Founder of Voodoo Security, Dave Shackleford, will revisit several hacking and breach scenarios that involved privileged accounts, and use these as examples while discussing tools and tactics to get this problem under control once and for all.

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