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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

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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