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Eliminating admin rights mitigates Windows 7 vulnerabilities

By Anuradha Shukla, MIS Asia
April 01, 2010 12:41 PM ET

MIS Asia - The removal of administrator rights from Windows users is a mitigating factor for 90 per cent of Critical Windows 7 Vulnerabilities, according to BeyondTrust, a provider of Privileged Access Lifecycle Management solutions.

Companies migrating to Windows 7 will have to implement a desktop Privileged Identity Management solution in order to lower the risks from un-patched Microsoft vulnerabilities without affecting their users' ability to operate smoothly.

Protection from exploitation

BeyondTrust aids in the elimination of the risk of intentional, accidental and indirect misuse of privileges on desktops and servers. The company offers globally proven solutions that can enhance security and compliance without impacting productivity.

BeyondTrust research clearly indicates that companies removing administrator rights can protect against the exploitation of 90 per cent of critical Windows 7 vulnerabilities reported to date; 100 per cent of Microsoft Office vulnerabilities reported in 2009; 94 per cent of Internet Explorer and 100 per cent of Internet Explorer 8 vulnerabilities reported in 2009; and about 64 per cent of all Microsoft vulnerabilities reported in 2009.

Steve Kelley, EVP of corporate development, noted the increasing danger faced by enterprises with respect to zero-day attacks. Cyber criminal are always trying to exploit new vulnerabilities and don't give much chance to companies for developing and deploying the patches.

Adequate protection

The report indicates the importance of restricting administrator rights in protecting against all these types of threats. Kelley added that all those companies looking to migrate to Windows 7 should know that despite enhanced security features on the new operating systems, better controls for administrative rights are required to provide adequate protection.

Readers of BeyondTrust 2009 Microsoft Vulnerability Analysis report will get useful insight about all the published vulnerabilities of Microsoft in 2009 and Windows 7 to date.

The report quantifies the effectiveness of removing administrator rights for mitigating Microsoft vulnerabilities and indicates that the vast majority of these share the same best practice advice in the "Mitigating Factors" portion of Microsoft's security bulletins.

According to Microsoft, users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

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