Our thoughts, industry views and technology trends

All posts by Paul Kenyon

The simple way to mitigate over 90% of Critical Microsoft Vulnerabilities

Unconvinced about the importance of removing user admin rights? Read on for some compelling reasons why user privileges should be at the top of your security agenda in 2014.

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Microsoft extends limited security support for Windows XP – but is this enough?

Microsoft has announced that it will continue to provide updates to its anti-malware signatures and engine for Windows XP users until July 14th, 2015. But what does this really mean?

The end of support for the operating system as a whole is April 8th, 2014, and this extended security service isn’t enough to keep organizations secure.

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Turning Concern into Action

Edward Snowden’s data leakage at the NSA has certainly caused a ripple effect across the entire IT landscape, forcing organizations across all industries to take a closer look at their current security defenses. At the McAfee FOCUS conference in October this year, we conducted a survey to examine just how closely security professionals were rethinking their approaches to security as a result of the NSA incident. And just as important – if not more – was determining how many of those professionals were actually converting these attitudes to action.

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How to deliver ultimate security whilst reducing costs

64% of IT security professionals believe malware incidents to be a significant reason for the increase in IT operating expenses (2013 State of The Endpoint, Ponemon)

Today’s malware is increasingly sophisticated, taking advantage of normal user behaviour to gain a foothold within your organization.  Web browsers, media plugins, Java exploits and removable media are amongst the most common vectors of introduction and each of these require an unknowing user at the keyboard to access the ‘trojan’ content.

However, in order to infect your corporate environment and take hold of your critical systems, malware requires access to an administrator account.  Implementing least privilege means removing vulnerable admin accounts whilst assigning privileges to individual applications based on user need.

In 2012, IT professionals voted effective Privilege Management as the most valuable tool for reducing IT risk (2013 State of The Endpoint, Ponemon)

90% of Windows security vulnerabilities will be mitigated overnight when you remove admin rights from your organization.  Further Gartner studies have concluded that the least risk Windows 7 desktop can be delivered only where traditional methods of endpoint protection are deployed across standard user accounts.

Optimizing security, increasing operational efficiency and simply demonstrating return on investment from your projects can become somewhat of a juggling act for IT professionals.  Prioritizing a least privilege implementation project will allow you to ‘tick the box’ for each of these key deliverables.

How Least Privilege delivers ROI: More Insights from Gartner

How you could reduce the cost of downtime by 70%

“Organizations which have a one size fits all approach to PC lock-down will have a higher TCO than organizations that optimize their policies based on user needs” (Gartner)

Optimizing desktop and server security may seem to have little to do with your organization’s profit and loss, share price and bottom line, but going beyond anti-virus protection can have a significant impact on user productivity and total cost of ownership.

Driving Employee Productivity with Least Privilege…

Anyone who has run Windows 7 or Windows 8 as a standard user will know that these PCs naturally perform more consistently and more reliably if compared to the same system running with administrative privileges.

At first glance, this scenario should lead to a more productive workforce; it would seem to follow that there’d be less down time experienced due the more reliable system provided, right?  Wrong.

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