Monthly Archives: September 2012

Surviving ‘Generation Tech’

Young workers use software differently. This is how it should be.

Out on the front line of security admin, something appears to have gone badly wrong and yet until now barely a voice has been raised in complaint. As business desktops have shifted from Windows XP to Windows 7, it turns out that an unknown number of workers have been quietly running riot on networks using application privileges.

In most cases the symptom is a tiresome rise in User Account Control (UAC) requests that are a feature of Windows 7 security – ‘please let me run this application’ – leaving admins with the chore of working out whether the request is legitimate for the person making it, indeed whether the application should be run at all.

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How to simplify IT security for universities

Recent data breaches at several U.S. universities this year, such as those at Tampa and Nebraska, have signalled IT security as a rising priority for higher education institutions around the globe. Considering that universities must accommodate networks with thousands of computers, and end-users ranging from students, developers, researchers and admin staff, it’s no wonder that universities’ vulnerable IT systems have become recent targets for attack. A major concern is the number of applications that are downloaded onto university computers, many of which become gateways for malware to enter the system.

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Windows 8 Improves Support for Printing with Standard User Accounts

A primary reason for giving administrative privileges to notebook users is to give them the ability to install peripheral devices when they’re at home or on the road. Out of all the peripherals we connect to our computers, printers are the most common. As part of the development of Windows 8 and the new run-time that supports Modern UI (previously Metro) applications, Microsoft needed to create a new driver model to let users print to any device without the need to install a specific driver. Recall that in Windows 7, drivers in the local driver store and on Windows Update can be installed without elevated privileges. All other drivers must be installed by an administrator.

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