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Contributor:
Russell Smith
July 3rd, 2013

Don’t fall victim to Privilege Creep!

Don’t let privilege creep be the downfall of a project to secure your company’s IT systems.

What is Privilege Creep?

Despite the work Microsoft has done to make Windows easier to run with standard user access, some Windows features and legacy applications still require administrative privileges. When users experience an issue, the first step that the helpdesk often takes is to grant administrative privileges to check that the problem isn’t caused by a lack of access rights.

Even if the problem turns out not to be caused by standard user permissions, administrative privileges are often deliberately left in place so that the user doesn’t continue to call the helpdesk, or the privileges are simply forgotten and never removed. This phenomena of moving from standard user privileges to administrative rights is referred to by system administrators as privilege creep.

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4 Security Considerations for 2013

While forecasting the security culprits of the coming year has become a clichéd annual technology tradition, there is definite value in preparing for what may lurk ahead. Take for instance, how quickly the threat landscape has shifted.  It’s hard to believe that movements, like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or cloud computing, have only recently emerged, yet they have become ingrained in our security posture and threat landscape. Considering this speed of change, taking a moment to reflect on the security risks ahead is not only prudent, but could save your organization from being blindsided. From my view, here’s what I’d recommend organizations, from SMBs to the enterprise, prepare for 2013.

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The Windows Tablet Conundrum

As the myriad of reviews for the Windows RT Surface hit the Internet, it has simply strengthened my stance that I will wait for the Windows Pro Surface or similar Intel powered tablets before considering taking the plunge. It’s not that the Windows RT Surface doesn’t have appeal, but the Windows Pro tablet gives me many more reasons to consider switching to a Microsoft Windows powered tablet.

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