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September 27, 2010
Increase Security by Decreasing User Access
By Michael Marr
Perhaps the old cliche is true: less is more. Details from a recent study by Beyond Trust has found that over 90% of the Windows 7 vulnerabilities from the past year can be guarded against by simply restricting user access. Removing administrative rights from a Windows workstation adds an additional level of security.

If you’re not already restricting your workstation’s user rights, then, as my colleague Bryan Young put it, "shame on you." However, there are some scenarios where you may feel that a user needs administrative rights, and this report will certainly encourage you to second guess that thought. These numbers shouldn’t be surprising. Malicious code typically gains access via an opened file or application. Thus, this bad code will run initially as the particular user that accessed the host file. If that user doesn’t have the necessary access to change system files or settings, then it makes the life of malicious code that much more difficult. Obviously, some exploits allowed this malicious code to be run as the administrator, and thus why restricting user rights is not an end-all solution.

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