Accessibility Links

Friday, June 07, 2013

80% of IT Security Professionals say their greatest threats are from Rogue Employees, Malware Exploits or Unauthorized Software

London, U.K., Boston, U.S., Munich, Germany

Manchester (UK) and Boston, June 7, 2013 - While IT security professionals recognize the threat posed by unwitting employees, many still admit to allowing administrative privileges to go unmanaged, making organizations increasingly vulnerable to malware exploits and unauthorized software, according to a survey released today by Avecto. The study, conducted at Infosecurity Europe in London, UK, surveyed more than 500 decision-making information security professionals. It reveals the extent to which organizations allow employees full control over their desktops, without implementing adequate controls to defend against accidental or deliberate misuse of privileges.

While 41 percent of those surveyed cite rogue employees as the biggest threat to their organization, over 30 percent of respondents admit to having no policy in place for managing administrator access. This is particularly problematic, considering the rise in security incidents caused by rogue employees with administrator rights, such as damaging data leakage and reputational risk.

Another 31 percent of respondents report malware exploits and targeted cyber-attacks as their top security threats, with an additional 8 percent deeming unauthorized software as an organizational danger. These concerns are exacerbated by statistics showing users with administrator rights are more likely to cause a network infection as a result of unauthorized applications being downloaded and introduced onto corporate systems. In addition to malware threats, this can also lead to software licensing and compliance issues. With the trend of increasingly sophisticated malware and advanced persistent threats that target privileged accounts, organizations who fail to remove administrator rights are particularly vulnerable to attack.

"In today's increasingly-complex threat landscape, organizations are quickly learning that employees don't have to be malicious to put a company at risk. The most common threat comes from employees who download and install unauthorized software, without understanding the potential risks associated with their actions," said Mark Austin, co-founder and CEO of Avecto. "The best protection against this unauthorized activity is addressing a major pain point - users with excessive privileges. By granting privileges to applications, instead of users, companies can empower users to perform their role and vastly increase the security posture of the endpoints."  

Austin continues, "Users logging on with full administrator rights will continue to put organizations at real risk of infection, as the sophistication of malware and targeted attacks continues to evolve. Unfortunately, organizations are still allowing administrator rights to go unmanaged, whether knowingly or unwittingly. This is a significant problem, particularly as the current crop of anti-malware software is repeatedly proving to be deficient in the fight against cybercrime."

Avecto approaches the fight against malware with a different angle, using a flexible approach to privilege management. With the company's award-winning, Privilege Guard solution, organizations can get ahead of criminals and stem the flow of cyber-attacks without compromising users' ability to perform their day-to-day role. With Privilege Guard, users are empowered with the privileges they require, resulting in increased productivity and reduced desktop support costs.


  • Avecto's Privilege Guard technology has recently been recognized with numerous awards, including the SC Awards Europe 2013's Innovation Award, Silver Winner for Identity Management in the 2013 Info Security Products Guide Global Excellence Awards, One to Recognize in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100, 2012 Red Herring Top 100 Winner and Innovative Company of the Year for the 2012 Info Security Products Guide Global Excellence Awards. For a list of all awards see here
  • Learn more about Avecto and Privilege Guard by visiting
  • Connect with Avecto on its blog, on LinkedIn and on Twitter 

About Avecto

Avecto is the leader in privilege management, helping organizations to deploy secure and compliant desktops and servers. With its award winning Privilege Guard technology, organizations can now empower all desktop and server users with the privileges they require to perform their roles, without compromising the integrity and security of their systems.

Customers of all sizes rely on Avecto to reduce operating expenses and strengthen security across their environments. Our mission is to enable our customers to lower operating costs and improve system security by implementing least privilege. Avecto is building a worldwide channel of partners and system integrators and is headquartered in Manchester, UK with key regional headquarters in Andover, MA and Munich, Germany.


Sarah Hurley

Solutions for Desktops

Solutions for Desktops

See how Privilege Guard can improve desktop security and operations.

Solutions for Datacenter & Cloud

Solutions for Datacenter & Cloud

Understand how Privilege Guard helps to secure your mission critical servers.



Download the latest Privilege Guard ePO and Group Policy Edition Datasheets.

Top of the page