Tuesday, September 04, 2012
New Survey Finds 76% of IT Professionals in the Dark about Unauthorized Application Downloads on their Networks
Avecto survey reveals Gen Y most likely to demand elevated admin rights, indicating generational split on privilege management within the enterprise
Manchester (UK) and Boston (US)
While IT professionals recognize the dangers that
unauthorized applications cause to their networks, most are letting
these dangers go unnoticed, according to survey released today
The study, conducted at TechEd North America 2012 in Orlando,
and TechEd Europe 2012 in Amsterdam, surveyed more than 1,500
IT professionals, many of whom hold decision-making and purchasing
power in a wide array of work environments, vertical sectors, and
The survey unearthed the extent to which unfettered, unmanaged
and infected applications can potentially sneak onto networks,
wreaking havoc before being noticed. Seventy-six percent of those
surveyed said they don't know how many unauthorized applications
have been downloaded on their networks. This disconnect suggests
that organizations will continue to invite infection to their
networks if they provide excessive administrator rights to users.
This is especially problematic, as noted in the findings, with
younger workers increasingly demanding elevated rights on corporate
Among the survey's notable findings:
- More than one-third of respondents had first-hand experience
with the dangers of elevated admin rights, with nearly 40%
reporting a network infection as a result of at least one
unauthorized application being downloaded on their network.
- 80% of those surveyed pointed to male employees, between the
ages of 20 to 35-years-old, as the most likely to demand elevated
rights. When considered in parallel with other trends blurring
boundaries at work, such as BYOD, a troubling trend emerges in
which younger workers have potentially dangerous expectations
regarding technology and the workplace.
- IT professionals are largely aware of the benefits of removing
admin rights, as more than 50% of respondents would expect a
decrease in support calls, and affiliated costs, as a direct result
of removing admin rights. Yet, many feel mounting pressure from
younger, tech-savvy employees for full administrator rights.
"Staff who have admin rights can unwittingly or irresponsibly
download applications that contain malware and cause significant
problems if entered into the corporate network," says Paul Kenyon,
Avecto co-founder and Chief Operating Officer. "The answer is
simple - don't give admin rights out to everyone, only to the few
key IT administrators who really need them. You will see an
immediate decrease in security risk and associated downtime as well
as an increase in productivity from IT."
"We're also seeing the impact of Gen Y, a technically savvy
generation that has grown up in an online and freedom-of-access
world," adds Kenyon. "They often come into the enterprise with the
same expectations of access and availability and -- in many
instances -- have the skills and experience to be able to work
around basic security protocols to get what they want. On top of
this, many IT departments elevate users to admin rights as a means
to quickly solve IT problems. Considering these factors, it's more
important than ever for organizations to have a solution in place
that enables the quick and secure removal of admin rights from
users and the ability to deploy policies that elevate all of the
legitimate business applications that require privileged access
using privilege management technology."
Windows desktops that run with full administrator rights will
continue to put organizations at real risk of infection as the
sophistication of privilege escalation malware continues to evolve.
Once malware gains access to administrator rights, it will continue
to burrow deeper into the organization's infrastructure.
Using a flexible approach to privilege management, such as
Avecto Privilege Guard, organizations can deploy secure and
compliant desktops, 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 is the leader in Windows privilege management,
helping organizations to deploy secure and compliant desktops and
servers. With its award winning Privilege Guard technology,
organizations can now empower all Windows based 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 Windows based 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.
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