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Removing admin rights mitigates 92% of critical Microsoft vulnerabilities

New analysis of "Patch Tuesday" bulletins shows benefits of stripping admin rights.

92% of all vulnerabilities reported by Microsoft with a critical severity rating can be mitigated by removing admin rights, according to new research from Avecto.

The market leading privilege management firm analyzed data from security bulletins issued by Microsoft throughout 2013.

The results also revealed that removing admin rights would mitigate 96% of critical vulnerabilities affecting Windows operating systems, 91% critical vulnerabilities affecting Microsoft Office and 100% of vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer.

Microsoft bulletins are issued on the second Tuesday of each month, a date known commonly as Patch Tuesday, and provide fixes for known security issues.

If malware infects a user with admin rights, it can cause incredible damage locally, as well as on a wider network. Additionally, employees with admin rights have access to install, modify and delete software and files as well as change system settings.

Paul Kenyon, co-founder and EVP of Avecto said: "It's astounding just how many vulnerabilities can be overcome by the removal of admin rights.

"The dangers of admin rights have been well documented for some time, but what's more concerning is the number of enterprises we talk to that are still not fully aware of how many admin users they have. Without clear visibility and control, they are facing an unknown and unquantified security threat."

"Awareness of the importance of privilege management is growing, but we need to get to the point where it's a standard measure for all organizations. These findings make it clear that it's a critical element of an endpoint security strategy that just cannot be ignored."

Paul concluded: "This analysis focuses purely on known vulnerabilities, and cyber criminals will be quick to take advantage of bugs that are unknown to vendors. Defending against these unknown threats is difficult, but removing admin rights is the most effective way to do so."

The full report can be downloaded here.

Update: Privilege Guard is now Defendpoint

Privilege Guard has now evolved into the new security suite, Defendpoint, which encompasses Privilege Management, Application Control and Sandboxing. For more information, please visit www.avecto.com/defendpoint.