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​BeyondTrust Sights Microsoft Admin Privilege Risks

March 31, 2020

BeyondTrust released its Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report. The research provides the latest annual breakdown into security vulnerabilities facing organizations today, as well as a five-year trends analysis to better equip organizations to increase their IT security posture and keep networks and systems safe.

Now in its seventh edition, this year’s report identified the following highlights:

In 2019, a record-high number of 858 Microsoft vulnerabilities was discovered

The number of reported vulnerabilities has risen 64% in the last five years (2015-2019)

Removing admin rights from endpoints would mitigate 77% of all Critical Microsoft vulnerabilities in 2019

100% of Critical vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer would have been mitigated by removing admin rights

100% of Critical vulnerabilities in Microsoft Edge would have been mitigated by removing admin rights

80% of Critical vulnerabilities affecting Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 would have been mitigated by removing admin rights

80% of Critical vulnerabilities affecting Windows Servers would have been mitigated by removing admin rights

Further analysis indicates that on average over the last five years 83% of all Critical vulnerabilities published by Microsoft could have been mitigated by security teams removing admin rights from users.

“Removing admin rights is not just about security,” said Sami Laiho, Microsoft MVP and Ethical Hacker. “Removing admin rights will also allow your computers to run faster, better and longer, with less reinstallations. My larger customers have measured a 75% reduction in the amount of help desk tickets after removing admin rights, resulting in a more secure and productive environment for extended periods of time.”

“The rate at which vulnerabilities are increasing is a significant concern for organizations committed to protecting their networks from data breaches,” said Morey Haber, Chief Technology Officer & Chief Information Security Officer at BeyondTrust. “Recent global events have highlighted the critical need to continue to focus on information security. The ability to remove admin rights and control applications is no longer difficult to achieve, and least privilege should always be considered as part of a proactive security strategy.”

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