For businesses, ensuring the safety and security of your data and other digital assets is paramount to the security and future of your business. One aspect that often goes unnoticed is the level of administrative privileges granted to employees over their business computers. The 'Local Admin' status, which confers high-level access, privileges and control over system settings and applications, can be a serious security risk and can be an attack vector for cyber threats if not managed properly.
Granting local administrative privileges opens the doors to malware and cyber-attacks. Employees with the ability to install and run applications indiscriminately can inadvertently introduce malicious software to your business network, local administration means that malware can be installed without additional permissions being granted, often in the background, potentially triggering a cascading effect of system compromises.
Disgruntled or malicious employees can misuse this access to copy, alter or delete sensitive data, alter system configurations, or create backdoors for future exploitation.
Well-intentioned but untrained employees could unintentionally misconfigure system settings, creating vulnerabilities or corrupting data that could have devastating effects. A minor alteration on a user machine could not only their system, but the entire business to external cyber threats.
Data breaches, caused by improper user administration and privilege management, can lead to severe legal and financial repercussions. Regulatory bodies are increasingly stringent when it comes to data privacy, imposing hefty fines on businesses failing to uphold robust cyber-security measures and severe legal repercussions in the event of a data breach.
Adopting the Principle of Least Privilege Access, where individuals are granted only the necessary levels of access to fulfil their tasks, significantly diminishes the risks associated with local admin privileges.
Conducting regular audits of user privileges and employing robust access control measures ensure that the rights accorded to employees align with their roles, thus tightening the business’ cyber security posture.
A well-informed workforce is a formidable defence against the latest cyber security threats. Training employees on the potential dangers associated with elevated privileges and the importance of adhering to company policies regarding software installation, downloads and system configurations is paramount to a safe and secure environment.
Leveraging modern security solutions that provide granular control over user privileges and monitor downloads, software installs, and system configurations can help avert the dangers posed by local admin privileges, thereby fostering a secure and controlled operational environment.
At TwentyFour we can help manage your user access privileges across all of your endpoints, our Cyber Security solutions can monitor your endpoints for potentially suspicious or malicious activity. We can also be alerted to users attempting to install software, our platform checks the installation files for legitimacy, checking for threats, and can allow us to remotely grant installation privileges without providing users with administration privileges.
In the quest for business flexibility, productivity and employee autonomy, it is important to not overlook the need for stringent cyber security measures that are designed to protect your business from emerging cyber threats. It is essential that businesses employ a principle of least privilege access, where your employees are granted only the minimal levels of access — or permissions — necessary to accomplish their daily tasks and only temporarily grant higher privileges on an as-needed and authorised basis. This approach significantly mitigates the risk posed by your employees having local admin privileges over their devices, ensuring a tighter rein on your business cyber security posture.
Through regular audits, robust access control measures, and a well-informed workforce, businesses can strike a balance between operational efficiency and cyber security, thus increasing your protection against the 500,000+ new threats that businesses face daily.
Contact us to find out more about Least Privileged Access Policies and how we can ensure that your business is protected against the latest cyber security threats.