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Free Stuff to Help run as Standard User

by Neil MacDonald  |  April 1, 2010  |  Comments Off on Free Stuff to Help run as Standard User

One of the constant recommendations in my research is to reduce your exposure to malware by running more users as standard user. I’ve talked about this issue here, here and here.

There are several possible approaches to help here. Microsoft’s User Account Control in Windows Vista and Windows 7 is an approach, but suffers from several drawbacks which are detailed in this research note for clients – not the least of which is everyone has to upgrade to benefit.

Another approach (which works on older versions of Windows as well as Windows 7) is to use a commercial privilege escalation solution that is able to elevate applications on an exception-by-exception basis. Solutions are available from BeyondTrust, Avecto, Viewfinity and Symantec/Altiris.

In the past week I saw an announcement from another vendor, ScriptLogic, entering this space with a free, community-supported offering.

So add this one to the list. It isn’t officially supported by the vendor and doesn’t have all of the features of the other commercial offerings, but the free part will get attention. There’s also discussion in their community forum on the weakness of relying on a filename only for escalation (versus a checksum). The good news is that I hope it raises awareness of the issue. If anything, you should be able to use the presence of a free offering in the market to get better pricing out of the other established vendors.

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Category: endpoint-protection-platform  security-of-applications-and-data  

Tags: best-practices  endpoint-protection-platform  lockdown  microsoft  microsoft-security  security-no-brainer  windows  

Neil MacDonald
VP & Gartner Fellow
15 years at Gartner
25 years IT industry

Neil MacDonald is a vice president, distinguished analyst and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research. Mr. MacDonald is a member of Gartner's information security and privacy research team, focusing on operating system and application-level security strategies. Specific research areas include Windows security…Read Full Bio

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