Windows 7 is Hard to Hack if Administrators Correctly Handle Rights

Windows 7 logoA new study [PDF] by security researchers at BeyondTrust gives Microsoft's Windows 7 a thumbs up when it comes to security. It finds that while the hundreds of thousands of active malicious users worldwide (if not millions) may be able, in some cases, to compromise the operating system, the risk of that happening can be greatly reduced with proper rights administration.

That may sound like common sense. However, for years Windows has been the butt of jokes from the likes of Apple, Inc. and others for being "insecure" and "full of viruses".

And to some extent some of that criticism was apt. Windows for more than a decade has been the world's most used operating system, with over a billion active Windows users operating today. That means that attacks from cybercriminals focused on Windows users, rather than focusing on Mac users, who enjoy a comparatively small market share, in many respects. And while past versions of Windows, such as Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista were relatively secure, often times they were not secure enough to safeguard users from all dangers.

Proper management of administrative rights -- regardless of the OS -- has always been a good way to minimize attacks. On Windows 7, though, which comes packed with new memory protections, BeyondTrust says that rights management can prevent not just some, but nearly all security risks.

It found in its study that 90% of Windows 7 vulnerabilities to date and 100% of Microsoft Office vulnerabilities found last year could have been safeguarded against by taking away users' administrative rights. Doing so would have also have protected against 94 percent of Internet Explorer vulnerabilities and 100 percent of Internet Explorer 8 vulnerabilities. This is especially pertinent as hackers from China used flaws in Internet Explorer 6 to steal data from Google in late 2009.

Limiting administrative rights can be a bit inconvenient. Often times power users may have to have administrative rights regranted and then taken back away under such a regime. However, as the BeyondSecurity report indicates, the investment in time pays off.

States BeyondTrust EVP of corporate development Steve Kelley, "Enterprises continue to face imminent danger from zero-day attacks as new vulnerabilities are exploited before patches can ever be developed and deployed. Our findings reflect the critical role that restricting administrator rights plays in protecting against these types of threats."

For what it's worth, Microsoft has been trying to preach this point for over a decade to Windows administrators. A 1999 TechNet post from Microsoft informs, "Unauthorized or unknowledgeable people who have administrator privileges can maliciously or accidentally damage your organization if they copy or delete confidential data, spread viruses, or disable your network. It is vitally important to properly manage the users and groups that have administrative control over the servers and domain controllers in your network."

Source: DailyTech

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7

Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Galaxy Note10 really is built around a 6.7-inch display
You may still be able to download your content
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are all going away
Minimize apps to a floating, always-on-top bubble
Japan Display has been providing LCDs for the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up
The 2001 operating system has reached its lowest share level
The entire TSMC 5nm design infrastructure is available now from TSMC
The smartphone uses a Snapdragon 660 processor running Android 9 Pie
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 / 2
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (16)