Re: Impact of removing administrative rights in an enterprise running XP



Drew Simonis wrote:
Hello all,
I wonder if anyone on the list who might work for a good sized enterprise (10,000+ seats) has gone through the excercise of removing administrative rights from the user community?

Aside from the effort to inventory all applications and ensure that they work with restricted permissions, I forsee that such an effort would likely require changes to the entire support model. Instead of relying on users to install their own software, it would need to be done for them. New hardware would require intevention, etc.

If someone has completed this, was support a major new burden, or was it not as difficult as it might be? If it was, how much of a burden was it (+ desktop support headcount? +helpdesk calls?)?

-Ds

Drew,

Have not done it in as large of an organization as you indicate, but have TRIED to do it in smaller organizations -- and ran into MANY brick walls. It is still a work-in-progress! Things are better, but we're not there yet by any stretch at any organization that I am working with.

The primary issue is that A LOT of applications assume/require administrative privilege to work. In reality, you can probably get many/most to run with less than admin priv, but figuring out what is the minimum required is not an easy task. And don't expect the application vendor to be any help either!

Trying to remove local admin priv is a trial-and-error process. A lot of apps will work most of the time, then one seldom-used feature breaks it.

You would be surprised the apps that require privilege to run... many big name ones, such as the Intuit product line. There was a discussion on DShield a few months back on this topic, and several people named names of applications with privilege problems (but nothing close to scratching the surface!).

Good luck.

Oh, BTW, as you try this task, publishing a list of the required minimum privilege for each application would be a great help to everyone. I wanted to do that, but my clients all objected.

Jon
--
Jon R. Kibler
Chief Technical Officer
Advanced Systems Engineering Technology, Inc.
Charleston, SC USA
(843) 849-8214





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