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Access rights are a major problems for companies that do not use IT outsourcing as a user with administrator access can use any file on the computer, an expert has warned.
Paul Kenyon, chief operating officer at Avecto, highlighted the importance of data security to modern companies and suggested that at the most basic level controlling access to information is the best way for firms to protect themselves.
He stated that different operating systems vary in the complexity of user privilege management but that many companies completely fail at managing what their employees can access.
Windows 7 typically offers companies two settings – standard or administrator – and almost all business users end up being given the enhanced rights, he warns.
Mr Kenyon said that the standard access options are relatively secure but are extremely inflexible so often impractical, such as where users are required to be able to run applications or change settings themselves.
He stated that the problem for users with administrative access is that they can access all of the files that are physically present on the computer.
While those companies that use IT outsourcing and store their files off-site will not face this issue, other firms will find that users of shared PCs will have extensive access to other users’ files.
Mr Kenyon said: “The administrator account means that the individual user is God on that PC.”
He added that this can present extensive problems for companies as they can change, circumvent or install anything.
Jon Callas, chief technology officer at Entrust, has also highlighted the potential privilege and access rights issues presented by the growing trend for employees to bring their own devices to work.
He said that IT departments that embrace this development will not be disadvantaged, as many of the devices have strong security settings and as long as there is an infrastructure in place that can support it then the system will work.