Gartner Research

Reduce Access to Windows Local Administrator With Endpoint Privilege Management

Published: 20 October 2017

ID: G00328597

Analyst(s): Lori Robinson

Summary

Reducing access to local administrator rights is a Windows security best practice, but doing so may impact user experience. This assessment specifies how technical professionals can utilize endpoint privilege management to enforce Windows least privilege while maintaining user productivity.

Table Of Contents

Analysis

  • Risks Associated With Local Admin Rights
    • Local Admin Rights Are Powerful
    • The Endpoint Is a Common Attack Vector
    • Malware Needs Administrative Privilege
    • Local Admin Rights Are Often Poorly Managed
    • Nonmalicious Actors May Misuse Administrative Privilege
  • Evolution of Local Admin Access in Windows
  • Why Does the Use of Local Admin Rights Persist?
    • Some Applications and Processes Still Require Administrative Privilege
    • User Controlled and Lightly Managed Endpoints Require Administrative Privilege
    • Political or Cultural Barriers to Removing Local Admin Rights
  • Are Local Admin Rights Necessary in a Modern Windows Environment?
  • EPM Overview
    • Application Control
    • Privilege Management
  • EPM Architecture
    • EPM Policy Management Service
    • EPM Agent
  • EPM Features Inherent in Microsoft Windows
    • UAC
    • AppLocker
    • PAM
    • LAPS
    • Credential Guard
  • EPM Market Overview
  • Microsoft Windows EPM vs. Third-Party EPM Tools
  • EPM and Privileged Account and Session Management Working Together to Secure Privileged Operations
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses

Guidance

  • Use the Migration to Windows 10 as a Catalyst for the Removal of Local Admin Rights
  • Enable UAC and LAPS, at a Minimum
  • Architect a Combined Privilege Management and Application Control Strategy to Contain Attacks at the Endpoint
  • Build a Process for Exception Handling
  • Tamper Proof Your EPM Environment

Gartner Recommended Reading

©2019 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Become a client