Gartner Research

Best Practices to Protect Windows Administrator Credentials

Published: 04 January 2018

ID: G00342119

Analyst(s): Felix Gaehtgens , David Mahdi , Peter Firstbrook


Attacks uncovering administrator credentials from Windows machines are a common tactic of hackers. Security and risk management leaders must adopt best practices for protecting administrator credentials.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Implement a Least-Privilege Administrative Model
    • Reduce the Number of Users With Personal Administrator Accounts
    • Reduce the Use of Administrator Credentials
  • Monitoring Privileged Accounts
    • Inventory Domain Administrator Accounts on a Regular Basis
    • Monitor the Usage of Privileged Accounts
  • Use Multifactor Authentication for All Administration Accounts
  • Invest in Endpoint Protection and Detection Solutions That Specifically Address Admin Account Takeover
  • Create and Use Dedicated Windows 10 Workstations for Administrator Tasks
  • Use Privileged Access Management Tools
    • Use PAM Tools to Manage Local Administrator Accounts
    • Implement Windows Least-Privilege Tools
    • Use Microsoft's Tools for Managing Privileged Access

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