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The concept of least privilege states that asset users should have the lowest level of access privileges required to effectively conduct their jobs. Implementing least privilege can bring several benefits to your organization, including:

At its most basic level, least privilege is about restricting users to standard user permissions. Let’s drill down a bit, though. Effectively leveraging least privilege to secure user environments means taking several specific actions, including:

Easy, right? Not if you do it manually. You can try, but forget about those “reduced help desk costs” I mentioned above. You might want to buy some serious headache medicine while you’re at it.

Fortunately, there are policy-based tools that interact seamlessly with Active Directory and Web Services to automatically manage privileges in Windows environments. Tools like PowerBroker for Windows enable you to leverage Group Policy to create policies and assign them to users or computers – covering just about any privilege management use case you can imagine.

At their core, these solutions keep workers at standard user privileges while elevating privileges for their applications. This means that users can get their jobs done without ever requiring elevated privileges themselves. How does this work? Well, PowerBroker for Windows modifies the application’s security token, enabling the application (or OS function) to run with the permissions required for the task at hand. The application appears to be fully interactive, as if the user executed it with administrator privileges, but in reality it’s not. This is because PowerBroker includes controls to regulate things like sub process launches and directories – as well as other tamper proofing features to ensure the application is not misused after granting elevated privileges.

For those cases where your users or admins directly need elevated privileges for specific server or desktop functions, BeyondTrust offers a privileged password management solution. PowerBroker Password Safe securely stores passwords, allows users to check them out, connects remotely with compete session recording, and automatically randomizes and resets passwords once sessions are complete.

> Learn more about automated Windows privilege management > Read the PowerBroker for Windows Use Cases White Paper > Learn more about privileged password and session management