Flexible least privilege environment empowers PwC Switzerland's workforce while increasing endpoint security.

Avecto, the market leader in privilege management, has announced that PwC Switzerland has successfully implemented its Privilege Guard technology to increase IT security across its Windows 7 environment, while giving its 2,600-strong workforce greater control over their IT and application service needs.

PwC Switzerland is part of the global PwC network, providing tax and legal, assurance and advisory services to almost 13,000 clients. With 60-70% of employees at PwC Switzerland working between 15 different office locations as well as remotely, the company wanted a solution that would manage the authorization of application downloads and access requests, in line with its stringent information security policies.

By creating an environment of least privilege, PwC Switzerland is able to streamline the management of access rights to IT services across its workforce. This enables the IT team to assign elevated rights to users based on their requirements, without the need to assign full administrator privileges.

Avecto Privilege Guard provides PwC Switzerland with application elevation, application control, customizable end user messaging and a complete auditing and reporting framework for all its Windows-based systems. With the solution, PwC Switzerland can track which applications or software staff are installing on a regular basis so that intelligent policy rules can be developed around the applications that staff need to carry out their jobs. Additionally, the least privilege environment significantly reduces the time spent administering day-to-day procedures such as installing printer drivers or different internet browsers.

"Avecto Privilege Guard fits the bill perfectly in terms of keeping user desktops flexible and customizable, while at the same time guaranteeing secure access" said Lee Barnett, CISO, PwC Switzerland."

"We have been able to remove default administrator privileges from all users and processes, using elevation on demand to assign rights when required. This approach allows us to increase platform stability and reduce security risk. Now we can keep everyone as a standard user and use Privilege Guard to securely assign privileges directly to the required applications and tasks, which is a huge step forward for our organization."

Following the successful introduction of Privilege Guard at PwC Switzerland, other members of the PwC network are in the process of evaluating or introducing an environment of least privilege to achieve the same benefits.

"Users don't want the IT department to be a bottleneck to achieving their daily tasks. They want requests to be reviewed and sanctioned quickly; whether that is granting access to a specific browser or a connection to an external printer. Delays in administering requests can be a huge source of employee frustration but at the same time IT is under significant pressure to protect data and systems," said Paul Kenyon, VP Global Sales at Avecto.

"Being more responsive to the requests of users while enforcing tight security and governance is a challenge facing most enterprises. By adopting a strategy of least privilege, organizations can meet user needs for more flexibility while at the same time increasing their security processes."

For more detail on how PwC Switzerland has successfully rolled out Privilege Guard to achieve user flexibility in a secure environment, download the full case study.