We're often asked how Defendpoint works in a datacenter environment, how customers can achieve the same level of control over servers as they can with their endpoints.
When it comes to data breaches, servers represent one of the largest targets for both external and insider attacks. The risks around servers are often amplified by the fact that users login with highly privileged accounts.
From the Target data breach to Edward Snowden, it is clear that giving users carte blanche access with admin accounts can have serious repercussions. This puts organizations in a difficult position as the lack of granular controls built into Windows means that users require an admin account to perform even basic server tasks.
At Avecto we want to help you bridge this divide. We can help you remove admin accounts without limiting users. So many of the data breaches that dominate the news could have been mitigated with simple steps like Privilege Management and Application Control.
From rogue admins to nation state attackers, all have leveraged over privileged access to systems. If you can move to a position of least privilege, you automatically move to least risk as well. When this is combined with robust Application Control you are able to proactively defend against known and unknown threats attempting to add and run unwanted applications on your server. Defendpoint from Avecto is designed to make this as easy as possible to achieve.
Let's run through some of the key benefits Defendpoint can offer on Windows Servers:
Compliance - Many industries have compliance mandates to conform to, such as PCI-DSS and MAS. These follow industry best practise around controlling access to key systems usually by minimising the number of admin users. Defendpoint can help you achieve best practise and compliance without limiting any users' ability to perform their role.
3rd party access - One of the biggest threats to an organization is when 3rd parties require access to key systems. This is often necessary to perform maintenance or integrate systems. Defendpoint allows you control and monitor this access ensuring that only approved tasks or tools can be executed.
PowerShell - Defendpoint provides powerful remote PowerShell capabilities removing the need for admin accounts on the server to connect remotely. Combined with granular control over PowerShell commands users can log in and run commands from a standard user account without being able to interfere with services beyond their remit.
Maintenance windows - Defendpoint's granular controls can ensure that application updates and maintenance can only be performed at certain times ensuring the systems remain up during core business hours. This can be extended with WMI queries, for example ensuring application teams can only perform tasks on machines related to their application.
Content control - This allows standard users to edit files in protected locations without risking having to run tools with admin rights. A good example is when a user might need to edit a config file, this would normally require notepad to run with admin rights. This elevated notepad could then be abused to alter other files on the system. Defendpoint allows targeted access to content so users can edit files without introducing security risks.
Reduce risk - Admin users are often targeted in sophisticated spear phishing and social engineering campaigns. In the event that an Admin users credentials are compromised this introduces a huge risk to an organization. Defendpoint's position of least privilege and Application Control mitigates these risks and reduces your organizations attack surface.
These are just some of the benefits that can be quickly realised on your Windows Server estate. For more information on how prevention is possible contact our team today to arrange a demo.
James Maude, Director of Research
James Maude is the Director of Research at BeyondTrust’s Manchester, U.K., office. James has broad experience in security research, conducting in-depth analysis of malware and cyber threats to identify attack vectors and trends in the evolving security landscape. His background in forensic computing and active involvement in the security research community makes him an expert voice on cybersecurity. He regularly presents at international events and hosts webinars to discuss threats and defense strategies.