Surveying the Wild Wild West of Microsoft Server Administration

BeyondTrust, February 28th, 2012


I was the on the phone with a large company discussing their requirements surrounding the control of administrator access to Microsoft based servers and applications. Within 5 minutes it became clear of where the folks on the phone stood: “managing our Microsoft servers is akin to the wild wild west”. In this company there are over 500 servers supporting hundreds of critical business applications and hundreds of system and application administrators working daily on those machines. For this company, the the current administrative operating procedure for almost every Windows server administrative task is this: a remote desktop session logged in with full administrative privilege. I quote one of the folks on the line: “It’s a bloody mess”.

From many similar conversations, this company has come to the realization that because of their administrative practices, their corporate information is at significant risk.I have learned quickly, based on this conversations and others with different enterprise customers and prospects, that this company is not alone in their precarious IT situation. Compounding this issue is pressure from auditors that are looking for evidence that technical controls are in place to restrict access to information based on an individual’s role as is mandated by regulations like PCI, among others. This now begs the question, “how can BeyondTrust assist in this area?” For an answer to this question, you’ll have to stay tuned for my next blog…”Controlling the Wild Wild West of Windows Server Administration