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Re: Non-administrator advantages / disadvantages
From: Christopher R Webber <christopher.webber () UCR EDU>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 22:00:16 +0000

I think the larger picture needs to be looked at:

- Who are your clients?
- What is your actual goal?
- What do your users need?

Frequently we get all huffy puffy about not being able to install software etc, but is that really a service to the 
"business?" My bet is you will need to find a balance. If you are managing a clerical worker that has a very distinct 
job, sure, lock it down (just make sure Freecell gets installed). If you are dealing with say a Resident Director or 
someone in Student Affairs, it may be a job requirement that they are able to play video games or can install software. 
It all depends.

The typical BOFH attitude of CONTROL EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME needs to end. This is exactly why BYOD is winning, because 
even executives are tired of the stupid crap IT puts them through.


-- cwebber

Christopher Webber - Systems Administrator
Bioinformatics Core - Institute for Integrative Genome Biology
University of California, Riverside

Twitter: @cwebber
Tel: 951.867.7108

On Nov 30, 2012, at 13:48 , "Shalla, Kevin" <kshalla () UIC EDU<mailto:kshalla () UIC EDU>>

A few have admin rights now, and there’s a stampede by others to also get it, so we’re considering granting it to many 


From: The EDUCAUSE Security Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:SECURITY () LISTSERV EDUCAUSE 
EDU<http://LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>] On Behalf Of Steven Alexander
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:00 PM
Subject: Re: [SECURITY] Non-administrator advantages / disadvantages


Most users don’t require anything above basic user privilege to do their jobs.  If you give them administrator rights, 
you are giving up control of their machines.  The users can install any software, bypass group policy and possibly gain 
domain admin rights (if a domain admin logs in to their machine).  They will also be much more vulnerable to malware.  
Most malware requires administrator privilege for full functionality because admin rights are needed to install device 
drivers, put a network card into promiscuous mode or install a new service.

Prohibited software can span a pretty wide range: games, P2P software, unlicensed/pirated software, personally owned 
software.  You need to worry about performance/compatibility problems, security issues, copyright.

What’s the context behind your question?  Do your users have admin rights now?  Are you considering granting or taking 
away admin rights for everyone or just some users?


Steven Alexander Jr.
Online Education Systems Manager
Merced College
3600 M Street
Merced, CA 95348-2898
(209) 384-6191
alexander.s () mccd edu<mailto:alexander.s () mccd edu>

From: The EDUCAUSE Security Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:SECURITY () LISTSERV EDUCAUSE EDU] On Behalf Of Shalla, 
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 12:24 PM
Subject: [SECURITY] Non-administrator advantages / disadvantages

I’m trying to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of prohibiting administrator access for users of Windows 
computers.  Can you provide feedback on what I have below?  By the way, what’s an example of software that is generally 
prohibited?  Is BitTorrent an example?  Is it common?

Most malware stays on one user profile, so other users on same machine are unaffected.  Deleting the profile can remove 
the malware. Prohibited (by policy) software doesn’t get installed.  Combinations of software known to be problematic 
are not installed (like multiple active versions of antivirus).

User cannot install or update some software immediately – have to wait for desktop support.

Kevin Shalla


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