BeyondTrust has released the seventh edition of its Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, which showed provides the latest annual breakdown into security vulnerabilities facing organisations today.
The report also shows a five-year trends analysis to better equip organizations to increase their IT security posture and keep networks and systems safe.
Key findings of the report include statistics showing that during the past year, a record-high number of 858 Microsoft vulnerabilities were discovered and the number of reported vulnerabilities has risen 64 percent in the last five years – from 2015-2019. It also revealed that removing admin rights from endpoints would mitigate 77 percent of all Critical Microsoft vulnerabilities in 2019.
“The rate at which vulnerabilities are increasing is a significant concern for organizations committed to protecting their networks from data breaches,” said Morey Haber, CTO and CISO, BeyondTrust. “Recent global events have highlighted the critical need to continue to focus on information security. The ability to remove admin rights and control applications is no longer difficult to achieve, and least privilege should always be considered as part of a proactive security strategy.”
Other findings of the report include:
- 100 percent of Critical vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer would have been mitigated by removing admin rights
- 100 percent of Critical vulnerabilities in Microsoft Edge would have been mitigated by removing admin rights
- 80 percent of Critical vulnerabilities affecting Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 would have been mitigated by removing admin rights
- 80 percent of Critical vulnerabilities affecting Windows Servers would have been mitigated by removing admin rights
Further analysis indicates that on average over the last five years 83 percent of all Critical vulnerabilities published by Microsoft could have been mitigated by security teams removing admin rights from users.
“Removing admin rights is not just about security,” said Sami Laiho, Microsoft MVP and Ethical Hacker. “Removing admin rights will also allow your computers to run faster, better and longer, with less reinstallations. My larger customers have measured a 75 percent reduction in the amount of help desk tickets after removing admin rights, resulting in a more secure and productive environment for extended periods of time.”