BeyondTrust Extends Vista Security

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All this will be logged for auditing purposes, and "you'll have a record of every instance of every process they ran with elevated justification and you can review that and read their text justification," McCarley added.

Microsoft Group Policy comes with Active Directory servers, and using it to manage integrity levels in Vista lets Privilege Manager 4.0's users "centrally manage and create policies using existing infrastructure and not have to learn new management tools," McCarley said.

"We just snap into Group Policy and don't make any schema changes to Active Directory," McCarley said.

The Analyst's Take

Privilege Manager 4.0 "makes it possible to take some of the security features of Vista and extend them to third party applications that Microsoft didn't provide," said Dan Blum, senior vice president and principal analyst at the Burton Group.

Vista "offers better opportunities for an organization that can control the settings and the way a desktop is configured to have a higher bar for security," he added.

Leveraging Microsoft Group Policy is a good idea because "a large percentage of organizations have an Active Directory domain to which they join their computers, and they'd use Group Policy to tailor aspects of the desktops' configuration," Blum said.

But will it all be worthwhile in light of Vista's poor acceptance among users? That's a tough one: "Vista is underperforming from what I'd expected; I thought it would take until 2010 for it to achieve critical mass but I wonder if it might even take a year longer than that," Blum said.

Other Privilege Manager Information

Privilege Manager users include Liberty Mutual, Boston University, KPMG, HP, Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX), Verizon Wireless (NASDAQ:VZ), the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Army.

BeyondTrust Privilege Manager 4.0 is available now, at $30 a seat. Current users of earlier versions will be upgraded as part of their upgrade assurance program.

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