Legacy Apps Put Networks at Risk

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A report by BeyondTrust revealed that enterprise network security is at risk because of old or rogue legacy applications still being used by many organizations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America yesterday.

Close to 200 IT administrators and help desk personnel were surveyed for a combined total of over 250,000 Windows desktops in question.

The survey found that these legacy applications require the administrators and personnel to access elevated administrator or “super user” privileges to get the applications to run, therefore putting the network at an inherent “insider” risk.

For companies with more than 2500 desktops, 51% of the respondents said “in-house applications” were to blame for the need to be in elevated administrator access and 40% of respondents said “other legacy applications,” including old mainframe apps, iPhone apps and gaming software.

Thirty-three percent of respondents said Intuit Quickbooks software was most often discovered to be the biggest application requiring the administrators to elevate network privileges in organizations with fewer than 2500 desktops.

This amounts to thousands of dollars per user of these applications every year; it was found that one-fourth of an IT administrator’s total time is spent on fixing the situations that arise.

Ninety percent of the surveyors conceded to having a problem with spending this much time with the privileges and would like a solution to it in the form of an automated process.

This article has been edited on 2/4/2011 because of a recent change of facts made to BeyondTrust’s original press release.

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