Using applications that access the Internet or have potential Internet sources using administrative privileges exposes a system to compromise. If a flaw in an application is exploited while running as a privileged user, the entire system could be compromised. Web browsers and email are common attack vectors for introducing malicious code and must not be run with an administrative account.
Since administrative accounts may generally change or work around technical restrictions for running a web browser or other applications, it is essential that policy requires administrative accounts to not access the Internet or use applications, such as email.
The policy should define specific exceptions for local service administration. These exceptions may include HTTP(S)-based tools that are used for the administration of the local system, services, or attached devices.
Technical means such as application whitelisting can be used to enforce the policy to ensure compliance.
NOTE: Please review the benchmark to ensure target compliance.
Establish and enforce a policy that prohibits administrative accounts from using applications that access the Internet, such as web browsers, or with potential Internet sources, such as email. Define specific exceptions for local service administration. These exceptions may include HTTP(S)-based tools that are used for the administration of the local system, services, or attached devices.
Implement technical measures where feasible such as removal of applications or use of application whitelisting to restrict the use of applications that can access the Internet.
The following resource is also helpful.
This security hardening control applies to the following category of controls within NIST 800-53: Configuration Management.This control applies to the following type of system Windows.