Ask the Expert

Selectively set read and write permissions

I have seen many security products and tools that allow administrators to selectively set read or write access on a workstation for devices like USB, FireWire ports, internal/external CD/DVD drives, Bluetooth, etc. This can probably be done by manipulating registry settings, but I am interested in a more secure solution that can be done programmatically.

You raise an excellent point. There are currently third-party tools that can do this. I don't have experience with any of them directly, so I can't offer a recommendation, but your suggested solutions will help you manage removable devices and other hardware additions to a system.

Windows Server Longhorn (Windows Server 2008) will include controls for these types of policies within Group Policy, if you can hold out that long.

Expert advice on read and write permissions

This was first published in May 2007

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