BeyondTrust released a new tool that automates discovery of applications that require administrator-level rights to operate. Such applications pose a risk to desktop security.

"Enterprises are quickly waking up to the danger of elevated privileges and the need to remove administrator rights, but until now it has been prohibitively time-consuming to identify which applications would break if those rights were removed," said BeyondTrust CEO John Moyer.

The company's new Application Rights Auditor can automatically identify those applications. The tool is designed as a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in with an accompanying desktop component. BeyondTrust said that the desktop component "transparently examines applications during execution \[and sends\] encrypted log files to a secure server." The logs can then be examined via the MMC span-in.

Application Rights Auditor, available as a free download, works with Windows 2000, XP and Vista, Windows Server 2003 and 2008, as well as 64-bit Windows platforms.