The principle of least privilege states that the more a user has access to, the more chance there is for them to make a mistake or screw up and harm their computer or your business.
This reduces the potential for unauthorized access or data breaches, increases system stability, and can also reduce the cost of maintaining systems.
This approach can be helpful for demonstrating compliance with industry regulations such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, and FISMA.
How Does Least Privilege Work?
Basically, least privilege access means that users will only have access to the information and resources they need to do their jobs.
They won't be allowed to share or give access to any information or resources they don't need. This prevents accidental release of confidential data. It also prevents abuse of power by preventing a user from performing actions that are not related to their job role.
It's important to note here that this doesn't necessarily mean that a user must have the least amount of privileges necessary for them to perform their job duties; it means they can only perform actions that are necessary for those duties and no more!
A nurse might need full access as well as some limited permissions in order for her computer workstation/systems administration workstations (which may include things like scheduling software). But if she has an unrelated project requiring extra permissions on another system—such as being an editor at an external blog site—then those additional permissions should probably be revoked immediately once she finishes working on said project so there isn't any chance someone else could take advantage of them later down-line without knowing what's going on until too late because nobody would tell them unless asked directly about it first."
How to implement Least Privilege
There are 3 approaches you can take to implement least privilege:
1. Granular access
This works by granting specific permissions to users across internal systems and SaaS applications. A common approach for implementing this is to configure different groups in your identity provider based on typical sets of permissions your users will require.
2. Time-based access
Time based access automatically revokes user access after a specified duration or once a specific task has been completed. For example, a user that requires access to a production system to solve a customer ticket will only be granted permissions while they're working on that specific task.
3. Just-in-time access
Instead of granting access to every employee, with just-in-time access companies can provision access to tools based on a justification. These access requests can be handled via your ticketing system or slack and require approvals.
Multiplier's identity governance tool helps organizations using Jira Service Management implement least privilege at scale by automating the 3 approaches above.
Benefits of Least Privilege
Least privilege access has many benefits:
- It reduces risk of data breaches by limiting user permissions
- It improves system stability by minimizing unnecessary privileges and reducing chances of accidental errors caused by using unneeded privileges
- It helps reduce operating costs because it minimizes maintenance costs due to unnecessary privilege
Least privilege is an important concept to understand, but it can be confusing and difficult to implement. The key is to remember that the concept doesn’t require you to give up access rights entirely; instead, it requires you to only grant as many privileges as necessary for a given individual or group of individuals so that if anything goes wrong with one of those systems or processes they have fewer ways in which their actions could affect other systems.