If you are constantly worried about the security of your confidential information on the cloud, you have reached the right place. By applying the rule of least privilege, you can ensure that your data remains safe and secure from hackers.
The principle of least privilege (POLP) works best if you work in an extensive network of computers that uses multiple processes, applications, and devices to use and share critical information among users.
The security concept helps to assign bare privileges to specific users based on their requirements. Read on to understand more about this cybersecurity system.
What Is The Least Privilege Rule?
The least privilege is the practice of restricting user access rights to a particular system or a database. The concept states that a user, device, application, account, or computer process should perform only a particular function within a specific network.
Regardless of how important a user or an application is for a computer system, the rule of least privilege reduces data breaches and cybersecurity attacks in many organizations.
It also helps reduce the chances of data leaks and infection from malware.
According to a recent report, around 38 percent of data breaches in 2018 occurred due to data security problems within an organization. It has forced many companies to adopt the zero-trust concept, along with the least privilege rule.
With a zero-trust security model, every connection is checked before allowing access to a user of any level. The popularity of this model has skyrocketed as many organizations are moving their workloads to the cloud.
How Does The Least Privilege Rule Work?
In a traditional network security architecture, networks are divided into different zones with the help of firewalls and malware protection programs. But hackers can easily crack the security code and enter your system.
Hence, it is essential to implement the least privilege rule to promote restrictive access rights and mitigate the chances of cyberattacks. The leading web servers connected to the public internet on the cloud are put into a secured demilitarized (DMZ) zone.
Here, each access request is closely monitored, and traffic is controlled.
Two Concepts Of POLP
The rule of least privilege works on two concepts that can close security loopholes in an organization.
In this concept, you can reduce user access to a particular database for the shortest period. It is essential for cybersecurity purposes, and the user has to finish their task within the timeframe.
If an employee is promoted or changes their position within different departments, they get unnecessary permissions to critical information.
With the concept of POLP, this redundant access is removed, and the risk of a cyberattack is reduced to a great extent.
Ways To Implement Least Privilege Rule In Your Company
Here are a few ways to implement the least privilege rule in your organization.
It is the most commonly used security system in many companies. With more employees working from home in the pandemic, POLP allows maintaining data security by allowing people to access critical data only from an office building.
It works best for a large-scale organization with thousands of employees accessing the company database. It is implemented using identity access management tools (IAM).
These tools allow data access to a selected group of employees based on their job descriptions.
Critical applications are always stored in the central server of the company’s network. Only an IT security member can log in to the system and retrieve data from the computer. POLP uses machine-based access for classified information.
One-Time Use Access
The system uses passwords generated for single-time usage. You can use One-Time Passwords (OTPs) to enter into the privileged system, do your task, and log out securely from the system.
There may be times when an employee may need information suddenly for a specific project. At such times, you can elevate the privileges on an as-needed basis. You can then revert to standard access without compromising on data security.
Steps To Implement Principle Of Least Privilege Rule In Your Company
Here are the basic steps to deploy a POLP system.
- Conduct an audit to check current accounts and programs for security loopholes.
- Set the least privilege rule across all systems and networks. You can later add high-level access based on user preferences.
- Ensure that you have segregated privileges and tightened security control across different areas.
- Maximize the just-in-time access rule to implement a secure working environment in your company.
- Implement multi-factor user authentication for all user access.
- Continuously monitor all systems and networks to keep out cyberattacks.
- Ensure that each user action is recorded and tracked for maximum security.
- Conduct regular audits to keep an eye on suspicious activities.