HOW TO BEST PRACTICE THE PRINCIPLE OF LEAST PRIVILEGE

Often referred to as PoLP, the incredible principle of least privilege is a mind-blowing concept that can help protect your company data against attacks within or outside the organization. It enables you to have a reliable security policy in place, ensuring valuable information is protected at all costs.

But what exactly does the principle of least privilege mean as applied to security? In straightforward terms, it means that the permanent access to a company’s data and most vital assets must be limited to the administration. Every other user, program, employee, and application should have access only to the specific data or information they need to complete the task at hand.

Moreover, the newest employees should have the least access to the organization’s most important data. This method of controlled and monitored access to valuable, sensitive data reduces the risk of cyber attacks on the company.

 

Implementing and enforcing the least privilege principle

Data is critical to companies, educational institutions, governments, and other organizations as it enables them to grow, study performance results, and make more efficient plans for the future.

To effectively use the highly effective PoLP idea in your organization’s data protection strategies, ensure you follow these pivotal steps.

 

  • Adopt PoLP as a fundamental rule

Using this proven idea as a default basis for all security plans is the most effective way to protect your databases. It will empower your security professionals to consider sensitive points that may be susceptible to attacks from company employees and unethical hackers.

They can also use this information to limit access to these points, making them more secure and better shielded against thefts and misuse.

 

  • Have fewer privileged accounts

You will have to manage various accounts in your organization with the same amount of security and attention. But while shared service and user accounts are reasonably easy to monitor, privileged accounts need special protection.

That’s because attackers primarily target accounts with unlimited privileged access to almost every critical database in the organization. So, the fewer the privileged accounts, the easier it is to control, access, and manage them.

 

Now that you know what the principle of least privilege means as applied to security, you can successfully use this tactic to ensure the utmost protection of your data.

 

  • Eliminate all unnecessary components

Often, developers fail to disable or remove unrequired services when they configure new applications or systems. As a result, these services are quickly enabled during the system start-up, leading to malware infiltration and attacks.

So, ensure your security team identifies and removes these unnecessary components, protecting your company from data thefts. Also, hackers could identify these weak areas and hack into your system’s database with ease.

  • Enforce robust security protocols

Using other security principles besides PoLP for optimum data protection would be prudent. For instance, you could use the “need-to-know” code wherein employees can access sensitive data only if they need to see it.

Also, the “separation of duties” is another excellent way to ensure each user has their own separate set of tasks, eliminating the possibility of clashes, confusion, and conflict.

 

  • Review performance logs regularly

It is critical to monitor and check data authorizations and authentication to sensitive information every day. Otherwise, you may become aware of an attack only after it has occurred.

So, use effective automation to review daily access logs and set it to alert you if there are any unauthorized or unusual activities.

Moreover, it would be best to keep a keen eye on successful and failed log-in attempts, as they could be critical indicators of hacking attempts. It can help you make necessary changes to all types of access control in your organization, ensuring no firewalls are installed without the proper approval.

 

  • Manage passwords effectively

Ensuring all your passwords are hack-proof is a crucial step in data protection. The passwords must always be as complex and lengthy as possible, which can’t be easily guessed.

Additionally, you should include numeric, special characters, numbers, and distinct symbols which will make sense only to you. Adding a default age to passwords is an excellent idea as it ensures that you change the passwords after they reach a certain age.

Finally, the systems must remember only a certain number of passwords for each user to prevent immediate reuse effectively.

 

  • Consider implementing time-based privileges

Of course, you should ensure this feature does not impede the ability of employees to do their jobs well. When you have role-based access control in place, the chances of data theft and hacks are a lot fewer.

Therefore, try to have a function where employees are granted access to specific data for a period just enough to finish the respective task. If possible, you can also have your security team implement the same feature for specific administrative staff.

 

Ultimately, all the above steps are pivotal in helping your organization set up highly secure and attack-proof data protection protocols.

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