The principle of least privilege (PoLP) or least privilege principle refers to the practice of providing only the bare minimum permissions needed by users for completing legitimate tasks. This concept can be extended and applied to processes, applications, devices, and more. It's the first step in strengthening your organization's security posture by reducing the cyberattack surface.
Listed below are a few examples where the principle of least privilege has been established to ensure data security.
Most data security best practices call for implementing PoLP as their foremost measure to ensure critical data does not fall into the wrong hands. Learn about the various benefits of establishing PoLP across your organization below.
Most malware attacks like ransomware and SQL injection attacks use elevated permissions to move laterally and damage any business-critical data that they have access to. In such cases, PoLP helps reduce the number of access points that malware can use to propagate the infection.
Malicious insiders deliberately try to steal or disrupt IT systems using their elevated credentials. Limiting inappropriate levels of access to employees can forestall their attempts to sabotage the organization.
Data confidentiality refers to the various standards maintained to protect sensitive personal data from unwanted, unintentional, and unlawful exposure. Least privilege access helps keep a close eye on who has access to carry out what actions on which files and folders. This knowledge is vital to maintain data confidentiality.
Most regulatory bodies, including the GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA, mandate organizations to locate and roll back excessive privileges provided to users across critical data. Maintaining PoLP across your data stores can help improve your audit readiness drastically.
For more details, check out our best practices to set NTFS permissions.