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5 Keys To Successful Least Privilege Policy Implementation

The invention of the internet and the latest technologies allows business owners to simplify operations and enhance the efficiency of their businesses. However, it comes with some risks. For instance, it can allow outsiders to access business networks, thus increasing the chances of online or cybersecurity attacks

A successful online attack can harm your business in various ways. For instance, you can lose your critical data. 

Data forms an integral part of your company. Without it, you might not be able to make strategic decisions. As a result, your business will barely take off from the ground. 

Furthermore, customers won’t trust your brand if it’s prone to cybersecurity attacks. This significantly affects the reputation of your company.  Therefore, you should find effective ways to enhance your cybersecurity strategy. 

You can consider various strategies to increase your business’s online security. One of them is the principle of least privilege.

This article discusses essential keys to successfully implementing the least privilege policy. But before delving into the details, here is an overview of this strategy.  

An Overview Of Least Privilege Principle 

The least privilege principle is an online security strategy that gives ordinary users the bare minimum level of access needed to perform a particular task. In simple terms, it ensures employees are given only the level of access necessary to complete the assigned tasks or authorized activities. 

There are several benefits of implementing the least privilege principle. For instance, it can protect your company against common attacks like malware and Structured Query Language (SQL) injections.

Also, the least privilege principle involves classifying data and assigning various permissions to different employees. This goes a long way in helping you create a healthy and secure network.  

In addition to that, the strategy allows for better online security and audit capabilities. All these enhance your company’s cybersecurity strategy.  

Implementing The Least Privilege Principle In Your Business 

As you’ve seen above, implementing the least privilege principle offers considerable benefits. However, the policy of least privilege comes with its own set of operational challenges, thus making it hard for organizations to embrace it. But with the right strategies, you can be sure to adopt the least privilege policy in your business successfully and reap its benefits.  

That said, here are five keys to the successful implementation of the least privilege policy: 

  • Build A Privileged Password Policy

Passwords form an integral part of running your company’s systems securely. They ensure that only people with specific rights can access certain information. This goes a long way in boosting your business’s online security. 

Therefore, you must build privileged and clear password policies. This ensures everyone using your passwords understands how to protect them. 

In addition to that, you should consider establishing solid passwords for all your accounts. As a result, no non-user can correctly guess them. 

You can adopt numerous strategies to help build strong passwords. First of all, your passwords must be reasonably long. For instance, you can consider creating passwords of more than 12 characters.  

In addition, make sure you include a variety of characters in your passwords. These include numerals, letters (upper and lower case), and non-standard characters. Furthermore, you should change passwords regularly. Promoting the use of uncrackable passwords is part of a robust cybersecurity strategy.  

  • Involve Various Stakeholders When Determining Privilege Access Levels

Being a business owner means handling numerous activities on the same day. For instance, you may want to supervise your team, connect with clients, attend business forums, and even address private matters. That means you may lack enough time to develop and effectively implement the least privilege policy in your company systems. For that reason, you may consider working with other company stakeholders. Doing so helps you to complete the task in no time.  

Stakeholders like the human resources manager and department heads can help determine which workers need access and to what extent. Such collaboration can help streamline the implementation of the principle of least privilege than doing the work alone.  

  • Set All New Accounts With Least Privilege 

Today, you may be running a small business with just a few employees. However, this may change as your company starts to grow. That means giving more employees the right to access your business information. And to achieve that, you need to create new accounts.  

When you decide to build new accounts, you should set their privilege as low as possible. In simple terms, you should give new employees the right to access only what is necessary to complete their assigned tasks. You’ll only need to add specific higher-level access as the job demands. Therefore, ensure the default setting for all newly created account privileges is set to the bare minimum access.  

  • Determine And Remove Any Inactive User Accounts 

Inactive user accounts can pose a significant danger to your organization. Such accounts are less monitored. Therefore, hackers can use them to access your business without being caught. 

Besides hackers, employees who no longer work for you may use such dormant accounts to access company information without your knowledge (Remember that ex-Cisco employee who Cisco’s AWS Infrastructure; erased virtual machines). It’s therefore essential to identify and remove them before implementing the least privilege policy in your organization.  

  • Select The Right Managed Service Provider 

Adopting the least privilege policy is one of the best approaches to dealing with cybersecurity attacks. However, this strategy might not work if you partner with the wrong access management service provider. 

There are numerous managed service providers you can partner with. However, not all can effectively and seamlessly implement your least privilege policy. Strive to find a service provider with the best solution.  

You can consider various factors to ensure you find the best partner in the market. These include expertise, experience, availability, and technology used, among others. 

Aside from these, the selected service provider should have your company’s best interests at heart. Only by selecting the best identity and data security solution can you have a hassle-free least privilege implementation process. 

Takeaway

Implementing the principle of least privilege in your company’s systems is one of the best approaches to access management. It ensures that permissions or ‘privileges’ are given only as needed and revoked when access is no longer necessary. Hence, only the minimum level of access is granted to ordinary users, while privileged users have a higher level of access. Their respective roles determine access.

Although it sounds simple, implementing the least privilege policy isn’t easy. However, adopting the abovementioned strategies can help you successfully enforce this security policy in your business systems.

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