The principle of least privilege


The principle of least privilege is a key concept in computer security and information security. It refers to the practice of limiting access rights for users to the bare minimum necessary to perform their job functions. This principle is applied to every part of a system, including systems, processes, users, and programs.

Here are the key aspects of the principle of least privilege:

  1. Access Control: Users are granted only those permissions they need to complete their tasks. For example, a user who needs to read data from a database does not need permissions to modify it.
  2. Minimizing Risk: By limiting the access rights of users and programs, the potential damage from accidents, errors, or unauthorized use is minimized. This reduces the risk of a security breach.
  3. Segmentation of Privileges: Privileges are often segmented and managed separately. For instance, an administrator might have different levels of access depending on the task, rather than having blanket administrative privileges across the entire system.
  4. Regular Review and Adjustment: Privileges should be regularly reviewed and adjusted based on changes in user roles or system configurations. This ensures that the principle remains effective over time.
  5. Application in Software Development: In software development, this principle means giving a program or process only the permissions it needs to operate, thus limiting the potential impact of a security vulnerability in that program.
  6. Defense in Depth: The principle of least privilege is part of a broader security strategy known as defense in depth, where multiple layers of security controls are deployed to protect information and systems.

Overall, the principle of least privilege is about granting the minimum level of access necessary, reducing the attack surface, and mitigating the potential impact of security breaches.

Discover more from Jorge Saldívar

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading