The Principle Of Least Privilege Expounded
The principle of least privilege means that the access of an organization’s or company’s data is limited to a few individuals by their identity. What this principle means is that any person that has no authority to access data will not be able to do so since their identity will not be recognized by the system and thus rendering their efforts to access the data unfruitful. It is for this reason that some risks which necessitate companies to use the principle of the least privilege have risen. We are therefore going to expound further on some of the risks that a company is exposed in the use of the principle of least privilege.
The principle of least privilege has some risks that are associated with it and one of the major risks is the dormant identities. When an individual has access to a company’s important information or data and has not been consistent in reviewing and looking in into the system for a very long time they become inactive and this is what we mean by the terminology dormant identities. An individual may be so caught up in their day to day activities of the company and may forget about such privileges and it may not be their problem since they just preoccupied with other equally important activities of the organization. The dormant identities are very risky for an organization because some individuals with evil motives can such inactivity in some of the people who have been privileged to access the company’s information and use their identity to access the data and information about the company which is very classified and may ruin the operations of that particular organization. This kind of risk is very crucial and needs to be checked since other parties can access data which they are not allowed to do so.
Privilege escalation is another risk that is associated with the principle of least privilege. Privilege escalation can happen in two dimensions which is horizontal privilege escalation or vertical privilege escalation. Horizontal privilege escalation is a situation where an individual who has an account with less activity and functions manages to reach an account of another person who has more ability and functions. In vertical privilege escalation, this exists where a person who is of a lower authority within the structure of an organization manages to get access to the account of another individual who ranks higher in the organization and uses the privilege of that account in order for them to maliciously benefit themselves with the resources of the organization. This risk is very dangerous and a company needs to always keep it in check.