Least Privilege and Password Management Software
Password management software is an important part of any security policy that relies on the concept of least privilege. This software allows you to exercise full control over user’s habits with their passwords, forcing changes at whatever intervals you find appropriate and making sure that users set up passwords that provide them with adequate security against brute force cracking attempts or lucky guesses by coworkers or others who may harbor bad intentions for the network or the computer itself. Without good password protection, a least privilege policy is really not worth anything at all.
Least privilege simply means giving users the least possible amount of privileges they need to do their jobs. The policy is one of the most effective in that access is given at a granular level. Those who need to be able to connect to printers, for instance, can be restricted from connecting to any other network devices. Users who need to install software on a particular computer can be given authorization to do so without giving them authorization to do so on any computer within the network. This is one of the most effective ways to not only provide security against malicious attacks, but also to provide protection against innocent, but devastating, mistakes.
Least privilege policies, however, will not work if passwords are weak or predictable. Someone with sufficient access can oftentimes gain access to accounts that give them too much power, either through digital attacks or through simple social engineering. There is also a persistent hazard in least privilege policies that users will start sharing their passwords with one another out of frustration at having to ask for access to do each individual aspect of their job. Third-party programs allow administrators to create groups with very specific levels of access and to give any user certain rights as an individual on the network, eliminating the hassles of some of the most stringent security policies.
Developing and implementing any kind of permissions-based security policy is much easier with applications that help you do it. These applications should allow granularized security and the ability to customize the level of access any user is given without extending that access to all the other members of their group. These applications are increasingly a part of security policies that protect systems but that also allow users convenient and practical access to the resources they need.