Why Do Organizations Need to Implement Least Privilege Principle Post Haste?

According to the leading 2020 cloud security report, the attacks on cloud systems have jumped by 250%. There is no doubt the increasing popularity of cloud computing platforms has attracted hackers looking for opportunities to steal sensitive data and bring your business systems down.

The principle of least privilege can be a good shield of defense to prevent unauthorized access to critical business systems and processes in the cloud. If you think, what does an organization accomplish using least privilege? Here are some things you should know.

Create a Secure Environment for Your Business Processes

According to a leading security report, there were around 1001 cases of cloud data breaches in the United States alone. The cloud environment has thousands of configurations. If a user accidentally resets a critical area of the cloud network, the cloud environment would be exposed to risks and cyber-attacks.

The concept of least privilege eliminates the possibility of such misconfiguration or mistake. The least privilege principle ensures the user has limited access to cloud resources and settings related to his work. All this reduces the probability of human errors and creates a secure environment for your business processes and data.

Reduces the Possibility of Catastrophic Loss

When you wonder, what does an organization accomplish using least privilege? Think about the financial losses caused by data breaches. As per the leading security report, the healthcare sector reported losses of $6.45 million per breach in 2019.

The concept of least privilege limits the possibility of catastrophic losses due to compromised users, systems, and devices in the cloud. If the hacker gets backdoor access to a user account, the scope of the damage will be limited to the users’ job functions.

Suppose a hacker gets access to a MySQL user account with limited privileges; they will access data and not modify or delete it. Similarly, if a hacker gets access to the admin user account, the scope of the account would be limited to managing cloud resources. The hacker would not get access to the financial records of the organization.

Encourages Healthy Network

The concept of least privilege requires the organization to classify data and categorize it as per data sensitivity. The data classification paves a straightforward way to determine which users have limited access to sensitive data and users who don’t need access to sensitive data. The limited access to sensitive data acts as an additional layer of protection, and organizations can meet data compliance as per industry requirements.

The data classification also helps the organization know what kind of data is generated and stored in the cloud and who has access to what. When the access permission and responsibilities are explicit, it encourages building a healthy network where every user is aware of what he can access and what is restricted.

Superior Audit Capabilities

Enterprises often face risk from insiders, and users with malicious intentions can leak data and cause substantial financial losses for businesses. The concept of least privileges ensures every user has limited access permissions in the cloud environment.

In case of a data leak, the investigator can trace the access of the data and actions of users.  They can conduct an efficient probe by focusing on defined applications, users, and areas.

Superior Data Security

Data is a gold mine for business organizations that need to be protected at all costs. Data security is also part of compliance requirements. The concept of least privilege strengthens the foundation of data security. The whole exercise of limited permissions is targeted to prevent unauthorized access to any cloud environment element, including data.

Cloud security experts mention that the concept of least privileges also prevents admin accounts from accessing sensitive business data if it is not related to their job function. 

Protection Against SQL Injection Attacks

An SQL injection is a common type of attack on cloud platforms. It is a type of web attack where a hacker injects malicious SQL statements that intervene in the queries sent by the application to the database.

The concept of least privilege allows for limited MySQL user accounts where the user can perform limited actions on the database. For example, a low-level SQL account with limited privileges can only sort the records and read the information. The limited permissions of the concerned account ensure the hacker cannot make any changes to the SQL database.

To sum up, cloud platforms offer innumerous benefits to organizations of every size. It allows businesses to enjoy advanced and powerful computing resources at a fraction of the cost. The principle of least privilege gives you complete control of the cloud environment and allows you to enjoy the benefits minus risks.