Feature Friday Automation & Orchestration Continuous Compliance

Feature Friday: Planning Permissions and Least Privileged Access

David Haller

2 min read

Mastering User Permissions: A Guide to Least Privileged Access

When it comes to managing user permissions, the mantra to live by is "least privileged access." Before you start creating or recommending specific permission sets for users, it's essential to consider the far-reaching implications of those permissions. In this blog post, we'll explore the art of planning permissions and ensuring that you maintain a least privileged access approach.

Understand Permission Schemes

The first step in planning user permissions is to understand permission schemes thoroughly. Permission schemes act as the blueprints that define what actions users can take within an application. Let's take an example: the default project permission scheme in Kion. You need to scrutinize this scheme to identify any implied permissions that might grant access you don't want a user to have.

Validate Permissions

You can validate permissions in a few different ways:

  • UI Inspection: One way is to manually inspect permissions through the Kion user interface. This involves going through each setting to ensure they align with your desired access levels.
  • Leverage the API: For a more systematic approach, leverage the API. Navigate to the API's app keys and access the API documentation repository. Use the "permission-mapping" and "permission-scheme" APIs to validate permissions programmatically.

Create Test Users and Groups

Another effective method to vet your permissions is to create test users and groups within your system. Here's how:

  1. In Kion, select Users to access the user management system.
  2. Select Create New User. For testing purposes, give this user a name that clearly indicates its purpose, such as "Permission Testing".
  3. Optionally, you can add this user to a specific group to further test group-level permissions.

Make sure to use the Internal Directory as the identity management system when creating the test user. This enables you to retrieve the user's password, log in as the test user, and verify that the permissions assigned through the roles are accurate and appropriate.

Remember: Abide by Least Privileged Access

In the world of user permissions, "least privileged access" means granting users the minimal permissions necessary to perform their job functions. It's a fundamental principle for enhancing security and minimizing potential risks.

In summary, planning out user permissions requires meticulous attention to detail. To maintain the highest level of security and adhere to the least privileged access principle, it's crucial to thoroughly understand permission schemes, validate permissions, and test user access. By taking these steps, you'll ensure that your application's users have precisely the access they need, nothing more, nothing less.

About the Author

David Haller

David is a Technical Account Manager at Kion.

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