Least Privilege

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Logical Access Control – Least Privilege

If you plan on taking the Security+ exam you should have a good understanding of the various logical access controls including the principle of least privilege. These controls restrict access to the logical network as opposed to restricting access to the physical areas of a building or physical access to devices within the network. This blog is an excerpt from the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-301 Study Guide Least Privilege.

The principle of least privilege is an example of a technical control that uses access controls. Privileges are the rights and permissions assigned to users. Least privilege specifies that individuals and processes are granted only the rights and permissions needed to perform assigned tasks or functions, but no more. For example, if Joe needs to print to a printer, you should grant him print permission for that printer, but nothing else.

This principle also applies to administrators. Not every IT administrator needs full administrative rights on every device within the network. If an administrator only needs to be able to review logs and update specific network devices, the administrator should be given appropriate access to these logs and devices, and no more.

Remember this

Least privilege is a technical control. It specifies that individuals or processes are granted only those rights and permissions needed to perform their assigned tasks or functions.

gcsapremad3 Least Privilege
A colleague shared an extreme example of how this principle was violated where he worked. He was the lone IT administrator, and no matter how much he asked for help, his boss was never able to get him additional staff. The company grew, and he found he was fielding many complaints because users didn’t have the access they needed. He knew he needed to improve the administrative model with groups and roles, but he just didn’t have enough time.

The users complained to his boss, who then put pressure on him. The boss’s direction was simply: “Fix this problem!”

Ultimately, he put all the users into the Domain Admins group. In a Windows Active Directory domain, the Domain Admins group has full rights and permissions to do anything and everything in a domain. Suddenly, all the users had full privileges. This was the equivalent of lighting the fuse on a time bomb. It would only be a matter of time before users purposely or accidentally caused problems with their newfound permissions.

Ironically, his boss was happy because the users stopped complaining. I heard from him a couple of months later. One of the users found payroll data on the network and discovered the salaries of other employees. It spread through the company quickly and caused a significant amount of infighting. At that point, his boss’s boss wasn’t very happy.

It takes a little time and effort to implement role-based access control with groups. However, it reduces overall administration and helps to implement the principle of least privilege.


Security+ Study Resources

Security+ Practice Test Questions

Here's what people are saying about the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-301 Study Guide and packages on this site.

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SYO-401 Practice Test Questions Also Available

 

Pass the Security+ Exam the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 100 random questions. View 100 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 100 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
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INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 


Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.
30 Days60 days
550 realistic Security+ practice test questions All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.Only $29.99

Only $39.99

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SYO-401 Practice Test Questions Also Available

 

Simulated Performance-based Questions

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.
30 Days60 days
550 realistic Security+ practice test questions All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.Only $29.99

Only $39.99

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Study Guide

Pass the Security+ exam the first time you take it with the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-301 Study Guide.

  • Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.
  • The author uses many of the same analogies and explanations he’s honed in the classroom. These analogies an explanations have helped hundreds of students master the Security+ content.
  • You’ll understand the important and relevant security topics for the Security+ exam, without being overloaded with unnecessary details.
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You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

  • Each chapter includes a comprehensive review section to help you focus on what’s important.
  • Over 450 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam.
  • Includes a 100 question pre-test, a 100 question post-test, and practice test questions at the end of every chapter.
  • Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question.

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