The Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) main concept is that any user, application, or process should have only the minimum access privileges necessary to perform its function. This principle of least privilege access is considered to be among the cyber-security best practices, and it is fundamental in protecting privileged user access to IT assets and sensitive data sources. The principle of least privilege (PoLP), also known as the principle of minimal privilege (PoMP) or the principle of least authority (PoLA).
Most security policies require organizations to implement the principle of least privilege on privileged accounts to prevent malicious access and damage to critical systems. The Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) reduces the cyber-attack surface, and It stops the spread of cyber-attacks within the organization by enforcing least privilege on endpoints.
The Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) can be implemented in every layer of IT. It applies to end-users, processes, systems, networks, databases, applications, DevOps and other IT resources. The implementation of Least Privilege Access is very straightforward and based on giving a user account or process only those privileges which are essential to perform its intended job. For example, a user account for the sole purpose of website monitoring does not need to install software or to create backups. Hence, it has rights only to access the web or a specific IP address. Any other privileges, such as installing new software, or writing files, are blocked.
CyberArk Endpoint Privilege Manager (EPM) is another good example of a product that leveraging the Least Privilege Access concept. CyberArk EPM enforces the least privilege access controls and balances the security and compliance requirements with operational and end-user needs. It removes local admin rights on Windows and Mac endpoints and prevents attackers’ or malware movement.
The principle of least privilege tremendously reduces the attack surface by reducing the risk of attackers gaining access to critical systems or sensitive data by compromising a user account and preventing them from spreading to other systems by using elevated access permissions.