Permissions Creep - what it is, why it’s dangerous, and how you can stop it

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CloudM Blogs

The worst type of problem is one that stays hidden until it’s too late. One that slowly builds over time, unseen in the background, like mould growing behind a wall.

There is one such problem that can sneak up on any company, large or small, creating untold havoc; permissions creep.

What is permissions creep?

Permissions creep, also known as privilege creep or access creep, is the slow accumulation of permissions, access rights, and privileges by individual users within a company.

When people move through different roles, they can begin to collect various permissions, resulting in access to many folders, files or programmes that are no longer relevant to them.

It’s more than simply having too many passwords. Permissions creep is a serious security risk and one which should be taken seriously.

Why is permissions creep dangerous?

There are several reasons why permissions creep can damage your business.

Firstly, it’s a simple rule that the more people who have access to something, the more routes a hacker has at their disposal.

Cutting out everyone who shouldn’t have or doesn’t need access to something is an easy way to minimise the risk of being hacked.

Secondly, if a person is hacked, then the less access they have the better. Sensitive files and data should only be with those who need it.

Employees who move around a lot can end up with access to many different departments, systems or documents, most of it unnecessary, and anyone with their details will also have access to all these things.

One breach of security with the right person can open doors all throughout the company, but only if that person has prominent access.

And, of course, the threat doesn’t always come from outside the company.

There may be non malicous dangers like human error. If a person moves around a role within an organization they may accumulate access to data than is no longer necessarily for their role, meaning they could potentially still have access to sensitive information that they no longer require. Automating permissions takes this issue away.

Also, there is always the danger frustrated or disgruntled employees can cause turmoil with the right set of permissions, and giving them the power to do so only adds to the temptation if they feel sufficiently wronged. (That’s definitely one to think about!)

How can you avoid permissions creep?

There are two ways you can stop permissions creep.

The first way is to constantly review and update your permissions. By regularly checking users, employees and departments, you can remove or grant access wherever needed.

This approach takes up valuable time and resources. It needs to be proactive, preventing the issue before it has a chance to take root and grow.

The second way is to use the CloudM platform.

With CloudM, preventing permissions creep is simple.

Through Smart Teams, permissions are granted, revoked or changed automatically. Whether an employee is joining, leaving or moving, CloudM Mange gives, revokes or changes permissions accordingly, meaning you don’t have to worry about it.

When a user is removed from a team, they will also lose the permissions associated with it, removing access to the available data and also any related SaaS applications that may be integrated with the platform such as Slack, DropBox or Okta. Worst case scenario, if things do go wrong with that user, the access they have to your organisation is limited.

All of this comes automatically as part of the onboarding and offboarding process. Just a single click of a button is all it takes.

It’s the ability to take something like permissions creep and solve it in such a simple way that makes the CloudM platform one of the fastest-growing cloud management systems in the world.

This is just one example of how our award-winning service can help you and your business.

If you would like to know more about CloudM manage, please don’t hesitate to contact us today, and one of our friendly staff members will be happy to have a chat about how we can help you.

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