Advanced Sharepoint Security I

SharePoint is an increasingly popular platform due to its powerful collaborative capabilities. Many organizations use SharePoint to store, organize, share and access information from any device. Because of its collaborative capabilities, SharePoint faces different security concerns than other platforms. Maintaining SharePoint security must be a collaborative effort between the IT team and the end users – which can often be very difficult to achieve.

Here are five useful tips to help you improve the overall security of your SharePoint environment.

1. Manage User Permissions Through Groups
Permissions can be assigned individually or through security groups, and both methods have their pros and cons when it comes to the best method for controlling access and authorization. Individually assigning permissions can lead to more control and often more appropriate levels of privileges, however it is difficult to manage. Security groups, however, are far easier to control but could potentially lead to over-privileged users if not handled correctly.

SharePoint users have mainly opted to assign permissions at the end user, file or folder level using SharePoint site groups. Permission levels in SharePoint are assigned to SharePoint groups and this has a number of advantages.

Groups allow permissions to be assigned in a way that ensures you are adhering to the principle of least privilege. Users that change roles within the organization or move on can have their permissions revoked easily by simply removing them from the security groups. Permissions assigned at user level, on the other hand, are rarely revoked in these cases.

2. Stop Using Item-Level Permissions
SharePoint does not provide an easy method to identify unique permissions and address them in the same way that File Server does. Whilst assigning permissions at item level may seem like a good way to speedily get permissions to that item, it will create an unsecured environment in the long run. For this reason, it’s better to use it sparingly.

Instead of using item-level permissions, try instead to use libraries or folders to assign permissions. This will help you control access rights and also reduce the chances of broken inheritance and an increased attack surface. (source)

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