What is Just-in-Time Access (JiT)

Just-in-Time Access (JIT) is a vital security protocol where permission to access applications or systems is only for a preset limited timeframe on an as-needed basis. This prevents the risks associated with standing privileges that hackers or fraudulent insiders can exploit. 

Just-in-Time Access (JiT)

Just-in-Time Access (JIT) refers to a system or approach that provides temporary and limited access privileges to users, granting them access to resources only when it is needed for a specific task or time period. This concept of just-in-time access is commonly used in the field of cybersecurity and access management to minimize the potential risks associated with granting continuous or unnecessary access to sensitive systems or data.

Just in Time Access

Just in time access

With JIT access, users do not possess permanent or unrestricted access rights. Instead, they request access to a particular resource or system, and their access is granted for a specific duration or until a specific task is completed. Once the authorized time period or task is over, the access is automatically revoked, reducing the exposure of the system to potential threats.

Just-in-time access can enhance security by reducing the attack surface, limiting the potential damage that can be caused by compromised or misused user accounts. It ensures that users have access to the necessary resources only when required, preventing unauthorized access and decreasing the likelihood of insider threats.

Overall, just-in-time access is an approach that promotes the principle of least privilege, granting users access rights on an as-needed basis, which can improve security, minimize risks, and enhance overall access control.

Just-in-time access permission management


  • Why is Just in Time Access Management important?

    Just-in-Time Access Management (JITAM) is important for several reasons, primarily focused on enhancing security, minimizing risks, and improving operational efficiency within an organization’s digital environment. Here are some key reasons why JITAM is considered important:

    1. Reduced Attack Surface: Traditional access management methods often involve granting continuous or long-term access rights to users, which can increase the attack surface for potential security breaches. JITAM allows access privileges to be granted only when needed and for a specific duration, reducing the window of opportunity for attackers.

    2. Minimized Insider Threats: Insider threats can arise when employees or authorized users misuse their access privileges. JITAM helps mitigate this risk by providing temporary and context-specific access, preventing users from accumulating excessive permissions over time.

    3. Enhanced Security: By limiting the time window during which access is granted, JITAM reduces the exposure of sensitive resources to potential threats. Even if credentials are compromised, attackers will have a limited timeframe to exploit them.

    4. Compliance and Audit Requirements: Many industries and regulatory standards require organizations to implement strict access controls and regularly audit access privileges. JITAM helps organizations demonstrate compliance by providing a clear record of when and why access was granted.

    5. Improved Operational Efficiency: Traditional access provisioning processes can be time-consuming, involving multiple approval steps and manual interventions. JITAM automates and streamlines this process, allowing authorized users to request and receive access quickly when needed, without compromising security.

    6. Dynamic Work Environments: In today’s fast-paced business landscape, employees often work on diverse projects and require varying levels of access to different resources. JITAM adapts to these dynamic needs, granting access on-demand while ensuring that privileges are revoked when they are no longer necessary.

    7. Quick Vendor and Partner Onboarding: Organizations often need to grant temporary access to external vendors, partners, or contractors. JITAM facilitates secure onboarding by providing time-limited access, reducing the risks associated with long-term access provisioning.

    8. Resource Optimization: JITAM helps optimize resource utilization by ensuring that access privileges are only allocated when necessary. This prevents resource contention and reduces the likelihood of access-related performance issues.

    9. User Productivity: JITAM strikes a balance between security and user productivity. Users can get the access they need promptly, eliminating delays caused by manual access approval processes.

    10. Adaptive Security: JITAM can be integrated with contextual information such as user behavior, location, and device information. This adaptive approach enhances security by adjusting access based on the current context, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access.

    11. Credential Management: JITAM reduces the reliance on long-lived credentials, which can be difficult to manage and secure. Instead, users receive short-lived access tokens, which are less prone to compromise.

    In summary, Just-in-Time Access Management is important because it aligns access privileges with actual needs, reduces security risks, ensures compliance, and enhances operational efficiency in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. It helps organizations maintain a robust security posture while enabling efficient and effective access to resources for authorized users.

  • What is Just-in-Time (JIT) elevation?

    These are one-time use accounts, which are terminated and de-provisioned of permissions immediately after use. This approach enables temporary elevation of privileges, allowing users to access confidential accounts or run restricted commands on a request basis for a limited time.

  • How does JIT provisioning work?

    JIT provisioning is a process to streamline the creation of user accounts for web applications. The technique utilizes SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) protocol to transfer information to web applications from the identity providers.

  • What is Just-in-Time (JiT) virtual machine access?

    The Azure JIT access locks and limits the ports of Azure virtual machines, which reduces the risks of harmful attacks on these machines. The blocking of inbound traffic at the network level ensures that port access is provided for a limited time.


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  • Should Azure bastion and JIT VM access be used together?

    No, using Azure bastion and Just-In-Time (JIT) VM access together isn’t possible. If you try to enable Azure Bastion in your VNET virtual network with a JIT VM already enabled, the Bastion host will fail to connect to the target machine.


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  • What is just in time & just enough access?

    Just-in-Time (JIT) access is a vital security protocol where permission to access applications or systems is only for a preset limited timeframe on an as-needed basis. This prevents the risks associated with standing privileges that hackers or fraudulent insiders can exploit.

  • How do I request just-in-time access?

    Here’s how you can request JIT Access:
    – Select JIT Access for your desired application.
    -Choose Eligible Roles and activate the role you want to enable in the ACTION column.
    – Choose start time and duration for the specific role from the Activate Role form
    – Finally, send the request by clicking on Activate



  • What is Azure Just-in-Time (JIT) access?

    The Azure JIT access locks and limits the ports of Azure virtual machines, which reduces the risks of harmful attacks on these machines. The blocking of inbound traffic at the network level ensures that port access is provided for a limited time.

  • What permissions are needed to configure and use Just-in-Time (JIT)?

    Microsoft Defender for Servers plan 2 should be enabled during subscription to access JIT. The JIT status and parameters are accessible by both reader and security reader roles.


  • What are the benefits of just-in-time access?

    To mitigate these dangers, organizations should implement strong access control policies, least privilege principles, and robust monitoring and auditing mechanisms. Regularly reviewing and updating access permissions, conducting security training, and enforcing separation of duties are essential steps in maintaining a secure and stable production environment. Additionally, implementing multi-factor authentication and strict change control procedures can help mitigate some of the risks associated with standing access.

    1. Enhanced Security: JIT access reduces the attack surface by limiting who has access to production environments and for how long. It helps prevent unauthorized access, reduces the risk of insider threats, and makes it more challenging for attackers to gain a foothold.
    2. Reduced Risk of Human Error: With JIT access, users are only granted access when they require it for a specific task. This reduces the likelihood of accidental misconfigurations or changes that can lead to system outages or security incidents.
    3. Improved Compliance: JIT access aligns with many compliance standards and regulations, such as those requiring strict access controls and separation of duties. It helps organizations maintain compliance by enforcing the principle of least privilege.
    4. Increased Accountability: JIT access allows organizations to maintain detailed logs of who accessed production environments and for what purpose. This accountability can be crucial for incident investigations and auditing requirements.
    5. Efficient Resource Management: By granting access on a need-to-know basis, organizations can optimize resource allocation. Teams and individuals can focus on their specific tasks without unnecessary access, improving overall efficiency.
    6. Streamlined Change Control: JIT access can be integrated into change management processes, ensuring that any changes made to production systems are well-documented and approved. This improves transparency and stability.
    7. Enhanced Scalability: As organizations grow, the management of access controls can become complex. JIT access scales more easily since it’s based on automated provisioning and deprovisioning, reducing administrative overhead.
    8. Quicker Incident Response: In the event of a security incident or breach, JIT access allows organizations to quickly revoke access for affected users, limiting the damage and helping contain the incident.
    9. Reduction in Insider Threats: JIT access minimizes the risk of insider threats by limiting the time and scope of access. Even trusted employees or contractors can pose a risk, and JIT access helps mitigate this.
    10. Improved Collaboration: Teams can collaborate effectively without the need for permanent access to production environments. This can promote a culture of security and responsibility, as team members are aware that access is granted temporarily and for specific purposes.
    11. Adaptive Access Control: JIT access can be integrated with identity and access management (IAM) solutions to provide adaptive access control. Access can be automatically granted or denied based on user context, such as location, device, or authentication strength.
    12. Reduced Costs: By reducing the risk of security incidents and streamlining resource management, organizations can ultimately save on the costs associated with breaches, downtime, and unnecessary access provisioning.

    Implementing JIT access requires a well-defined access control framework, automation, and appropriate tools. It’s important to strike a balance between security and operational efficiency to ensure that authorized users can perform their tasks without unnecessary friction while maintaining the security of production environments.