Standing Privileges

What Are Standing Privileges?

Standing privileges grant users unrestricted access to resources without the need for authorization, regardless of their location or time. In some cases, these privileges may not even require users to authenticate their identity before granting access to a system. Although this convenience benefits users, standing privileges pose a significant risk if malicious actors obtain user credentials.


Just-in-time access permission management


  • What are the risks of standing privileges?

    Granting permanent access to resources, especially in the context of remote work, introduces numerous security challenges for organizations. As IT environments continue to expand, companies that rely on standing privileges face the ongoing task of defining and monitoring access rights for individuals. This constant provisioning and deprovisioning of access, particularly for new or departing employees, can place a significant burden on organizational resources.

    Even when companies utilize password management solutions and secure vaults, there remains a risk if unauthorized individuals acquire those credentials. With standing privileges in place, anyone possessing such credentials can navigate laterally through the network and potentially breach any resource accessible to the user. This risk is heightened when considering the compromise of admin credentials, as administrators often possess extensive permissions across multiple systems or the ability to freely escalate privileges.

    Given the potential magnitude of a breach in organizations that rely on standing permissions, even the slightest vulnerability in least privileged access can dissuade cyber insurance companies from providing coverage. Traditional password management solutions fail to provide sufficiently robust security controls to prevent breaches resulting from compromised credentials. Therefore, companies must reevaluate their approach to granting user access to necessary resources.


    New call-to-action
  • What are the benefits of standing privileges?

    Zero Standing Privileges relies on fine-grained, policy-based security controls to provide users with temporary access to necessary resources precisely when they require them. Once their task is completed or the predetermined access time limit expires, the user’s access is automatically revoked. This streamlined approach significantly reduces the time and effort expended by IT teams in provisioning and deprovisioning access.


    New call-to-action
  • What Are Zero Standing Privileges (ZSP)?

    Zero Standing Privileges (ZSP) is a security concept that aims to minimize the privileges granted to user accounts or processes by default. The idea behind ZSP is to reduce the attack surface and limit the potential damage that can be caused by compromised accounts or malicious activities.

    In traditional security models, user accounts often have standing privileges, meaning they have certain default access rights and permissions that persist even when not explicitly required. This can include administrative privileges, access to sensitive data or systems, and other elevated privileges.

    However, with ZSP, the principle is to grant users or processes only the privileges necessary to perform their specific tasks, and no more. Instead of having standing privileges, users start with minimal access rights and must request additional privileges on a case-by-case basis, usually through a process called Just-in-Time (JIT) privilege elevation.

    By implementing ZSP, organizations can significantly reduce the risk of privilege abuse, unauthorized access, and lateral movement within a network. It helps mitigate the impact of potential security breaches by minimizing the scope of compromise and enforcing the principle of least privilege (PoLP).

    ZSP is often implemented as part of a broader security strategy that includes measures such as least privilege access controls, privileged access management (PAM) solutions, multifactor authentication (MFA), and strong identity and access management (IAM) practices.


    New call-to-action
  • What is the Least Privilege Model?

    The Least Privilege Model, also known as the Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP), is a security principle and access control strategy that advocates granting users and processes only the minimum privileges necessary to perform their authorized tasks, and no more.

    Under the Least Privilege Model, users are granted access rights and permissions based on the concept of “need-to-know” and “need-to-do.” This means that users are given the minimum privileges required to complete their specific job functions and tasks, without unnecessary or excessive access to sensitive systems, data, or resources.

    The core idea behind the Least Privilege Model is to limit the potential damage that can be caused by compromised or malicious users or processes. By reducing the privileges granted by default, the attack surface is minimized, and the impact of potential security breaches is mitigated.

    Benefits of implementing the Least Privilege Model include:

    1. Limiting privilege abuse: By granting only essential privileges, the risk of intentional or accidental misuse or abuse of elevated privileges is reduced.

    2. Minimizing lateral movement: In the event of a security breach, attackers with compromised accounts or processes will have limited access rights, preventing them from easily moving laterally through a network or system.

    3. Enhancing system stability: By reducing unnecessary privileges, the risk of unintentional system damage or disruption caused by human error or malware is minimized.

    4. Simplifying auditing and compliance: With fewer users having elevated privileges, it becomes easier to track and monitor access rights, aiding compliance with regulations and simplifying audit processes.

    Implementing the Least Privilege Model requires a thorough understanding of user roles and their associated access requirements. It involves regular reviews of access rights, implementing strong authentication mechanisms, employing robust identity and access management (IAM) solutions, and continuously monitoring and managing privileges to ensure they align with business needs and security best practices.


    New call-to-action
  • What is the Difference between Zero Standing Privilege vs. Least Privilege Model?

    Zero Standing Privileges (ZSP) and the Least Privilege Model (PoLP) are closely related security concepts that aim to minimize privileges and reduce the potential risks associated with elevated access rights. While they share similarities, there are subtle differences between the two:

    1. Scope of Privileges:
    – ZSP: Zero Standing Privileges focuses on minimizing the privileges granted by default. It means that users start with no standing privileges and must request and obtain elevated privileges on a case-by-case basis when needed.
    – PoLP: The Least Privilege Model emphasizes granting users and processes only the minimum privileges necessary to perform their authorized tasks. It ensures that users have the least amount of access required to carry out their job functions effectively.

    2. Approach to Privilege Management:
    – ZSP: ZSP typically employs a Just-in-Time (JIT) privilege elevation approach. Users request additional privileges or access rights as and when needed, and the access is granted temporarily for the specific task or time period.
    – PoLP: The Least Privilege Model involves a proactive approach to privilege management. Access rights and permissions are determined based on the principle of “need-to-know” and “need-to-do” before users or processes attempt to perform specific actions.

    3. Focus on Default Privileges:
    – ZSP: ZSP primarily focuses on reducing the standing privileges granted to user accounts or processes by default. It challenges the notion of granting any privileges upfront and encourages granting privileges on a need basis.
    – PoLP: The Least Privilege Model also emphasizes limiting default privileges, but it extends beyond default privileges to encompass all privileges granted to users or processes. It promotes regular review and evaluation of privileges to ensure they align with current requirements.

    4. Implementation Scope:
    – ZSP: ZSP can be seen as a specific implementation or strategy within the broader framework of the Least Privilege Model. It is a more granular and dynamic approach that complements the overall PoLP.
    – PoLP: The Least Privilege Model is a broader security principle and access control strategy that encompasses various approaches, including ZSP, to minimize privileges and reduce the potential attack surface.

    In summary, ZSP is a specific implementation approach that focuses on minimizing standing privileges and adopting a JIT privilege elevation model. On the other hand, PoLP is a broader security principle that encompasses the idea of granting the minimum privileges necessary and promotes regular privilege review. ZSP can be considered as an application of PoLP in a more specific context.

    New call-to-action

    standing privileges


    Learn more.

    Try for Free.