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How do big companies manage privileged access risks?

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Architect at Selfa year ago

How do big companies with large, mission-critical infrastructure manage giving their system administrators privileged access to their data, networks and servers? Is there a good process and/or system that enables sysadmins to do their job effectively while reducing the risk for the company?

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  • 1
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    Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a year ago

    At Meta, there was an entire team dedicated to access control for employees (and an even larger team for access control for users, which is generally called privacy).

    I don't know what tools they used, but I'm pretty sure they probably built a lot of it in-house. One thing to keep in mind is the idea of balancing access control with velocity. For data tables and tools that were restricted, Facebook employees would get the option on how to proceed:

    • Request permission (the request would get routed to the right person)
    • Get access now (e.g. in the case of mitigating a SEV) -- this is dangerous but provided the option to move quickly as needed.
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    Architect [OP]
    Self
    a year ago

    Thanks, Rahul, but you are talking about how the access control team gives access to employees who need access (probably temporarily) to solve a problem. But how does the company govern the access control team itself? A system admin with administrative access to infrastructure can delete disks, drop a database or make major changes that affect many users and maybe the whole business. Those system admins are probably part of the access control team that gives access to others. My question is how does the company mitigate the risks of system administration work/errors/changes?