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Over Sharing Access to Files?

This guideline recommends regular reviews of shared files and access permissions. These reviews help determine the continued relevance of data, facilitating its timely removal or deletion. Such proactive data management significantly reduces the potential attack surface for malicious actors.

1. Relevance of Access: Granting access to files and data is a strategic process. It involves providing permission only to individuals who have a genuine, legitimate need for accessing the information. This practice is essential for preventing unauthorized individuals from gaining access to sensitive data and mitigating the risks of potential data breaches.

In practical terms, this guideline underscores the importance of carefully reviewing recipients when sharing files through platforms like Teams or OneDrive. It's crucial to confirm that those who are given access are directly involved in the relevant project or task, ensuring that the sharing of information is purposeful and controlled.

2. Necessity of Data: Sharing only the necessary information is a key principle to ensure that sensitive data is exposed only to individuals who genuinely require it for valid reasons. Over-sharing can lead to unintended data leaks and the unnecessary exposure of confidential information.

For those who request data from others, this guideline encourages clear communication regarding what specific information is needed. By articulating your requirements precisely, you prevent the unnecessary sharing of data beyond what's essential, thereby maintaining a higher level of data security.

3. Limited Access Duration: Providing data access for only the required duration is a fundamental aspect of data security. Data retention beyond its necessary period increases the risk of unauthorized access and potential breaches. Thus, it's crucial to delete or remove access to data that's no longer needed.

Platform-Specific Recommendations:

  • SharePoint: The nuanced permission levels in SharePoint, ranging from view-only to full control, allow for tailored access based on user roles. By accurately selecting the appropriate permission level for each user, you effectively restrict access to what's essential for their roles and responsibilities. SharePoint offers various permission levels to control access to files and folders. These levels range from view-only access to full control. Administrators can assign permission levels based on user roles and responsibilities. This ensures that individuals have access only to the information required for their tasks.

    • View Only: Users can only view files and documents.

    • Read: Users can view and download files.

    • Contribute: Users can add and edit documents.

    • Edit: Users can edit files, manage versions, and upload new versions.

    • Design: Users can manage lists, libraries, and settings.

    • Full Control: Users have complete control, including managing permissions.

  • OneDrive: A key insight here is the recognition that assigning "edit" rights also grants the capability to delete files. Users are encouraged to exercise caution when designating access levels to maintain the integrity of shared data.

  • Microsoft Teams: While default settings typically maintain a "private" status for teams, it's vital to verify and align access controls with your intent. The "public" setting should be reserved for contexts such as community events or open resource groups.

Implementing these guidelines and adhering to the platform-specific recommendations fosters a secure environment for sharing sensitive information. This proactive approach not only safeguards data but also highlights your commitment to maintaining the highest standards of data security and privacy. Should you require further assistance, have inquiries about risk assessment tasks, or seek advice on cybersecurity best practices, please don't hesitate to ask.


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