Security is a matter of grave concern for every SharePoint professional. Being extensively supported and secured by a tech giant like Microsoft, SharePoint enforces a number of security measures by default. Yet many businesses are affected by various malware and security threats. This calls for good security management when a SharePoint administrator plans for the integrity of your existing system. In this post, we will discuss the efficiency and flexibility of the ‘out of the box’ SharePoint security model and top best practices to manage it.

SharePoint Security Model
SharePoint takes an elegant approach to managing the security of your new and existing system – based on the type of users, groups and permission levels provided to them. SharePoint contains a farm (aka SharePoint Farm) that includes all the servers in an individual SharePoint system, typically front end, database servers, and applications. Security at this level is quite simple and dependent on a user role called “Farm Admin”. A Farm Admin holds all the powers pertaining to SharePoint Central Administration and in effect wields total control over the entire system.

SharePoint Security Best Practices:

#1 - Avoid overloading your farm with multiple admin users:
You must appoint very few Farm Admins and train them properly to serve the purpose prior to deploying them to your system. A Farm Admin can access and control the whole system. Therefore, it is important that you appoint the best but a few Farm Admins who are trustworthy. Note that the Farm Admins has total control over your system, so if any erroneous job is performed, it can severely affect your entire system.

#2 - Appoint best users as Site Collection Administrators:
Train your users adequately and deploy the best users to act as Site Collection Administrators. Every Site Collection is governed by one or more Site Collection Administrators which are defined by a Farm Admin user.

A Site Collection is an essential entity in SharePoint. Users, content, and permissions in each Site Collection are kept separate from all the other Site Collections. So, every Site Collection Admin performs activities in SharePoint itself, without being able to access the Central Admin tool. This means one doesn’t need to have a technical background to be a Site Collection Administrator.

#3 - Create standard permission levels to simplify security model:
Users in SharePoint are classified on the basis of permission levels provided to them. The permissions can vary as follows:

  • Read permission: This enables access to view the content and download documents.
  • Contribute permission: Users have the access to contribute to existing SharePoint lists and libraries.
  • Edit permission: This gives access to manage lists and edit content.
  • Total control over the system: This enables users to create new lists and content.

All these permission levels include a number of specific permissions and custom levels that can be created by mixing and matching these permissions.

In conclusion, SharePoint is a collection of different platforms and tools. Therefore, it is recommended to leverage SharePoint consulting services to follow a standard approach and avoid any ambiguity and clutter in your system.

Which best practices do you follow to manage the security model of your SharePoint environment? Share your tips with us in the comments below.

Author's Bio: 

Kaushal Shah manages digital marketing communications for the enterprise technology services provided by Rishabh Software. This blog is created, to showcase some good practices which can be followed in order to boost up the SharePoint security management.