Skip to main content

Home Separation of duties

Separation of duties

(also segregation of duties)

Separation of duties definition

Separation of duties is the process of dividing various critical tasks among different people or departments to prevent one person or a particular group from having complete control to reduce the risk of conducting malicious activities or other fraudulent actions. Separation of duties is usually applied in multiple cybersecurity areas, such as access or change management, administrative roles, and financial transactions.

Common and safe separation of duty practices

Organizations should establish adequate and structured procedure controls and practices to reduce the risk of common errors, fraud, and malicious activities. These practices can be a gateway to safer systems and valuable data protection in the organization.

Two-person control: Assigning two or more individuals to perform critical operations and tasks such as high-value transactions or system configuration changes. This practice could prevent single individuals from having full access or control over sensitive organizational activities.

RBCA or role-based access control: Assigning specific roles and rights to individuals or groups based on their position or job responsibilities. This practice ensures that individuals or groups only have the information and resources necessary to perform their tasks.

Independent monitoring and audition: The implementation of independent auditing or monitoring processes by separate entities helps to prevent unauthorized data access or other policy violations. This process involves reviews and individual tracking.

Least privilege principle: The staple of this principle lies in granting users or individuals a basic minimum level of access to perform their tasks and duties effectively. Giving excessive privileges might lead to potential compromise or abusive behavior.

Regular training and workshops: Periodical workshops and cybersecurity training programs should educate employees about separating duties and their responsibilities in maintaining a secure environment.

Mandatory vacation: During the periodic absence of individual employees or groups, an assigned person can assume their tasks or responsibilities and detect irregularities or other unauthorized activities that can lead to malicious actions.