3.1.15 Authorize remote execution of privileged commands and remote access to security-relevant information.

A privileged command is a human-initiated (interactively or via a process operating on behalf of the human) command executed on a system involving the control, monitoring, or administration of the system including security functions and associated security-relevant information. Security-relevant information is any information within the system that can potentially impact the operation of security functions or the provision of security services in a manner that could result in failure to enforce the system security policy or maintain isolation of code and data. Privileged commands give individuals the ability to execute sensitive, security-critical, or security-relevant system functions. Controlling such access from remote locations helps to ensure that unauthorized individuals are not able to execute such commands freely with the potential to do serious or catastrophic damage to organizational systems. Note that the ability to affect the integrity of the system is considered security-relevant as that could enable the means to by-pass security functions although not directly impacting the function itself.

Actionable Items: If absolutely necessary, the privileged commands authorized for remote execution should be identified and documented. Document which user roles have permissions to remotely execute privileged commands to make changes and to access security relevant information. Documentation must be used to establish security mechanisms that enforce the policy.

Monitoring: For some methods of remote connection the same monitoring software that can monitor the network can also monitor this. However, there are some connections methods that circumvent this type of monitoring and therefore should have some other sort of monitoring or control to ensure security. These second type of services usually include remote desktop software which is widely used by service companies. There are not many remote desktop software that have secure encryption.