GovernanceCenter For SharePoint™- ARB Security Labs

The lack of SharePoint governance tooling in its OOB (Out-Of-Box) format has been a pain point for enterprise deployments spanning several versions of the product. There are several issues with the default governance possibilities that are available with SharePoint in its COTS format.

Enterprises leveraging SharePoint are increasingly tapping into the inherent, powerful features of the platform focusing on the goal of lowering costs, improving service, and constructing influential communication lines to improve overall business efficiency. During this progressive transition, organizations are discovering that their underlying SharePoint security infrastructure wasn’t initially designed for this dynamic reality. Instead, it consists of static silos of hard-to-manage groupings with an unmanageable security strategy with minimal intuitive tooling that accelerates the deployment in the right direction. SharePoint security governance and content control has been and is increasingly becoming a significant issue, SharePoint administrators are in a constant struggle to maintain manageable influence over environments that consist of a complex web of virtual and physical servers, even different SharePoint farms. This creates a fundamental challenge when the SharePoint team requires auditing, replication, and application of defined permission sets for the organization.

Setting up the SharePoint infrastructure with padding time to respond adequately in light of lead times and management challenges offers little resolution and progressively causes problems that bottleneck further down. Furthermore, this reduces the SharePoint team utilization and drives up costs related to managing the security attributes of an instance. Clearly, the principal impact is administrative costs, which is the most significant and fastest growing cost within the SharePoint infrastructure.

GovernanceCenter for SharePoint™(GCSP) fills this gap by leveraging the experience of years of SharePoint security integration and administration experience by promoting an ideal approach where all underlying SharePoint security resources and their interdependencies can be manipulated in software-defined templates. The SharePoint security infrastructure can be provisioned or repurposed on-demand or automatically in response to real-time business needs. This results in less overbuilding, significant operational savings and improved serviceability. To sum it up, SCSP provides a way to ease SharePoint security challenges by creating responsive, adaptive SharePoint security tooling.

SCSP abstracts SharePoint security into Template-Based Software (TBS) to encapsulate SharePoint security in data files that can be reliably developed, tested and activated to configure site, web, and list security on-demand and in a single workflow. This allows a SharePoint administrator to reconstitute the SharePoint security infrastructure in a separate, reusable medium. SSCP Security Templates can then be quickly created, copied, managed and deployed on both new and existing SharePoint infrastructure, used as building blocks for the creation of logical infrastructures.

For example, a user template could be set up to define a SharePoint environment that includes a series of site collections, sub sites, and content buckets (SharePoint lists and document libraries). Using the user template as a starting point, an administrator could create new SharePoint security templates, add or subtract remove templates for specific content, change security parameters, and save the result. With template-based SharePoint security provisioning, enterprises can reduce the time and cost of managing applications using software to control and provision all collaboration resources in a single workflow. Infrastructure configuration is encapsulated in templates that can be developed, tested, and moved into production. These templates can also be backed up and restored, providing check-point and roll-back capabilities to revert infrastructure changes as needed. Rather than in weeks or months, SharePoint security provisioning is now measured in minutes. The result is a reduction in costs associated with SharePoint administrative overhead. Some of the most common applications include:

  • SharePoint Services Hosting: Quickly set up or tear down SharePoint security infrastructure for just-in-time capabilities based on customer demand.
  • SharePoint Security Consolidation: Provision security resources as needed, improving utilization of resources.
  • SharePoint Disaster Recovery: Ensure lock-step configuration changes between production and backup by simply replicating a database of templates.
  • SharePoint Business Continuity: Templates can be applied to automatically provision associated security resources.
  • SharePoint Change Management: At any point in time, an active snapshot of the SharePoint security infrastructure or any subset can be viewed to assist in debugging, change management, or to support audit requirements.

By applying the template-based provisioning, the SharePoint infrastructure can be configured to deliver services as-needed, and projects with disparate and out-of-sync computing requirements can share security infrastructure approach. As a result, operators can improve responsiveness to business demand through rapid security service and, at the same time, reduce overhead associated with administrative overhead. From a holistic perspective, the overall components that build up GCSP are easily disseminated (select image for larger representation):

There are four major components that build the GovernanceCenter For SharePoint software, the IntuiNear Security Application Wizard™, the MimicPoint Security Engine™, and a generic set of security factories collectively referred to as Collaborative Security Accelerators:

Each of these components, while mutually exclusive pieces, build the holistic GovernanceCenter product.

  1. IntuiNear Security Application Wizard™ – Provides a Wizard GUI that allows custom templates to be fed into the GovernanceCenter TBS system
  2. MimicPoint Security Engine™ – Supplements security creation by providing intelligent recursion through SharePoint securable objects in order to build baseline SharePoint security standards.
  3. Collaborative Security Accelerators – Provides factories that are used throughout the application in order to build an executive reporting dashboards to simplify examination of governance and security attributes throughout the SharePoint environment.
  4. Security Enhanced Site Requests – One of the largest problems with SharePoint is the lack of site requests bound to security information that aid in an administrator in provisioning sites, this component allows workflow-bound site requests to be issued throughout an instance while carrying relevant security information.

From an end goal perspective, the aggregate software is meant to target two main governance business problems:

  1. Initial Governance and Security Concerns
  2. Remediation Of Governance and Security Concerns

By targeting both onset governance problems as well as typical roping in activities, GovernanceCenter allows a constant governance strategy to be introduced. Please subscribe to the ARB Security Solutions RSS feed to follow our progress and final testing of this progressive, revolutionary SharePoint product.