Splunk® Enterprise Security

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Configure users and roles

The Splunk App for Enterprise Security utilizes the Access Control system of Splunk Enterprise. Splunk Enterprise authentication allows you to add users, assign users to roles, and assign those roles custom capabilities as needed for your organization.


Splunk Enterprise supports several methods of user authentication:

Important: The Splunk Enterprise built-in user authentication takes precedence over any configured external authentication.

The Splunk App for Enterprise Security adds three required roles, pre-configured with capabilities. These roles were created to assist in assigning users specific access to functions in the Enterprise Security app. Based upon the information presented below, the admin must assign groups of users to roles that best fit the tasks they will perform and manage within the Enterprise Security app.

Role Inherits from role Added capabilities Accepts user assignment
ess_user user real time search Yes.

Replaces the user role for ES users.

ess_analyst user, ess_user, power ess_user plus: edit notable events and perform all transitions Yes.

Replaces the power role for ES users.

ess_admin user, ess_user, power, ess_analyst ess_analyst plus: edit correlation searches and edit review statuses No

Use admin role.

admin user, ess_user, power, ess_analyst, ess_admin All Yes.

Important: The ess_admin role is assigned all ES specific capabilities, but does not inherit Splunk Enterprise admin capabilities. You must use the admin role to administer an Enterprise Security installation. To change the capabilities of the ess_user or ess_analyst roles, see Custom capabilities in this topic.

Configure user roles

There are three categories of users:

  • Security Director: Reviews the Security Posture, Protection Centers, and Audit dashboards in order to understand current Security Posture of the organization. A security director will not configure the product or manage incidents.
  • Security Analyst: Uses the Security Posture and Incident Review dashboards to manage and investigate Security Incidents. Security Analysts are also responsible for reviewing the Protection Centers and providing direction on what constitutes a security incident. They will also define the thresholds used by correlation searches and dashboards. A Security Analyst needs to be able to edit correlation searches and create suppressions.
  • Solution Administrator: Installs and maintains Splunk Enterprise and Splunk Apps. This user is responsible for configuring workflows, on-boarding new data sources, and tuning and troubleshooting the application.

Each user type requires different levels of access to perform their assigned functions. The table below shows the user category matched to an Enterprise Security role.

Role Security Director Security Analyst Solution Administrator
ess_user capabilities RoundCheckMark.png
ess_analyst capabilities RoundCheckMark.png
admin capabilities RoundCheckMark.png

Role inheritance

All role inheritance is pre-configured in the Enterprise Security app. If the capabilities of any role are changed, other roles will also change due to inheritance. The best method to assess the pre-configured roles, capabilities, and inheritance in the Enterprise Security app is to review the authorize.conf file in splunk/etc/apps/SplunkEnterpriseSecuritySuite/default/.

For more information about roles, see "Add and edit roles" and the topic on Securing Splunk in the Splunk Enterprise documentation.

Custom capabilities

The Enterprise Security app implements new features on Splunk Enterprise. To control access to those features, additional capabilities have been created and assigned to the Enterprise Security specific roles.

The table below displays all ES specific capabilities. To customize a role and add access to Enterprise Security features, add the capabilities needed, and modify the app metadata files to add the role name.

ES Feature Capabilities required Additional metadata changes
Credential Manager admin_all_objects No
Navigation edit_es_navigation #In apps: ES:



access = read : [ * ], write : [ admin,role1,role2 ]

Lookups edit_lookups #In apps: DA-, SA-, Splunk_(DA|SA|TA)_* and ES:



access = read : [ * ], write : [ admin,role1,role2 ]

Advanced Filter or

per-panel filtering

edit_per_panel_filters #In apps: DA-, SA-, Splunk_(DA|SA|TA)_* and ES:



access = read : [ * ], write : [ admin,role1,role2 ]

Threat Lists edit_modinput_threatlist No
Correlation searches edit_correlationsearches


#In apps: DA-, SA-, Splunk_(DA|SA|TA)_* and ES:



access = read : [ * ], write : [ admin,role1,role2 ]


access = read : [ * ], write : [ admin,role1,role2 ]

New notable event edit_tcp


Own notable event can_own_notable_events No
Edit notable events edit_tcp
transition_reviewstatus-X to Y
Review statuses edit_reviewstatuses #In apps: DA-, SA-, Splunk_(DA|SA|TA)_* and ES:



access = read : [ * ], write : [ admin,role1,role2 ]

Suppressions edit_suppressions #In app: SA-ThreatIntelligence:



access = read : [ * ], write : [ admin,role1,role2]

Log review settings edit_log_review_settings No

Adjust the concurrent searches for a role

Splunk Enterprise limits the searches that can run concurrently for all roles by default. When Enterprise Security is installed, the dashboards can execute more searches than a given role is configured to run.

To increase the number of concurrent searches for the power or admin roles:

  1. Click Apps > Manage Apps.
  2. Click Setup next to Enterprise Security.
  3. Change the number of concurrent searches for the role and save.

To manually change the default search quota, edit the authorize.conf file.

  • Edit the file at $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/system/local/authorize.conf and set srchJobsQuota for each role.


   srchJobsQuota = 15

   srchJobsQuota = 15

Configure the roles to search multiple indexes

Data sources being ingested by Splunk Enterprise are stored in multiple indexes. Multiple indexes are used to control access to data, and to accommodate varying retention policies in data sources.

By default, all roles are configured to search in the main index as the default. To enable the searching of multiple indexes using the Enterprise Security app, you must assign the indexes that contain relevant security data to all roles that will search the data.

If you fail to change the permissions, the summary indexes and lookups will not have the correct data, which in turn means that dashboards and notable events will not contain the correct data. After you make the change, new notable events and dashboard summaries will use the correct data from now on. However, notable events and dashboard summaries created prior to the change will not be updated.

Important: When adding indexes to the default search indexes do not include any summary indexes, as this can cause a search and summary index loop.

See "Set up multiple indexes" and "Add users and assign roles" in the Splunk documentation for more information.

Last modified on 22 May, 2015
General settings
Identity Management

This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise Security: 3.2.1, 3.2.2

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