Splunk® Enterprise Security

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Configure users and roles

Splunk Enterprise Security uses the access control system integrated with the Splunk platform. The Splunk platform authorization allows you to add users, assign users to roles, and assign those roles custom capabilities to provide granular, role-based access control for your organization.

Splunk Enterprise Security relies on the admin user to run saved searches. If you plan to delete the admin user, update knowledge objects owned by that user before you do.

There are scenarios where it is still possible for an authenticated user to interact with certain core resources outside the control of the ES app, which can result in a lack of auditability. Make sure that all users with access to the ES app are trusted users that should have access to your ES related data, such as notable events and investigations.

Configuring user roles

Splunk Enterprise Security adds three roles to the default roles provided by Splunk platform. The new roles allow a Splunk administrator to assign access to specific functions in ES based on a user's access requirements. The Splunk platform administrator can assign groups of users to the roles that best fit the tasks the users will perform and manage in Splunk Enterprise Security. There are three categories of users.

User Description Splunk ES role
Security Director Seeks to understand the current security posture of the organization by reviewing primarily the Security Posture, Protection Centers, and Audit dashboards. A security director does not configure the product or manage incidents. ess_user
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 also define the thresholds used by correlation searches and dashboards. A Security Analyst needs to be able to edit correlation searches and create suppressions. ess_analyst
Solution Administrator Installs and maintains Splunk platform installations and Splunk Apps. This user is responsible for configuring workflows, adding new data sources, and tuning and troubleshooting the application. admin or sc_admin

Each Splunk Enterprise Security custom role inherits from Splunk platform roles and adds capabilities specific to Splunk ES. Not all of the three roles custom to Splunk ES can be assigned to users.

Splunk ES role Inherits from Splunk platform role Added Splunk ES capabilities Can be assigned to users
ess_user user real-time search, list search head clustering Yes. Replaces the user role for ES users.
ess_analyst user, ess_user, power Inherits ess_user and adds the capabilities to create, edit, and own notable events and perform all transitions, edit glass tables, and create and modify investigations. Yes. Replaces the power role for ES users.
ess_admin user, ess_user, power, ess_analyst Inherits ess_analyst and adds several other capabilities. No. You must use a Splunk platform admin role to administer an Enterprise Security installation.

See the capabilities specific to Splunk Enterprise Security for more details about which capabilities are assigned to which roles by default.

The Splunk platform admin role inherits all unique ES capabilities. In a Splunk Cloud deployment, the Splunk platform admin role is named sc_admin. Use the admin or sc_admin role to administer an Enterprise Security installation.

Splunk platform role Inherits from role Added capabilities Accepts user assignment
admin user, ess_user, power, ess_analyst, ess_admin All Yes.
sc_admin user, ess_user, power, ess_analyst, ess_admin All Yes.

ES expects that a user with the name and role of admin exists. If ES is installed on an on-premises Splunk Enterprise instance where the admin user's name is changed during the initial installation, then the scheduled searches included with ES are orphaned, disabled, and an error message prompts you to reassign them.

Role inheritance

All role inheritance is preconfigured in Enterprise Security. If the capabilities of any role are changed, other inheriting roles will receive the changes. For more information about roles, see the Splunk platform documentation.

Add capabilities to a role

Capabilities control the level of access that roles have to various features in Splunk Enterprise Security. Use the Permissions page in Enterprise Security to review and change the capabilities assigned to a role.

  1. On the Splunk Enterprise Security menu bar, select Configure > General > Permissions.
  2. Find the role you want to update.
  3. Find the ES Component you want to add.
  4. Select the check box for the component for the role.
  5. Save.

Capabilities specific to Splunk Enterprise Security

Splunk Enterprise Security uses custom capabilities to control access to Splunk Enterprise Security-specific features. However, if you see list_inputs, this is a base capability that should not be removed.

Add capabilities on the permissions page in Splunk Enterprise Security to make sure that the proper access control lists (ACLs) are updated. The permissions page makes the ACL changes for you. If you add these custom capabilities on the Splunk platform settings page, you must update the ACLs yourself.

Function in ES Description Capability ess_user ess_analyst ess_admin
Create new notable events Create ad-hoc notable events from search results. See Manually create a notable event in Splunk Enterprise Security. edit_notable_events X X
Edit advanced search schedule settings Edit the schedule priority and schedule window of correlation searches on Content Management. edit_search_schedule_priority
edit_search_schedule_window
X
Edit correlation searches Edit correlation searches on Content Management. See Configure correlation searches in Splunk Enterprise Security. Users with this capability can also export content from Content Management as an app. See Export content as an app from Splunk Enterprise Security. edit_correlationsearches
schedule_search
X
Edit Distributed Configuration Management Use distributed configuration management. See Deploy add-ons included with Splunk Enterprise Security. edit_modinput_es_deployment_manager X
Edit ES navigation Make changes to the Enterprise Security navigation. See Customize the menu bar in Splunk Enterprise Security. edit_es_navigation X
Edit glass tables Create and modify glass tables. See Create a glass table. edit_glasstable X X
Edit identity lookup configuration Manage the configuration of identity lookups and restrict asset and identity correlation. See Add asset and identity data to Splunk Enterprise Security and Configure asset and identity correlation in Splunk Enterprise Security. edit_identitylookup X
Edit Incident Review Make changes to Incident Review settings. See Customize Incident Review in Splunk Enterprise Security. edit_log_review_settings X
Edit lookups Create and make changes to lookup table files. See Create and manage lookups in Splunk Enterprise Security. edit_lookups, edit_managed_configurations X
Edit statuses Make changes to the statuses available to select for investigations and notable events. See Manage notable event statuses. edit_reviewstatuses X
Edit notable event suppressions Create and edit notable event suppressions. See Create and manage notable event suppressions. edit_suppressions X
Edit notable events Make changes to notable events, such as assigning them and transition them between statuses. The transition_reviewstatus-X_to_Y capability also allows analysts to transition between investigation statuses. See Triage notable events on Incident Review in Splunk Enterprise Security. edit_notable_events
transition_reviewstatus-X_to_Y
X X
Edit per-panel filters Permits the role to update per-panel filters on dashboards. See Configure per-panel filtering in Splunk Enterprise Security. edit_per_panel_filters X
Edit intelligence downloads Change intelligence download settings. See Download a threat intelligence feed from the Internet in Splunk Enterprise Security and Download an intelligence feed from the Internet in Splunk Enterprise Security. edit_modinput_threatlist
edit_modinput_threat_intelligence_manager
X
Edit threat intelligence collections Upload threat intelligence and perform CRUD operations on threat intelligence collections using the REST API. See Upload a custom CSV file of threat intelligence in Splunk Enterprise Security and Threat Intelligence API reference. edit_threat_intel_collections X
Manage all investigations Allows the role to view and make changes to all investigations. See Manage security investigations in Splunk Enterprise Security manage_all_investigations X
Own notable events Allows the role to be an owner of notable events. See Assign notable events. can_own_notable_events X X
Search-driven lookups Create lookup tables that can be populated by a search. See Create search-driven lookups in Splunk Enterprise Security. edit_managed_configurations
schedule_search
X
Manage your investigations Create and edit investigations. Roles with this capability can make changes to investigations on which they are a collaborator. See Investigations in Splunk Enterprise Security. edit_timeline X X
Credential Manager Manage credentials and certificates for Splunk Enterprise Security and other apps. Cannot be set on the Permissions page. See Manage credentials in Splunk Enterprise Security. admin_all_objects
list_storage_passwords
list_app_certs
edit_app_certs
delete_app_certs
X

Adjust the concurrent searches for a role

Splunk platform defines a limit on concurrently running searches for the user and power roles by default. You may want to change those concurrent searches for some roles.

  1. On the Splunk Enterprise Security menu bar, select Configure > General > General Settings.
  2. Review the limits for roles and change them as desired.
Item Description
Search Disk Quota (admin) The maximum disk space (MB) a user with the admin role can use to store search job results.
Search Jobs Quota (admin) The maximum number of concurrent searches for users with the admin role.
Search Jobs Quota (power) The maximum number of concurrent searches for users with the power role.

To change the limits for roles other then admin and power, edit the authorize.conf file to update the default search quota. See the authorize.conf.example in the Splunk Enterprise Admin manual.

Configure the roles to search multiple indexes

The Splunk platform stores ingested data sources in multiple indexes. Distributing data into multiple indexes allows you to use role-based access control and vary retention policies for data sources. The Splunk platform configures all roles to search only the main index by default. For more information about working with roles, see the Splunk platform documentation.

To allow roles in Splunk Enterprise Security to search additional indexes, assign the indexes that contain relevant security data to the relevant roles.

  1. Select Settings > Access Controls.
  2. Click Roles.
  3. Click the role name that you want to allow to search additional indexes.
  4. Select the desired Indexes searched by default and Indexes that this role can search. Do not include summary indexes, as this can cause a search and summary index loop.
  5. Save your changes.
  6. Repeat for additional roles as needed.

If you do not update the roles with the correct indexes, searches and other knowledge objects that rely on data from unassigned indexes will not update or display results.

For more information on the reasons for multiple indexes, see Why have multiple indexes? in Splunk Enterprise Managing Indexers and Clusters of Indexers.

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This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise Security: 5.0.0, 5.0.1, 5.1.0, 5.1.1, 5.2.0, 5.2.1, 5.2.2, 5.3.0, 5.3.1


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