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How to set Security for a SharePoint Site?


Dhaval Rathod

24th January 2024

Are you aware of the critical role that secure access plays in ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of your organization's valuable information stored in SharePoint?

Organizations worldwide rely on SharePoint to enhance collaboration and streamline information management. But how can you ensure that your sensitive data is protected and only accessible by authorized personnel?

In this blog, we will explore the various security options available in SharePoint and provide a step-by-step guide on how to set up security for a SharePoint site.

Understanding SharePoint's Security Model

SharePoint's security model revolves around the concept of users, groups, and permissions. Users are individuals with access to the SharePoint site, groups are collections of users, and permissions define what each user or group can do within the site.

To effectively set up security for a SharePoint site, it is essential to understand the various components of the security model:

1. Users: Users are individuals who access the SharePoint site. They can be internal employees, external partners, or customers.

2. Active Directory: SharePoint relies on an organization's Active Directory (AD) to authenticate and authorize users. AD groups can be used to simplify user management within SharePoint.

3. Groups: Groups are collections of users with similar roles or permissions. SharePoint has several default groups, such as Owners, Members, and Visitors, which can be customized based on the organization's requirements.

4. Permissions: Permissions define what actions a user or group can perform within the SharePoint site. SharePoint provides granular control over permissions, allowing administrators to specify whether users can view, edit, delete, or manage specific content.

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Security

Now that we have a basic understanding of SharePoint's security model, let's dive into the step-by-step process of setting up security for a SharePoint site:

Step 1: Plan your Security Strategy

Before diving into the technical implementation, it is important to plan your security strategy. Consider the following questions:

1. Who should have access to the site?

2. What level of permissions should different user groups have?

3. Do you need to create custom groups to align with your organization's structure?

4. What content needs extra security measures?

Understanding your organization's requirements will make it easier to implement an effective security strategy.

Step 2: Configure Authentication Providers

SharePoint supports various authentication providers, including Windows authentication (NTLM and Kerberos), forms-based authentication, and Azure Active Directory. Choose the appropriate authentication method based on your organization's requirements and configure it in SharePoint.

Step 3: Configure User Permissions

SharePoint provides three default permission levels: Full Control, Contribute, and Read. However, you can create and customize permission levels to align with your organization's requirements.

Assign users to appropriate groups based on their roles and responsibilities. This will simplify user management and ensure consistency in permissions.

Step 4: Secure Sensitive Content with Item-Level Permissions

If your SharePoint site contains sensitive information, you can further secure it by applying item-level permissions. This allows you to restrict access to specific items, such as documents or list items, based on user roles or specific conditions.

Step 5: Enable Versioning and Audit Logs

To track and monitor changes made within the SharePoint site, enable versioning and audit logs. Versioning allows you to keep track of document history, while audit logs provide detailed information about user activities, such as file access, modifications, or deletions.

Step 6: Regularly Review and Update Security Settings

Security is an ongoing process, and it is essential to review and update security settings periodically. Make sure to remove any unnecessary permissions, update groups, and permissions as users' roles change, and implement any new security measures as required.

Best Practices for SharePoint Security

In addition to following the step-by-step guide, here are some best practices to ensure optimal security for your SharePoint site:

1. Regular Backup: Regularly back up your SharePoint site to safeguard against data loss or corruption.

2. Strong Password Policies: Implement strong password policies to ensure that user accounts are secure.

3. Secure External Sharing: If you need to share content externally, use SharePoint's external sharing features carefully and apply appropriate permissions.

4. Educate Users: Provide training and education to users on SharePoint's security features and best practices to prevent accidental security breaches.

5. Regularly Patch and Update: Keep your SharePoint environment up to date by installing the latest patches and updates provided by Microsoft.

By following these best practices and implementing proper security measures, you can ensure that your SharePoint site remains secure and protects your organization's sensitive information.


Ensuring the security of your SharePoint site is not something to be taken lightly. However, managing security can be a complex and time-consuming task. If you want to simplify the process and enhance your SharePoint security even further, consider utilizing CloudStakes, a leading cloud security solution.

Visit CloudStakes to learn more about how their solution can enhance your SharePoint security and schedule a demo. Protect your SharePoint site and safeguard your organization's valuable data with CloudStakes.