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What is Need To Know?

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Need to know is the practice of defending extremely sensitive secrets by restricting access to those who require the information in their work. According to need to know restrictions, those who have the authority to access information aren't allowed to access it unless they can demonstrate a valid purpose.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Two firms engaged in merger talks typically keep the information need to know. For example, they may hold offsite meetings that only involve the absolute minimum of executives, subject matter experts and financial advisors who are required.

Trade Secrets

Formulas, designs and techniques that a firm views as valuable trade secrets may be deemed need to know.

Classified Information

Governments typically implement a system of rules, regulations and procedures for handling classified information that may include oversight bodies. Ideally, such information is eventually declassified and made available to the public to improve trust in the government.
Overview: Need To Know
Restricting access to sensitive information to those who need it in their work.
Applying need to know involves a great deal of overhead. Opening as much knowledge as possible to employees stimulates organizational productivity and innovation.
For compliance reasons, corporate governance bodies and government regulators are typically considered need to know.
The leader of an organization always has a need to know.
Related Concepts
Next: Defense In Depth

Information Security

This is the complete list of articles we have written about information security.
Audit Trail
Canary Trap
Confidential Information
Critical Infrastructure
Cryptographic Keys
Cryptographic Salt
Cybersecurity Risk
Data Breach
Data Remanence
Data Room
Data Security
Deep Magic
Defense In Depth
Digital Identity
Failure Of Imagination
Incident Response
IoT Security
Key Stretching
Network Security
Operations Security
Overlay Network
Password Entropy
Password Fatigue
Proof Of Work
Secure Code Review
Security As A Service
Security Controls
More ...
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