ONTAP 9.14

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Secure file access by using Storage-Level Access Guard

In addition to securing access by using native file-level and export and share security, you can configure Storage-Level Access Guard, a third layer of security applied by ONTAP at the volume level. Storage-Level Access Guard applies to access from all NAS protocols to the storage object to which it is applied.

Only NTFS access permissions are supported. For ONTAP to perform security checks on UNIX users for access to data on volumes for which Storage-Level Access Guard has been applied, the UNIX user must map to a Windows user on the SVM that owns the volume.

Storage-Level Access Guard behavior

  • Storage-Level Access Guard applies to all the files or all the directories in a storage object.

    Because all files or directories in a volume are subject to Storage-Level Access Guard settings, inheritance through propagation is not required.

  • You can configure Storage-Level Access Guard to apply to files only, to directories only, or to both files and directories within a volume.

    • File and directory security

      Applies to every directory and file within the storage object. This is the default setting.

    • File security

      Applies to every file within the storage object. Applying this security does not affect access to, or auditing of, directories.

    • Directory security

      Applies to every directory within the storage object. Applying this security does not affect access to, or auditing of, files.

  • Storage-Level Access Guard is used to restrict permissions.

    It will never give extra access permissions.

  • If you view the security settings on a file or directory from an NFS or SMB client, you do not see the Storage-Level Access Guard security.

    It’s applied at the storage object level and stored in the metadata used to determine the effective permissions.

  • Storage-level security cannot be revoked from a client, even by a system (Windows or UNIX) administrator.

    It is designed to be modified by storage administrators only.

  • You can apply Storage-Level Access Guard to volumes with NTFS or mixed security style.

  • You can apply Storage-Level Access Guard to volumes with UNIX security style as long as the SVM containing the volume has a CIFS server configured.

  • When volumes are mounted under a volume junction path and if Storage-Level Access Guard is present on that path, it will not be propagated to volumes mounted under it.

  • The Storage-Level Access Guard security descriptor is replicated with SnapMirror data replication and with SVM replication.

  • There is special dispensation for virus scanners.

    Exceptional access is allowed to these servers to screen files and directories, even if Storage-Level Access Guard denies access to the object.

  • FPolicy notifications are not sent if access is denied because of Storage-Level Access Guard.

Order of access checks

Access to a file or directory is determined by the combined effect of the export or share permissions, the Storage-Level Access Guard permissions set on volumes, and the native file permissions applied to files and/or directories. All levels of security are evaluated to determine what the effective permissions a file or directory has. The security access checks are performed in the following order:

  1. SMB share or NFS export-level permissions

  2. Storage-Level Access Guard

  3. NTFS file/folder access control lists (ACLs), NFSv4 ACLs, or UNIX mode bits

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