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Security risks of having QPGMR own profiles

What is your best practice recommendation on who should own profiles? I have systems where QSECOFR owns all profiles with PUBLIC *EXCLUDE. On one production system, QPGMR owns the profiles (*all authority) with PUBLIC *EXCLUDE. What security risks (if any) are we vulnerable to by having QPGMR own profiles?
I don't believe there is one right answer to who should own user profiles. One method that works is to create a profile that's purpose is to own profiles –- I'll call it PROFOWN. Then create a CL program that administrators run. The program is owned by and adopts PROFOWN. Within the CL program, the profile is created and then the ownership is transferred to PROFOWN. Other tools can then be created that adopt PROFOWN that will reset passwords and enable profiles. This way, no user owns the profiles and tools can be written to allow maintenance.

Another method is to have the user profiles owned by the group profile that the users administering profiles belong to. This is a slightly less secure method, but it still works. What doesn't work (from a security perspective) is to have a profile own the user profiles that are the group profile for users that have nothing to do with user profile administration. For example, if QPGMR owns profiles and all developers are a member of this profile and their role has nothing to do with user administration, QPGMR should not be owning the profiles. That's because, when a group owns an object (in this case a user profile) all of the group's members also own the profile. This provides members of the group with the ability to abuse these profiles -– in other words, use them to submit jobs, change ownership of objects, etc. Also, leaving profiles at *PUBLIC *EXCLUDE is the right thing to do.

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This was last published in July 2004

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