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GitHub Advanced Security Permissions Chart

Overview

I have several posts discussing GitHub Advanced Security, but practically a question that I get often is: “Who can access the alerts on each repository?”

I hope to solve that with this permissions / access requirements chart!

See also: GitHub Advanced Security Feature Comparison

Access requirements for security features

This chart is loosely based on the one from GitHub, with a few additions, modifications, and clarifications.

FeatureRead[1]Write [2]AdminSecurity MgrOrg Owner
Receive Dependabot alerts  ✔️✔️✔️
Dismiss Dependabot alerts  ✔️✔️✔️
Designate others to receive security alerts  ✔️✔️✔️
Create security advisories  ✔️✔️✔️
Manage access to GHAS features in the repo  ✔️✔️✔️
Enable the dependency graph  ✔️✔️✔️
View dependency reviews✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
View code scanning alerts on pull requests✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Manage code scanning alerts ✔️✔️✔️✔️
View secret scanning alerts in a repository ✔️[3]✔️✔️✔️
Manage secret scanning alerts ✔️[3]✔️✔️✔️
Access to the org’s security overview ✔️[4]✔️[4]✔️✔️
Access to the enterprise’s security overview   ✔️[5]✔️[5]
Manage GHAS features at org level   ✔️✔️
Designate Security Managers    ✔️
Read access to repo(s)✔️✔️✔️✔️[6]✔️
Write access to repo(s) ✔️✔️ ✔️

Notes:

  • [1] Read and Triage have the same rights for security features
  • [2] Write and Maintain have the same rights for security features
  • [3] Repository writers and maintainers can only see secret alert information for their own commits
  • [4] Now that the org-level security overview is available to all Enterprise users, org members can see consolidated results of repositories that they can see alerts for (e.g., write for CodeQL, admin for Dependabot and secrets, etc.)
  • [5] In the enterprise-level security overview level, one would see organizations where they are added as an org owner or security manager - enterprise owners must join an organization as an owner to see alerts
  • [6] Security managers get read-only access to every repository in the organization
  • This chart primarily focuses on GitHub Enterprise Cloud, but note that Advanced Security is available for GitHub Enterprise Server 3.0 or higher. There may be slight differences in the features available for GitHub Enterprise Server based on the version

Granting access to security alerts

Security alerts for a repository are visible to people with admin access to the repository and, when the repository is owned by an organization, organization owners. You can also give additional teams and people access to the alerts.

When adding users to be able to view security alerts, there is a bit of text that explains (emphasis mine):

Admins, users, and teams in the list below have permission to view and manage code scanning, Dependabot, or secret scanning alerts. These users may be notified when a new vulnerability is found in one of this repository’s dependencies and when a secret or key is checked in. They will also see additional details when viewing Dependabot security updates. Individuals can manage how they receive these alerts in their notification settings.

Note: Organization owners and repository administrators can only grant access to view security alerts, such as secret scanning alerts, to people or teams who have write access to the repo.

Custom Repository Roles

Organization administrators can create Custom Repository Roles to customize and fine-tune different permission sets that repository administrators can grant. For example, I want to create a role that allows users to have Write access AND be able to view/dismiss Dependabot Alerts:

Custom Repository Roles Custom repository roles - creating a custom role to allow viewing/managing of Dependabot alerts

Note that there is currently a maximum of 3 custom roles that can be created in the organization.

Changelog

DateNote
Oct 11 2022Removing Beta from Security Overview for the Org,
Security Overview is available to all GitHub Enterprise customers,
Consolidated Read/Triage and Write/Maintain since they have the same security permissions
Mar 11 2021Adding section about security alerts
Mar 08 2021Initial post
This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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