December 21, 2022

MongoDB security for beginners

MongoDB security is based on role-based access control (RBAC). It enables users to control access to data based on their roles in the organization. With RBAC, users can be assigned to roles with specific privileges. Each role is granted access to certain resources, such as databases and collections. This ensures that only authorized users can access data and ensures data integrity.

In addition to RBAC, MongoDB also provides authentication and encryption features. Authentication requires users to provide a username and password before they can access data. Encryption allows data to be encrypted at rest and in transit. This means that data stored in MongoDB is unreadable unless decrypted using the correct encryption key.

MongoDB also provides auditing capabilities to track user activities. This allows administrators to monitor and review user actions to ensure that data is being accessed and used appropriately.

MongoDB can authenticate users based on a username and password. In addition, MongoDB can also authenticate users based on other credentials, such as X.509 certificates and Kerberos.

How to setup MongoDB security

To set up MongoDB security, first create a user and assign it a role. For example, to create a user “testuser” with the role “readOnly”, open the MongoDB shell and run the following command:

> db.createUser({
    user: "testuser",
    pwd: "password",
    roles: ["readOnly"]

Once the user is created, you can configure authentication and authorization. To enable authentication, open the mongod configuration file and set the “security.authorization” option to “enabled”. You can also set the “security.authentication” option to “SCRAM-SHA-1” to enable SHA-1-based authentication.

Once authentication is enabled, you can configure authorization. To do this, open the mongod configuration file and set the “security.roles” option to the roles you want to assign to users. For example, to assign the “readOnly” role to “testuser”, set the “security.roles” option as follows:

      user: "testuser"

Once the roles have been set, restart the mongod server to apply the changes.

Finally, you can configure encryption. To do this, open the mongod configuration file and set the “security.encryption” option to “enabled”. You can also set the “security.encryption.key” option to the encryption key you want to use. Once this is done, restart the mongod server to apply the changes.


MongoDB offers a robust security framework to protect data and ensure compliance. By setting up authentication, authorization, and encryption, organizations can ensure that data is only accessible to authorized users and is secure from unauthorized access. With the right configuration, MongoDB can provide a secure environment to store and manage data.

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