While programs allowing users to gain administrative privileges are a potential security risk, security itself is beyond the scope of this particular book. You should therefore see sources listed below for more information regarding security and privileged access.
su(1) - the manual page for su provides information regarding the options available with this command.
sudo(8) - the manual page for sudo includes a detailed description of this command as well as a list of options available for customizing sudo's behavior.
pam(8) - the manual page describing the use of Pluggable Authentication Modules for Linux.