What is access control?
- Access control is a critical component of data security that determines who can access and use your company’s information and resources
- Access control policies make sure users are who they say they are and have the appropriate access to company data
- Access control limits physical access to campuses, buildings, rooms, and data centers
How does access control work?
A user’s access to information in an organization or a network is usually controlled by multi-factor authentication that verifies whether a user can access the system or network.
Once a user is authenticated, they may be granted appropriate access levels and permissions and the ability to perform the actions associated with their credentials and IP address.
There are four main types of access control that organizations choose from based on their unique security and compliance requirements:
- Discretionary access control (DAC): In this method, the owner or administrator of the protected system, data, or resource writes the policies for providing access.
- Mandatory access control (MAC): In this nondiscretionary model, people are granted access based on an information clearance. A central authority regulates access rights based on different security levels. This model is common in government and military environments.
- Role-based access control (RBAC): RBAC grants access based on defined business functions rather than the individual user’s identity. The goal is to provide users with access only to data deemed necessary for their roles within the organization. This widely used method is based on a complex combination of role assignments, authorizations, and permissions.
- Attribute-based access control (ABAC): In this dynamic method, access is based on attributes and environmental conditions, such as time of day and location, assigned to both users and resources.
Why is access control important?
Access control keeps confidential information such as customer data, personally identifiable information, and intellectual property from falling into the wrong hands.
It’s a core component of zero-trust security frameworks, which use a variety of mechanisms to verify access to the network continuously. Organizations that don’t have robust access control policies risk data leakage from internal and external sources.
Access control is significant for organizations with hybrid cloud and multi-cloud cloud environments. In these environments, resources, apps, and data reside both on-premises and the cloud.
Access Control can provide organizations with robust access security beyond single sign-on (SSO) and prevent unauthorized access from unmanaged and BYO devices.
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