Access control is the process of selectively limiting access to specific data and users. It involves a combination of authentication and authorization. Authentication ensures that users are who they claim to be, but it is not sufficient. Authorization determines what a user is allowed to access. By imposing access controls, an organization can protect data and prevent misuse. For example, an access control policy may block users who have access to sensitive data. This article will provide you with the information you need about what is access control and its role in securing data and users in an organization.
Administrative and technical access control
There are many forms of administrative and technical access control to secure data and protect users. Administrative controls are implemented to prevent unauthorized access and are often the first line of defense. These controls limit physical access to the network, files, and information. On the other hand, technical controls can be implemented to restrict network access based on IP addresses. The foundation of any access control policy is the senior leadership, which sets policies and standards for executing all types of controls.
The next layer is logical access controls. These controls are designed to support the CIA triad and should be implemented at as many layers as possible. While this is the most basic form of access control, it must also support the organization’s system architecture. In addition to controlling network access, proper access control will also protect users. One of the most important aspects of access controls is visibility. Having access to logs will show if unauthorized users gain access to a specific resource. By monitoring access rights, you can ensure that no unauthorized user has access to sensitive data. Also, it’s possible to detect when an employee leaves the organization and terminates their access. If you’re worried about security risks, you’ll be happy to know that you have an automated monitoring solution to keep tabs on who accesses what and when.
Break-glass access control
A broken-glass access control system helps secure data and users in an organization by providing unprivileged users with limited access to sensitive systems. These systems typically contain highly privileged accounts for users who require access to databases, perform batch jobs and scripts and confer access to other applications. Break-glass accounts also provide emergency access to users not typically assigned to a particular person. However, when a privileged user needs access to sensitive data, it is imperative to grant this account to them.
MAC places strict policies on individual users, data, systems, and resources. An organization administrator manages these policies, and users are not allowed to alter permissions. On the other hand, break-glass access control bypasses regular permissions and controls user activity by avoiding standard security policies. Therefore, organizations must take the necessary steps to protect their data and users and implement a break-glass emergency plan.
A break-glass access control solution should provide emergency users with access to 20 target platforms and seven lines of business. This emergency user account should be well-documented and tested before being deployed. It should also be managed by an Emergency Account Manager who is aware of the account’s importance and the sensitive nature of the data. The Emergency Account Manager should distribute the account and set up an acceptable sign-out procedure.
Attribute-based access control
An attribute-based access control (ABAC) solution can effectively protect both users and data in an organization. By comparing the characteristics of objects to those of their owners, attribute-based access control can help prevent data breaches while also adhering to security policies. In addition, these technologies allow administrators to create and manage access policies that apply to objects, users, and environmental parameters.
Attribute-based access control, or ABAC, provides a multidimensional system to prevent the “role explosion” with traditional access control methods. As a result, organizations can increase scalability by creating policies based on user attributes, avoiding Segregation of Duties conflicts, and ensuring compliance with ever-increasing government regulations. However, this approach has some disadvantages.
An ABAC solution enables dynamic attributes and 50-state rules to enforce security policies. ABAC allows an organization to create user-defined attributes and assign them a specific role. In addition, it removes the burden of creating role definitions for every user. Lastly, ABAC removes uncertainty when it comes to data access. With Immuta’s dynamic attribute-based access control solution, organizations can implement ABAC without fear of introducing more roles.
In general, RBAC provides security by assigning specific user roles to employees. The attributes that each role carries determine the system permissions. Assigning multiple permissions to users can break the “least privilege” principle and lead to privilege abuse. However, it is widely used in small and medium-sized organizations with simple workflows and a limited hierarchy.