Why Every Organization Needs An Access Control System

What Makes An Access Control System So Important

Every year the importance of data protection and internet safety grow. A large number of internet users in the United States use the internet without regard to its many potential dangers on any seemingly safe websites. In order to effectively protect data, an organization’s access control must address questions such as who has access to the company’s data, why protection is important, and the challenges that security professionals can face. Access control is a method that guarantees that users are in fact who they claim to be and that they have the appropriate access to the company’s data. Access control, at its core, is a selective restriction of access to data, and it consists of a number of important components, two of which include:

 

  • Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

  • Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC)

 

Data security does not exist without authentication or authorization, as both are immensely important to data security at both a conceptual level and a practical level. In case of any data breach, access control is one of the first policies that will be investigated. Whether the breach is the accidental exposure of sensitive data or where sensitive data becomes exposed through a web server that functions with a significant software vulnerability, access controls are a key component, and without proper implementation or maintenance, the result can be fatal to any organization, whether or not that organization was knowledgeable about the best practices. Any organization that has employees who connect to the internet needs at least a base-level of access control in place because if the data in question could present any level of value to an actor without authorization to access it, access control is pivotal to the business’ well-being to avoid being exposed and exploited. 

Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

A mandatory access control system is developed using nondiscretionary models. Nondiscretionary models are models in which people are granted access to an information system based on their own information clearance. Mandatory access control is a policy wherein access rights are assigned based on a central authority’s regulations, meaning that the organization retains great control over this system. 

Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC)

When an organization uses attribute-based access control, each user is assigned a series of attributes. This is considered to be a dynamic method of access control because the algorithm runs an assessment of the user’s assigned attributes, taking into account the time of day, their position, and their location, and weighs them against each other in order to decide whether or not the person should be granted access to the information. This is a useful method of access control because if a user typically logs in from a certain location, and a few hours later the user is trying to log in from a location on the other side of the globe, without notifying the system administrator of their radical change in position, the system may prevent them from doing so in order to prevent a potential third party from accessing the organization’s data.