July 10, 2020

Role-Based Access Control – The Basics

Business leaders tend to place a lot of faith in their intuition and judgment. Inherently, they trust the people hired to have the best interest of the company and believe proper care will be taken regarding security. This isn’t always the case.

According to IBM, “Insider threats account for 60 percent of cyberattacks, and they are incredibly difficult to detect. In fact, most cases go unnoticed for months or years.”

This is where role-based access control comes in. In cybersecurity, access control refers to the tools used in restricting and controlling the data that users are able to see and what they can do.

A basic example of access control is entering a passcode into your smartphone so that only those that know the passcode will be able to access the information on that particular device.

What is Role-Based Access Control?

Role-based access control (RBAC) is a term used for identity and access management for companies and organizations. It allows for structured management of access privileges depending on the employees’ responsibilities and job roles.

RBAC is a method used to ensure access security or “security clearance.” An employee’s position will determine which permissions they’re granted and, in that way, guarantees that lower-level employees are unable to perform high-level tasks or access sensitive information.

Medium explains,

“You have multiple people on your team, and everyone wants to access this one cluster. Each person on the team has different responsibilities, and each person needs a level of isolation and security from one another. You do not want one person from accidentally interfering with other person’s work on the cluster. Thinking of about differences between developers, operators, cluster administrators, etc., there is a wide variety of reasons why you want to slice your cluster based on different roles and different capabilities. RBAC is the way you can restrict who can access what within a cluster.”

How Role-Based Access Control is Determined

When it comes to role-based access control, there are several determining factors to think about when deciding on the roles themselves. This includes elements like job competency, authorization, and responsibility.

It is up to the leaders of an organization to regulate whether someone will be given rights as an administrator, end-user, or an outside third party. Similarly, role-based access control also allows for resources to be limited to particular tasks, including creating, modifying, or viewing specific files.

This is also applicable for employees working with cloud-based resources, according to ZDNet.

“Administrators must focus on providing exactly the permissions each user needs. Too many permissions exposes a user account to attackers. Too few permissions makes it far more difficult for users to get their work done. Role-based access control facilitates the granting of just the right level of permissions to entire departments or groups.”

The Benefits of Role-Based Access Control

Maximized Efficiency – For users that are newly hired, it can be challenging to navigate a whole new network overflowing with processes and paperwork. RBAC allows you to change and add roles, network platforms, and operating systems, cutting out the noise.

Improving Compliance – Each organization has to comply with local, state, and federal regulations. Using an RBAC system, companies can manage any regulatory requirements regarding confidentiality and privacy. This is particularly important for financial institutions and health care as they manage a vast amount of sensitive data.

Visibility into Information – Using RBAC allows only for those with proper credentials to view sensitive information. Additionally, it guarantees that only those with permission can access particular areas of the system in that they only have access to what they need to perform their roles successfully.

Prevents Data Leaks – Because RBAC ensures that only those users with certain permissions access sensitive areas and files, it reduces the potential for information leaks and data breaches.

Final Words

By managing the privileges of users depending on their roles within a company, it allows for smooth access to files and resources they need to execute their jobs efficiently. It also ensures that regulators and stakeholders can access particular data, as well as protect confidential information from being leaked to the public.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *