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Creating and Maintaining Access Controls

Information sharing continues to become more complex. We utilize information sharing every day to streamline operations in our organizations. We want our information to be accessible, secure, and sharable. However, some information is not for everyone’s eyes.

The solution to this complex problem is Access Controls.

Access controls secure, control, and manage information sharing with internal and external users. In a world connected to the internet, our information is more vulnerable than ever. By establishing access controls, your organization’s data is protected from unapproved users.

There are two core fundamental aspects to achieve effective Access Controls – authentication, and authorization to identify, verify, and categorize user access.

Authentication

Authentication confirms user’s identity. Authentication comes in multiple forms. The most common form is password- based authentication utilizing usernames and passwords. Another popular form is two-factor authentication, requiring the user to provide more than one form of identification. Most commonly a user signs into a platform utilizing a username and password then a second form such as a code sent to a mobile device, fingerprints, or facial recognition confirms the user’s identity. The most complex authentication form is multi-factor authentication consisting of at least 3 or more authentication factors. Once a user identity is authenticated, authorization enables user access.

Authorization

Authorization determines what each user can access or edit. Authorization can be organized in different ways. Each user can be given specialized permissions within the digital space. Most commonly, user groups are created to help streamline the authorization process to ensure team members have equal access.

Access Control Types

To further the effectiveness of Access Control Systems, a model is chosen based on the organization’s needs. Discretionary Access Controls (DAC) relies on the data owner or creator to determine user access. Mandatory Access Controls (MAC) consists of a non-discretionary model where user access is determined based on information clearance determined by the organization. Role Based Access Control (RBAC) is the most common model utilized today, data access is determined by what is necessary for that role. Attribute Based Access Control (AAC) where user access is determined by the relationship between different identifying attributes between the data, organization, and the user.

The world has transformed to a reliance on a remote workforce. This has driven thousands online to share data to perform daily tasks. Access Controls help to meet the needs of every organization to not only protect and manage data but to drive productivity and improve user experience.


Author: Victoria Robinson | Marketing Manager