If your company is involved in information that is classified as confidential or proprietary, controlling access to that data is crucial. Access control is an essential requirement for any organization that has employees who connect to the Internet. Daniel Crowley, IBM’s X Force Red team head of research, explains that access control can be used to restrict access to specific individuals and under specific conditions. There are two key components: authentication and authorization.
Authentication is the process of confirming that the person you are trying to gain access to is who they claim to be. It also includes verification with a password or other credentials required before granting access to a network, an application, system or file.
Authorization is the process of granting access to specific areas based upon specific functions in a company, such HR, marketing, engineering etc. Role-based access control (RBAC) is one of the most widely used and effective methods to restrict access. This type of access involves policies that determine the required information to complete certain business tasks and assign permissions to appropriate roles.
It is easier to control and monitor any changes when you have an access control policy that is standardized. It is important to ensure that policies are clearly communicated to staff to ensure the proper handling of sensitive information, as well as to establish a procedure for revoking access when an employee leaves the company, changes their role or is terminated.