Access Control and Its Role in Information Security

by IT Procedure Template

On December 3, 2020

Are you looking for an access control policy template and wondering about access control and its role in information security?

In any type of organization, it’s crucial to identify who can access what! It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the organizational structure decides access control. No one can deny the importance of access control and its role in information security

In this article, we will discuss the importance of access control and its role in information security.

What is Access Control in IT?

In computing, access control refers to the practice of restricting certain access to certain users. It regulates who can view or use what resources in computing. 

Access control in computer security includes:

  • Authentication: verifying that someone is who they claim to be.
  • Authorization: determines which uses should have access to the resource. 
  • Approval: once authorized, the person or machine is allowed to access a specific resource. 
  • Management: includes adding and removing users. Some access control systems sync with Microsoft Azure or Google WorkSpace to streamline the process. 
  • Audit: a document trail of a sequence of activities, aimed at keeping the system up-to-date and mitigate risk. 

Authentication and authorization are essential in keeping the integrity of an IT system intact. Access control protects your enterprises from cyber-attacks, data theft, and more. 

In 2020, you can’t have an information security system without access controls. It’s especially important for businesses, where employees work off-site. It means that they access the company’s data and resources over the internet, where it’s more vulnerable. 

How Does Access Control Works?

Access control works differently in various organizations. It depends on the level of security the business needs and how it operates.

We can split access control into two categories: 

  • Physical access control: limits the access to the premises and hardware components of the system. 
  • Logical access control: limits access to the software components including files, networks, and other sensitive data including passwords, and client data. 

There is more than one way we can employ access control. Some organizations have an electronic access control system in place by their front door. The system grants access by checking the biometrics or scanning a key card. In case of a forced entry, the system initiates the lockdown procedures and alarms start blaring. 

A more advanced access control system may use multi-factor authentication. This in-depth security system makes use of three things to increase safety:

  • Something that you own – like biometrics such fingerprint or an iris scanner.
  • Something you remember – a password or pin that’s shared by a selected group. 
  • Something you have – a badge that doubles as a key card.

Each access control has its pros and cons. You need to find which control works best at which point. For example, you can use a keycard scanner by the external door and a biometric scanner only on a few internal systems. 

Importance of Access Control

The importance of access controls is synonymous with the importance of information security. If information security is important, then your business needs access controls in place. We can safely say that access controls are no longer an option. 

Since most businesses operate online now, they spend a hefty amount on protecting themselves from cyber-attacks. It’s equally important to invest in access controls as they limit access and protect the system from inside out.  

For some organizations, access controls are mandatory. It’s a regularity compliance requirement for the enterprise.

Access control may also be a requirement, depending on your organization by ISO 270001, PCI DSS (requirements 9 and 10), HIPAA security rule, and SOC 2. 

Types of Access Control

Access controls can be divided into four major types, discretionary access control (DAC), mandatory access control (MAC), role-based access control (RBAC), attribute-based access control (ABAC).

Discretionary access control (DAC)

DAC allows the business owners to decide which entities are allowed to access specific resources, digitally or physically. This system is the least restrictive of the access control systems because it allows complete control over the resource. The shortcoming to DAC is the complete control it gives users. 

Mandatory access control (MAC) 

MAC is used in organizations that require an elevated level of confidentiality and data classification. In MAC, business owners don’t get a say in who gets access to a specific resource. The access rights are assigned based on central authority regulations. 

Role-based access control (RBAC) 

RBAC is the most sought-after access control system in households and businesses alike. In RBAC, access is assigned based on user roles. It’s based on the principles of separation from privilege and least privileges. Only roles with specific access privileges can obtain certain resources. 

Attribute-based access control (ABAC)

The ABAC is quite unique. It grants access based on certain attributes and conditions. The system runs an assessment of attributes such as position, location, and time of the day. Based on the attributes, the system does or doesn’t grant access to the entity. 

What is an Access Control Policy?

An access control policy implements the principles of AAA in information security. AAA stands for Authentication, Authorization, and Accountability. 

The access control policy outlines general rules that must be followed in order to prevent unauthorized access to the company’s resources and implement access controls. 

Access control Policy Template

Creating IT policy and procure templates is a long and tedious task. You need to hire experts and be involved throughout the process. Where on the other hand, your organization requires access controls and an access control policy immediately.

IT procedure template offers an access control policy template  for your business that will guide you through the process of defining a formal such document, to ensure your employees have a strict guideline for performing their activities.

What Makes IT Procedure Template an Excellent Choice?

IT procedures template is created by a team of British and Dutch former auditors. We have extensive experience working reviewing and implementing IT processes within highly complex environments. 

Our experience and versatility set us apart from others!

Every client we meet needs only one thing. 

High-quality products from experts! 

IT procedure template provides templates that save time and money for your organization. It’s not just a template but based on real-life scenarios and reflects proper IT processes that must be implemented in every organization. 

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