If your business is in possession of data that is considered private or confidential, having control over access to that information is vital. Access control is an essential requirement for any company that has employees who are connected to the internet. Daniel Crowley, IBM’s X Force Red team head of research, explains that access control is a method to selectively restrict information to specific individuals and under specific conditions. There are two main components: authorization and authentication.
Authentication involves ensuring that the person trying to connect to is the person they claim to be. It also involves the verification of a password or other credentials that need to be supplied prior to granting access to any network, application or file.
Authorization is the act of granting access based on a certain role in the business, such as engineering, HR or marketing. The most efficient and popular method to restrict access is through role-based access control. This type of access is governed by policies that identify the information required for certain business tasks and assigns access rights to the appropriate roles.
It is simpler to manage and monitor any changes if you have an access control policy that is standard. It is important to ensure that the policies are clearly communicated to employees to ensure the proper handling of sensitive information, and to establish an procedure for removing access when employees leave the company or alters their role, or is terminated.