Access control to data is vital for any business that has confidential or proprietary data. Any organization whose employees connect to the internet must have robust access control measures in place. At its simplest, access control is a selective restricting information to a set of individuals and under certain conditions, explains Daniel Crowley, head of research at IBM’s X-Force Red team that focuses on data security. There are two main components: authorization and authentication.
Authentication is the process of verifying that the person you’re trying to gain access to is the person they claim to be. It also includes verification with a password or other credentials needed before granting access to a network, application, a file or system.
Authorization is the process of granting access to specific areas based upon specific functions in a company such as HR, marketing, engineering and so on. The most effective and widely used method to restrict access is through access control based on role. This type of access involves policies that define the information needed to carry out certain business functions and assign permissions to appropriate roles.
It is easier to manage and monitor any changes when you have a policy for access control which is standard. It is important that policies are clearly communicated with staff to ensure that they handle sensitive information with care. Also, there should be an established procedure for revoking access to employees who quit the company, change their role, or are dismissed.