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Everything you need to know about Role-based Access Control


Role-based access control (RBAC) is a tool that restricts the information an employee can see. Each employee is given a level of access to perform their job duties effectively. Access is based on several factors like authority, job competency, and responsibility.

In addition to this, many employees have limited access to computer resources such as viewing, creating, or modifying a file. This method is handy for advanced access control. This limit the distribution of sensitive data to lower-level employees and third parties. In a nutshell, RBAC will help you secure your company’s confidential information and proprietary applications.

Examples of RBAC:

A company is developing a new application or technology, and they want to safeguard their data. They can use RBAC to define the level of access each employee has to do its job. The various roles are:

  • An Administrator
  • A Specialist User
  • An End-User

The name describes the level of permission they have to view the data. These roles are often defined by the position the employee has in the company. For example, a coder might be given “A Specialist User”, where he is allowed to view only certain information to code.

Benefits of RBAC:

  • It is difficult to manage and audit network access when a company has over hundreds or thousands of employees. Security can easily be compromised. RBAC is an effective way to maintain information security in a company.
  • Quicker administrative work and IT support: If an employee leaves a job or a new employee join your company, you need to paperwork for password change or change his role. However, with RBAC, you can add or switch role. This is a better and efficient way to give access.
  • Maximizing operational efficiency: RBAC offers a streamlined approach to administrating lower-level access control. All the roles are aligned with the organizational structure of the company, and employees can do their jobs autonomously and efficiently.
  • Giving administrators increased visibility: RBAC gives network administrators more visibility and oversight into the company.
  • Reducing Costs: If only a few people have access to certain processes and application, then the company can cut cost on resources such as network bandwidth, memory, and storage.
  • Lower risk of breaches and data leakage: RBAC restrict people to information, and thus reduces the possibility of data leak or security breach.

Practices for implementing RBAC:

  • First, define the resource which each employee needs to access. For example, email systems, customer database, etc.
  • Analyze the workforce and assign roles. However, don’t create too many roles as it would change into user-based access control.
  • Now create a list of roles and their access right, now put employees to these roles.
  • Evaluate how you would change role if an employee is terminated, promoted or new employee is registered.
  • Conduct training for your employees, so they understand the working and importance of RBAC.
  • Periodically audit the RBAC system, roles, the employees who are assigned to these roles. If you find a role to be redundant or an employee give access, he doesn’t need, change them. 

One of the main functions of any organization is protecting data. An Role based access control system ensures the company’s information is private and meet confidentiality regulations. Furthermore, it secures data leak and breaches that safe the business from a competitive standpoint.

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