If your business is in possession of information that is classified as confidential or proprietary, controlling access to that data is vital. Access control is essential for any business that has employees who connect to the internet. Daniel Crowley, IBM’s X Force Red team head of research, explains that access control is a way to restrict access to specific people and under specific conditions. There are two primary components: authorization and authentication.
Authentication is the process of confirming that the person you’re trying to gain access is the person they claim to be. It also includes the verification of passwords or other credentials that need to be supplied prior to granting access to an application, network or file.
Authorization is the process of granting access to certain areas based on the specific roles within a company like engineering, HR, marketing and more. The most efficient and well-known method of limiting access is to use access control based on role. This type of access is controlled by policies that define the information required to perform address specific business functions and assigns permission to the appropriate roles.
It is easier to monitor and manage any changes if you have an access control policy that is uniform. It is crucial that the policies are clearly communicated to staff to ensure that they handle sensitive information carefully. Also, there should be a procedure in place for removing access to employees who leave the company, change roles or are dismissed.