Access control is a form of data security that dictates who is permitted to access or indulge in company resources, company information, and much more. Access control provides a way for companies to ensure that users are correctly identified and provided with the proper amount of access. Various access control examples can be found in security systems, including locks, fences, biometric systems, motion detectors, doors, and so forth.
Access control systems work by identifying users through unique PIN numbers, usernames, passwords, and other forms of identification. The control system then determines what level of access will be granted to the employee based on the credentials programmed into the system under their specific identifier. As of now, there are four primary types of access control models. Each of these different models determine the level of access that will be permitted to the user.
Mandatory access control is the most restrictive control model. Generally, the only employee that will have this level of access is the system owner. Mandatory access control is used for organizations that require maximum security, with credentials limited to a sole, high-level operator.
This form of access control is generally the most popular control model. Role-based access control provides access based on the position of the employee. For instance, a production manager might have access to different areas and assets than a logistics manager, depending on what they require in order to fulfill their job.
Discretionary access control is the least restrictive control model. Once granted access, each user is provided with the same level of control. To use the above example, this means that the production and logistics manager would both have access to all resources, regardless of whether they are required to utilize all of them within their position in the company.
Attribute-based access control assigns or denies access to users based on a set of rules and limitations that have been previously defined by the owner or system administrator. The freedom of customization is what makes this method such a popular choice.