There are role-based access control advantages and disadvantages. Set up correctly, role-based access control can provide much-needed security for a business. Here are a few of the benefits of role-based access control:
Stronger security - Role-based access control provides permissions on a need-to-know basis that only gives access to spaces and resources essential to the employee’s role.
Reduced administration - Security administrators only have to allocate and manage permissions to a small number of roles, rather than creating individual permissions for each employee.
Simpler moves, adds, and changes - If an employee joins the organization or changes roles, administrators simply allocate or reallocate permissions based on the employee’s new role. This can even be automated when identity providers are synced to user permissions.
Reduced risk of error - Access permission is granted on the basis of a role with a defined security profile, rather than at the discretion of an individual who may not be aware of the security risks.
Consistent security standards - Administrators can impose consistent standards across multiple sites by ensuring that employees’ roles always carry the same permissions, regardless of location.
Improved productivity - Role-based permissions are aligned to the structure and strategy of the business. This ensures that the right security measures allow employees access to all the spaces and resources they need to work productively, rather than acting as a barrier.
Maintaining compliance - By ensuring that only employees with an authorized role can access data covered by regulations, administrators can ensure that the business is compliant with any federal, state, or industry regulations.
Lower security management costs - Simpler administration, moves, adds, and changes, together with reduced risk of costs associated with security breaches or non-compliance, help reduce overall security costs.
While there are many important role-based access control benefits, the model can prove inflexible, for example in organizations where employees take multiple roles and the composition of project teams or workgroups changes frequently. As with any type of security, improper use, lack of auditing, and not adhering to the latest access control trends can all lead to vulnerabilities over time.
Implementing role-based access
There are a number of important steps when it comes to implementing role-based access control:
Review current access profile - List all doors or access points in the property and identify their security level from low to highest. Prepare a list of employees with access to higher-security areas. Identify any higher-risk areas that do not have a list of authorized employees.
Create an access profile for each role - Work with HR and line managers to identify areas that each role needs to access to carry out their role.
Document and publish roles and permissions -To ensure all employees understand their access permissions, publish the permissions associated with each role. This helps avoid any errors or misunderstandings.
Update the access profile - Prepare a new access profile, linking access points to employee roles, instead of individual names.
Carry out regular reviews - Gather feedback from employees and identify any access problems. Review any security issues resulting from weak access control and revise permissions if necessary.
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