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What Is Access Control? How To Secure Your System

Access control is a critical data security procedure that lets businesses select specific personnel and permit them access to enterprise information, systems, and resources. 

The control can be to physical enterprise premises by limiting the people who can enter buildings or rooms with information technology data. Or it’d be logical where there’s a restriction to computer networks or system file access.  All authorized users must have access to key cards or fobs, biometrics, passwords, or multi-factor authentication before accessing company information. 

Without access control, your data systems could leak sensitive information to cybercriminals, who can use phishing, social engineering, or malware to access your information or request a ransom. Thus, access control is critical to data security because it maintains operational effectiveness. After all, your staff can get the resources they need for work instead of taking time to look for information.

And the process of access control helps you comply with relevant regulations and protect confidential data because, depending on the type of organization you operate, you must protect clients’ data, only allowing personnel with access to sensitive information to access them. It safeguards your intellectual property and financial data. 

You can secure a system by implementing the following access control best practices to assist in achieving an enhanced overall security system: 

Implement Authentication And Authorization

Authentication is the first process of creating an identity of a user to verify who they say they are. It typically involves setting up usernames, complex passwords, personal identification numbers, biometrics, and multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Yet having authentication isn’t enough so that you can add authorization – it’s an additional security layer to the process. It explicitly determines if users have access rights and liberty to information based on their roles, responsibilities, and the principle of least privilege.

Typically, without these two components, you don’t have any data security because a hacker can quickly get your information. Therefore, it’d help to implement robust authentication mechanisms and authorization to ensure that only authorized individuals can access the system.

Choose An Appropriate Access Control Model For Your Business 

You must choose a suitable control model depending on what information you need to secure. It’ll help safeguard the confidential data you’re handling. Examples are as follows:

  • Privileged Access Management (PAM): It handles user privileges by enabling or denying entry to resources depending on the right given to every user. The good thing is that PAM manages access in one place, restricts access when staff changes roles, and hinders privileged account access attempts. 
  • Mandatory Access Control (MAC): It’s a model in which you give individuals access depending on the data clearance from a central authority. MAC provides access to resources depending on the security clearance of the device or personnel. Plus, it has more robust security because of the level of clearance involved.
  • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): It gives access depending on the users’ responsibilities and uses principles like separation of or least privilege. So, one can only get information if they hold that particular role in the company. RBAC enhances regulatory compliance, operation performance, and flexibility by giving staff roles when needed. 
  • Discretionary Access Control (DAC): It’s a model where you, as a business manager, choose who can access it. (DAC) decreases administrative prices, it’s robust, and 
  • Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC): It’s a model that compares the users’ environmental characteristics like time, role, and location to decide whether to grant the user access. 

Access control has changed over the years, and more sophisticated approaches have emerged that help avoid data breaches. Look for current, new, and existing models and assess every model’s features. Depending on the cybersecurity you need for your system. Choose the most appropriate to ensure you secure your networks effectively. 

Incorporate Access Control List

Putting in place access control lists allows you to decide the users or groups that can access specific resources or data. These lists could be file systems, databases, and network devices. You can apply the various levels to restrict access based on defined rules and policies. It’ll help you determine what each user can get access to, decreasing data breaches.

Incorporate Monitoring And Logging 

Set up robust monitoring and logging to track access attempts, detect suspicious activities, and generate audit trails. You can utilize intrusion detection and prevention systems, security information, event management solutions, and log analysis tools.

This will help monitor network and system activities. You can use them to check your network traffic, detect attacks, and gather and analyze data. Regularly review logs to identify potential security incidents and take appropriate action.

Set Up Strong Passwords

The gurus could easily guess weak passwords. Thus, strengthen password security by implementing policies that enforce solid and unique passwords. Password complexity requirements, regular password expiration, and the use of password managers can significantly reduce the risk of password-related vulnerabilities. In addition, encourage users to avoid reusing passwords and educate them on safeguarding their credentials.

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Revise And Enhance Access Constantly

After some time, users might leave the company, yet they still have access to sensitive information. Make sure that you remove their key when they go to prevent security vulnerabilities though. And even when short-term contractors need access to your devices or premises, revoke their permit as soon as they complete their work.

Conduct Security Awareness Training

Some access control techniques are technical and require constant training and updates to ensure the users understand the importance of security. Invest in user education and awareness programs to teach your team on essentials of identity and access management. 

You can work with third-party security vendors with expertise and experience to assist you further. They can discuss significant security problems like vulnerable passwords, giving access to individuals without authority, and sharing confidential data.

Regularly train staff on topics such as password hygiene, recognizing phishing attempts, and adhering to access control policies. Encourage a culture of security awareness throughout the organizations. 

Strengthen Physical Security

Physical security requires access control systems to limit entry into your servers or devices in the company to prevent possible data breaches that could happen. Henceforth, make sure that every user with access has access cards and biometrics controls to use to access the building or the server rooms. Additionally, set up surveillance systems to monitor entry and exit and to help spot suspicious individuals quickly. 


Access control has models and components which can help secure your security systems. Check all the techniques and implement the ones you don’t have. In today’s digital age, access in the wrong hands can significantly damage a business. Just make sure that you limit control and safeguard your sensitive information.

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