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Access Control

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HOW TO CHOOSE AN ACCESS CONTROL SYSTEM

The topic is how to choose an access control system. Access control deals with the security of information and the security of information systems. Access control is one of the most important aspects of successfully and responsibly managing a business, corporation, or organization. If you deal with any applications that are concerned with privacy, safety, defense, or finance, then those applications make use of some sort of access control.

The purpose of access control is to determine and to control the allowed activities of particular, approved users of an application. Every time someone tries to use a system, he or she has to go through some level of access control-there is no open use or open access. There are a number of different ways that one can access a system through the access control-sometimes all it takes is verification or authentication of the user. But a lot of the time the user has to be able to successfully answer a number of different questions, passwords, pass codes, and other more sophisticated protections.

Access control has several different components that make up access control. There is the authentication mechanism, which is a pass word, a pass code, or some other thing that verifies that the user is a legitimate and approved user of the system. Access control also deals with how these authorizations are structured. In other words, authorization structure can be based on the level of document sensitivity (secret, top secret, top top secret) so that certain people can only access documents of a certain sensitivity. Authorization structure can also be based on the hierarchy of your organization-people who are at certain levels of power can access certain things.

When you are trying to choose an access control system, it is recommended that you take into consideration three different things: access control policies, access control mechanisms, and access control models.

Access Control Policies

These access control policies are basically the requirements set out that spell out specifically how you are going to manage access to a system, who can access information, and when and how they can access information. So it is here that you are going to decide what level in the company someone has to be in order to access certain, say, financial documents. Things like that.

Access Control Mechanisms

The access control mechanism is what controls access, essentially. The mechanism is what lets some people in, and rejects other people's passwords. So there might be a list of everyone who is acceptable to enter a system. If someone isn't on that list, sort of like getting into an exclusive club, then that person will be thrown out by the bouncer, or the computer system.

Access Control Models

The access control model is the system that lets the mechanism enforce the policy. So, for example, if you create some program or file, then you can decide who gets to access it. This is called Discretionary Access Control.

When you are choosing an access control system, you need to keep these three things in mind. Do you like the way that the control system decides how to let people in? Does it work through a simple password, or is it a biometric system? There are a number of highly popular systems that enable you to manage a database. Some of these are Structured Query Language, Kerberos, and others.

You will want to research the different access control systems and decide on one based on the level of security that you need and the complexity that you want. If you don't mind having to answer a whole bunch of different questions to access something, then choose a more complex system. If you want to be really, really secure, you might want to go with biometrics.