Understanding Employee Level of Access & Role-Based Access Control

Looking to understand employee level of access and role-based access control in more detail?

You’re in luck!

We made an expert guide to role-based access control and we’re going to show you everything you need to know about employee level of access.

Keep reading to find out more about:

  • What is role-based access control?
  • Why is role-based access control important?
  • Benefits of role-based access control
  • How to implement role-based access control

Here’s your guide to role-based access control. 

What is Role-Based Access Control?

Role-based access control is a method of controlling network access. 

It looks at an employee’s role within the organization and assigns access based on authority, responsibilities, and job competency, grouping people into certain roles. 

Different groups will have different levels of access to sensitive information. For example, if someone works in the financial department, they need different access to someone in the marketing department. 

Role-based access control works on a need-to-know basis, allowing employees access to the data they need to do their job, but restricting access to other resources. This is an efficient way to keep business networks safe and stop the leak of sensitive information. 

This form of network security becomes particularly effective in large businesses and those that use third-party contractors. It allows businesses to quickly set up the right level of access without having to do everything manually. 

Why is Role-Based Access Control Important?

Integrating role-based access control

Role-based access is incredibly important because of the value of data

The more people you have accessing information, the more likely it is to get shared with external sources. When that information contains sensitive financial data, customer records, and technical specifications, it has the potential to do a lot of damage when leaked. 

Of course, your employees need a certain level of network access, but it’s very dependent on their role. 

There’s very little upside to allowing employees full network access (if by some chance they need a higher level of access it might take them time to request it from a manager), but there’s a huge downside. 

The easier information is to access, the more likely it is to leak. This may be deliberate, through a rogue employee, but more often than not, it’s unintentional. Most people’s cybersecurity isn’t perfect - they use weak passwords, unsafe public wifi, fall for phishing scams, and more. If these people have access to sensitive information they don’t strictly need, then so does any cybercriminal who has gained access to their account. 

Role-based access control is an efficient way to protect against unfettered access to information and keep your business safe online.

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Benefits of Role-Based Access Control

Role-based access control is a fairly simple concept but it has a lot of benefits. 

Let’s take a look at some of the upsides of restricting network access based on a person’s organizational role. 

Lower Cybersecurity Risk

Restricting access to sensitive information helps stop data breaches or leakage. 

Every business holds sensitive data, which can make them vulnerable. By restricting access to those people who really need it, you reduce the risk of data leaks, helping to keep your business and its customers more secure. 

Improved Efficiency

Role-based access control makes it incredibly easy to integrate new employees (and third-party contractors) into the system. 

Since you’ve pre-defined access roles, administrators simply need to add the new employee to the correct group. Rather than manually working out what access someone needs each time a new employee arrives, the hard work is done for you.

This also applies when an employee changes roles. Rather than creating a new account and password, an administrator can update their role to change their access.

Increased Compliance 

Data is a valuable resource and there are strict rules about how you manage it. 

It’s difficult to stay compliant with these rules if everyone in your organization has unlimited network access. This makes it extremely challenging to see who’s accessing what information, potentially compromising sensitive data. 

Role-based access control makes it much easier for administrators to oversee the system and ensure compliance

Reduced Costs

By limiting people’s access to the processes and applications they need to do their job you’re able to use your resources more efficiently. This can save you money on things like network bandwidth, memory, and storage. 

Implementing Role-Based Access Control - Best Practices

People in an office

So, how should you go about implementing role-based access control?

Well, there are some industry best practices you should be aware of. 

  • Map out what resources need access control.
  • Analyze workplace roles to understand who needs access to what information and build a framework for your access groups.
  • Assign employees to the correct roles and set access.
  • Create a system for changing roles and closing accounts for employees who are leaving the company.
  • Test your systems to ensure role-based access control has been properly implemented.
  • Run training courses for your employees so they better understand role-based access control. 
  • Audit your work - what works well, what needs to be updated? 

Your requirements will change as your business grows, but you’ll easily be able to update your role-based access control to meet your new requirement. The most important thing is that you start with a clear understanding of your business’s needs, and then you can tweak things from there. 

Work with the Role-Based Access Control Experts

A good system for role-based access control requires two key ingredients: a fundamental understanding of network security, and knowledge of your business needs. 

At Stickman Cyber, we’ve got all the network security experience you could ever ask for, but we’re also adept at working with you to understand your requirements.

We’re always here to help and support you, ensuring your role-based access control continues to serve your needs.

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