Mariah RineyThought LeadershipLeave a Comment

Role Based Access Control (RBAC) is a system for managing users and the content they can access. When undergoing a digital transformation, many companies question whether utilizing RBAC is really a benefit to their workflows and team efficiency. Here are five ways that utilizing Role Based Access, and general data governance can help your company.  

It Provides Additional Layers of Security 

Think of RBAC as different passageways inside a castle. Someone trying to breach all the rooms in your castle may be able to get inside a singular area, but with each locked door or additional room you make it harder for them to speed towards their final goal (your data). Having RBAC and extra layers of data governance like we talked about in our most recent Data Security blog, can act as hurdles to virtual opponents.  

Having an RBAC system in place allows security teams to change, expand on, or delete a user’s ability to see information, thus creating a system that is constantly changing. Because of this flexibility, a role based security system can grow and develop with a company when implemented early on without much interference to day-to-day activities in the eventual event of adding or changing user roles and access.  

It Reduces the Inside Threat 

According to a survey by Stanford University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, “nearly half the companies that responded said they took longer than two weeks to revoke the network access of terminated employees.”

In addition to adding an extra layer of protection against outside threats, having role based security can protect a company from inside users wanting to cause harm to the company, or simply just user error. By making sure a person at the company can’t edit information they don’t need to, you lesson the probability of an untraceable error happening.  

Luckily, many RBAC makes it easier to prohibit users without permissions from interacting with restricted data. Unity now boasts additional SharePoint capabilities that keep unauthorized users from even seeing data trees within the information hierarchy, let alone access it. By layering this type of security with your existing systems, you can rest assured that current employees will only be able to interact with documents they need to.  

It Simplifies Content Management 

Besides being an additional layer of security, RBAC also acts as an added organizational feature. There are a few different versions of role based security that utilize different ways of adding security features and allowing new users to access data. Depending on which your company uses, you may find they help with your overall enterprise data organization.  

DAC, or Discretionary Access Control, may allow users to share access as they see fit, which obviously can create more points for data breaches. On the other hand MAC, or Mandatory Access Control, relies on certified clearance for not only the user but also the device accessing information. Most companies use a DAC version of RBAC with additional levels of security set up either with their main security system, or with each additional content repository the implement. 

By creating a hierarchy of data storage, with sections built for teams within your company, you can create secure ecosystems where information is easy to find, and administration can be sure they know who exactly is accessing that information. 

It Reduces Search Times 

RBAC is mainly used for security and organization as we’ve talked about above. However, an added benefit that many companies don’t think about, is the impact this will have on search times and overall team efficiencies.

When using an RBAC and well groomed organizational system, you greatly decrease the amount of data a team member needs to search through to find what they are looking for. No longer can information for the HR team accidently be placed in an Accounting folder, simply because the HR team doesn’t have access (and may not even be able to see!) the Accounting team tree of information. This also helps with onboarding and creating autonomous workflows with employees. Simplifying where content lives means even new team members can find their way to what they need with minimal effort.  

It Reduces Administrative Work 

Lastly, a well run RBAC may require some upfront work to set up roles and access, but ultimately saves administrative teams time in the long run. Onboarding processes can be simplified with one access request based on level and role. In addition, when errors happen within a team, a manager or leader can easily see who accessed content when and what changes they possibly made. This can create a layer of transparency for work completed that some teams struggle with.  

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