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Role Based Access Control (RBAC)

Computer security is whimsical in that; change is as inevitable as it is unpredictable. For any security conscious fellow, compromise is not really a choice. But with top-notch security, comes costs. A work-around was however realized reducing the overall cost of implementing computer advanced computer security and that, that is where RBAC comes in. In this article, the concept of role based access control shall be discussed extensively to cover not only its implementation but benefits.

Simply defined, RBAC is restricting system access based on user authorization. This basically means that any user (computer user) may access only information to comprehensively perform as their role dictates and nothing more. With this in mind, levels of access are created with low level personnel accessing less sensitive information while high level employees accessing highly sensitive information. High level tasks are also limited to high level access only.

Looking at the now available information, there are some things that stand out;
1. There must a hierarchy that is existent in the real world that’ll be used to implement RBAC,
2. Operations executable by certain persons at certain levels must be predetermined and,
3. Software to manage the roles must be existent.

When combined, these three factors make it very easy for the the end user to implement security easily, and without complexity.

For the security of the whole system to be realistic, there are three rules that must be determined for RBAC;
Role Assignment
A user can exercise some permission only if the user has been assigned a role(s).
Role Authorization
For a user to perform a role, that specific role must be authorized for that specific user, ensuring that users can only take roles that have been authorized and only to them.
Permission Authorization
A user can only exercise authoring and giving permissions that have been authorized for them to exercise.

But there is much more, and this I shall cover in my coming articles. With this new knowledge, you can better understand this article on a Superuser.

Until the next article, keep typing.

Gichuki P. Mwangi

A computer scientist with a passion to solve real world, day to day problems using new computer technologies and those already in existence.

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