Controlled Access to Confidential Data

Posted by Security Vault

Access to confidential data is a complicated issue. The methods employed by companies to protect its sensitive data could vary and be altered as regulations evolve or new business practices emerge. To have the greatest control over sensitive data, companies must use a centralized method which allows administrators to establish and define policies based on what data is being used for what purpose. These policies must then be implemented across all platforms and consumption methods (such as internal data and external data).

One method of achieving this is by implementing mandatory access control. DAC reduces security risk by defining the data that each team requires for their job and granting access based upon this. However, it can be difficult to maintain DAC because the process involves manually granting permissions and keeping track of what has been granted to who.

Another approach is to restrict access to data by using a role-based control model. This allows administrators to design an access policy that grants access based on roles within the organization, not individual user accounts. This model is less susceptible to error and allows for an more detailed model of “least privilege” that only grants the most basic access is given to users with an emphasis on their necessity to know.

Regularly reviewing and updating policies and technology that are used to control access to data is the best method to ensure that private information is kept secure. This requires collaboration between legal teams and the team that is responsible for the data platform, which implements and enforces these policies and the teams who developed them.