Controlled Access to Confidential Data

Access control to sensitive information is a complicated problem. The methods that a company employs to safeguard its sensitive data can be different, and they can be modified as regulations or business practices evolve. To have the most control, organizations should use a central approach that allows administrators to define guidelines based on what data is used for what purpose. These policies must 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 risks by defining the data required by each team to perform their tasks and granting access on the basis of this. DAC can be difficult because it requires manual authorizing permissions and keeping track of who’s been granted access to what.

Another method that is popular is to limit access to data using the model of role-based access control. It is easy for administrators to design policies that limit access based on roles within an organization, not just individual user accounts. This model is less susceptible to errors and allows for a more precise “least privilege” model, where the most basic level of access is given to users, with an emphasis on the need to know.

The best method for ensuring that sensitive information is protected is to regularly review and update the policies and technology used to control access to data. This requires collaboration between legal teams and the team that is responsible for the data platform, which handles and applies these policies, as well as the teams who created them.