Access Control Models: What You Need to Know

Access Control Models: What You Need to Know

As we discussed in our previous blog post there are several different ways to protect your business. We will now take a deeper look at Access Control Panels. 

Different models have different benefits and with such as variety of features it can often be difficult to choose the right one for you. 

We will look at four types of Access Control Model and highlight how they might work for you to help make your choice easier. 

We will discuss:

  • What is Access Control?
  • What are Access Control Models?
  • What are the four main Access Control Models?

What is Access Control 

Access Control refers to the ability to keep your building secure by managing who has access and when they can access the property. Access Control is a concept that covers anything from keys to biometric eyeball scanners.

What are Access Control Models?

Today the majority of secure Access Control Models have some sort of electronic hardware that uses technology to manage who can access the building and when. We will focus on four of those below. 

Each model can be differentiated by the user permissions they allow. Some have more permissions than others and therefore, depending on whether you have a commercial or business property, some will be more suited to you. Likewise, the suitability of the Access Control Model can depend on the volume of people who will need access to the property.

What are the four main Access Control Models?

There are more than four different types of Access Control Models, but we will be focussing on those you see most often. They are:

  1. Discretionary Access Control (DAC)
  2. Mandatory Access Control (MAC)
  3. Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
  4. Rule-Based Access Control (RuBAC)

1. Discretionary Access Control (DAC)

This model is the least restrictive of the Access Control Models as it allows for several administrators who can control who accesses the property and when. This can be useful for residential properties or businesses that have a number of managers, especially where you will have different people managing the property at different times. 

One of the main benefits of this type of model is that it is very straightforward and easy to use. You can assign and discharge access to users with little effort which makes it the most flexible of the models.

On the other hand, this model can cause confusion if your administrators aren’t communicating with each other efficiently regarding who is permitted to have access and who isn’t. It leaves you at risk of the wrong person being admitted to access the property or the right person being excluded which can be time consuming to correct.

2. Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

This model is an alternative to the DAC and is considered better use for businesses that have a high need for security or confidentiality. In stark contrast to the DAC there is only one permitted administrator which addresses the issue regarding poor communication that we discussed above and puts the business less at risk. There is no ability to override or bypass the administrator who has complete control over who enters the property and when which is why you typically see this model used for Government facilities. 

The major benefit of this model is that it addresses the downfall of the DAC and can lead to a more organized system to access the property. 

On the other hand, this model can have its own barriers as having one administrator can slow the process down, or even bring it to a standstill, for instance where there are issues during annual leave or sick leave.

3. Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

This model can also be referred to as Non-Discretionary Access Control and provides every user with a specific role that is unique to them. There are overall administrators who can assign and dismiss access for each individual as need be and is therefore typically used for both residential and commercial properties. 

Residential properties find this model appealing as it is easy to update as residents move in and out of the building. Similarly, this model is useful for commercial properties. It also has the ability to grant different levels of access to different employees depending on their role within the organisation. 

4. Rule-Based Access Control (RuBAC)

This model utilities an algorithm that can alter access based on several criteria, such as the time of day. For example, you could limit access to business hours only but also programme the algorithm to always allow managers access. 

This is a sophisticated high security option that is best utilised for businesses where security and confidentiality is key. 

However, with this model it is worth considering that it does not allow for access to be determined by role, therefore this can restrict some employees from accessing necessary areas out of hours in times of need. It is also an incredibly complex system to set up and poor set up can lead to lost time trying to rectify the situation. 

Still not sure?

Contact us today! We would love to discuss your security options further and look at how one of our Access Control Models can help keep you secure.


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