Identity Governance
Erin Geiger, Director of Content at Lumos

What Are the Access Management Policies?

Learn about access management policies and how an end-to-end identity governance solution like Lumos can help you increase your security posture.

Securing your sensitive data is more critical than ever as data breaches continue to pose a significant threat to businesses worldwide. In fact, a recent report by IBM found that the global average cost of a data breach was $4.45 million in 2023, a 15% increase over 3 years. Effective access management protocols, anchored in a strong identity governance framework, are essential for protecting your digital assets. Here at Lumos, we’ve designed our platform to help you manage and secure access efficiently and effectively—but more on this later. In this short blog, we’re diving into the various types of access management policies, why they’re important, and how implementing a solution like Lumos can help you enhance your security posture. 

What Is an Access Management Policy?

An access management policy is a set of rules for accessing information and resources within your businesses. These policies ensure that only authorized users can access specific areas and data. Implementing access management policies is one of the access control techniques you can use to help keep your digital assets secure. By clearly outlining who can access what and under which conditions they can access it, you can protect sensitive information from unauthorized access and misuse. 

What Are 4 Access Control Policies?

Four types of access control policies include discretionary access control, mandatory access control, role-based access control, and rule-based access control. These types of access control policies provide different methods to secure sensitive data and resources, each with its own strengths and best use cases. 

  • Discretionary Access Control (DAC): DAC policies give the owner of each resource the ability to decide who can use it. The DAC model is extremely flexible, and popular in many different environments, but can increase security risks since it relies on user discretion when granting access permissions. If the owner of the resource isn’t diligently checking who is accessing the information, you could easily have security breaches. 
  • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): RBAC restricts access to resources based on the roles of individual users within your organization. Access rights are grouped by role, and users are assigned these roles based on their responsibilities and needs. This policy simplifies administration by allowing your IT team to manage and review roles instead of individual user rights, making RBAC highly scalable for enterprise businesses. 
  • Mandatory Access Control (MAC): In this model, access to resources is decided by a central authority based on established security guidelines. Users and data are classified into different security levels, and access is granted or denied based on those classifications. MAC is often used in military and government environments where security is a critical concern. 
  • Rule-Based Access Control: This access policy grants access based on a set of predefined rules that trigger specific access controls under certain conditions. For example, rules can be set to deny access after 5 pm or only allow access from certain IP addresses. Rule-based access control can work well in environments like financial institutions where access to data needs to be strictly controlled.  

What Are the Two Most Common Types of Access Control?

DAC (discretionary access control) and RBAC (role-based access control) are two of the most common types of access control. DAC is often used because it is one of the most flexible and easiest access control models for businesses to implement. Think about it—how often have you created a spreadsheet, clicked “share,” then sent that link to a colleague? That’s an example of discretionary access control. As the owner of that resource, you decided who could access it. However, DAC requires a high level of trust in users—what if you were a disgruntled employee sending a spreadsheet full of customer information to a competitor? Or, imagine a different situation—what if your email gets hacked and that spreadsheet link is compromised without you knowing it? While DAC is an easy, user-centered approach, it also opens your business up to security risks.

RBAC, on the other hand. is widely adopted due to this model’s efficiency and high level of security. IT teams can simply assign permissions based on job responsibilities rather than having to set each user’s individual permissions. Once users are assigned their role, they can easily access the data and information they need to do their job efficiently. This type of access control is best suited for organizations where many users perform similar tasks, and requires the right tools to successfully implement it. 

What Is an Example of an Access Control Policy?

Access control examples include both physical and logical access. For example, your business might implement an access control policy that states only IT staff can enter your server rooms and configure network devices. You might decide to create a logical access control that restricts access to your company’s financial information to the c-suite. Your access control policies should fit your company’s unique needs and should prioritize security and compliance with any regulations you are subject to. 

Lumos: Access Control Made Easy

Implementing and managing effective access management policies doesn’t have to be difficult. With Lumos, you’ll have an end-to-end identity governance solution that helps you protect and secure your sensitive information. You’ll have access to robust features like role-based access control and multi-factor authentication, and comprehensive user activity auditing and reporting that makes it easy to enforce and monitor user access. With Lumos, you can ensure that your access controls are aligned with the latest security standards and manage user permissions seamlessly and securely. Book a demo today to explore how Lumos can transform your access management approach and strengthen your security posture.