4 Types of Access Control

Posted by Kevin Cameron on Apr 13, 2020 9:05:00 AM

types of access controlIf you value security — and who doesn’t — installing an access control system into your home or business is a must. It’s what lets authorised people in and keeps the unauthorised people out. Even within your company, you might not want all employees having access to your main office or safe. Access control is the best way to make sure only the people you trust can access sensitive areas of your property.

Not all access control systems work the same way. There are four different types of access control to restrict access within your home or business. There are pros and cons to each, so it’s important to think about your own unique security needs and choose the type of access control that fits the best.

Discretionary Access Control (DAC)

With a discretionary access control system (DAC) the owner of the company can decide how many people have access to a specific location. Each access control point has a list of authorised users. Every time a keycard is swiped, a PIN is punched, or a fingerprint is scanned, the system checks the credential against the list and either allows or denies access based on the previously set allowances.

DAC systems are considered to be the most flexible and offer the highest number of allowances compared to other types of access control. Because it’s the most flexible, it’s also not as secure as some other types, especially mandatory access control systems. Since one person has total control over the system, he or she might grant access to someone who shouldn’t have it. Discretionary access control systems are best for companies that expect the most ease of use and flexibility.

Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

On the other end of the spectrum, mandatory access control systems (MAC) are the most secure type of access control. Only owners and custodians have access to the systems. All the access control settings are preset by the system administrator and can’t be changed or removed without his or her permission.

Instead of creating an access list on each individual entry point like in a DAC system, a MAC system works by classifying all the users and grants them access to areas based on the system’s programming. If you have 150 employees, you’re going to need 150 user permissions set up in the system.

Mandatory access control systems are the strictest and most secure type of access control, but they’re also the most inflexible. In order to change permissions, the administrator has to reprogram the specific user’s access, not just the security lists at the entry point. MAC systems are primarily used by companies and agencies that require the utmost levels of security.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Role-based access control (RBAC) is quickly becoming the most popular type of access control. Instead of assigning permissions to individual users like in a MAC system, an RBAC system works by assigning permissions to a specific job title. It cuts down on the time required to set up or change user access.

For example, if you have 20 salespeople, two managers, and three accountants, you wouldn’t have to create 25 individual security profiles in the system. You’d only have to create three: one for each separate job title. When employees gets promoted, just give them credentials that fit the new role and they’re good to go.

Rule-Based Access Control

Not to be confused with the other “RBAC,” rule-based access control is commonly used as an add-on to the other types of access control. In addition to whatever type of access control you choose, rule-based access control can change the permissions based on a specific set of rules created by the administrator.

If your business closes at 5 p.m., there’s no need for anyone to have access to your main office, even managers, after closing. With rule-based access control, you can set a rule to deny access to everyone from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. the next morning. Rules can be created for just about any occasion.

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Access Control from Four Walls Security

When it comes to access control, there’s no “one size fits all” approach. Each home and business needs to choose the system that will fit their unique needs and requirements. If you’re looking for ease and flexibility, maybe a discretionary access control system is for you. For the highest levels of security, a mandatory access control system will be the best bet. If you’d like a mix of the two, think about role-based access control.

Whichever type of access control you choose, Four Walls Security will be there to help. We have years of experience serving homes and businesses in the Brisbane area and would be happy to share our expertise with you. If you have any questions regarding which type of access control is right for you, contact us today for a free, no obligation quote.

Topics: Access Control Systems, wireless access control, wired access control, Access Control for Business, access control entry devices, access control for home


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