Controlled Access to Confidential Data

Access to confidential data is a thorny issue. The methods that a company employs to protect sensitive data can be diverse and alter as regulations change or new business practices are developed. To be in control, organizations should adopt a central method which allows administrators to create policies based on what information is used for what purposes. These policies must then be implemented across all platforms and consumption methods (such as internal data and external data).

Mandatory access control is a way to achieve this. By defining what data each team needs to carry out their job, and then giving access based on that, DAC eliminates many security risks by ensuring that employees have access only to the information needed for their jobs. DAC can be difficult because it requires manual assigning permissions and keeping track of who’s been granted what.

Another popular method is to limit data access by using a role-based control model. This makes it easy for administrators to establish an access policy that grants access based on organizational roles, not individual user accounts. This model is much less prone to errors and enables a more granular “least privilege” model, in which only the minimum amount of access is given to users, with an emphasis on the need to know.

Regularly reviewing and updating policies and technologies used to manage access to data is the best method to ensure that sensitive data remains secure. This requires collaboration between legal teams and the team in charge of the data platform, which manages and applies these policies, as well as the teams who created the policies.

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