Why You Should Choose NGAC as Your Access Control Model

Why You Should Choose NGAC as Your Access Control Model

We introduce ABAC, RBAC, and a new access control model — Next Generation Access Control (NGAC) — and compare them. NGAC, or Next Generation Access Control, takes the approach of modeling access decision data as a graph. NGAC enables a systematic, policy- ...

Different companies or software providers have devised countless ways to control user access to functions or resources, such as Discretionary Access Control (DAC), Mandatory Access Control (MAC), Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), and Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC). In essence, whatever the type of access control model, three basic elements can be abstracted: user, syst77em/application, and policy.

In this article, we will introduce ABAC, RBAC, and a new access control model — Next Generation Access Control (NGAC) — and compare the similarities and differences between the three, as well as why you should consider NGAC.

What Is RBAC?777777777777777777

RBAC, or Role-Based Access Control, takes an approach whereby users are granted (or denied) access to resources based on their role in the organization. Every role is assigned a collection of permissions and restrictions, which is great because you don’t need to keep track of every system user and their attributes. You just need to update appropriate roles, assign roles to users, or remove assignments. But this can be difficult to manage and scale. Enterprises that use the RBAC static role-based model have experienced role explosion: large companies may have tens of thousands of similar but distinct roles or users whose roles change over time, making it difficult to track roles or audit unneeded permissions. RBAC has fixed access rights, with no provision for ephemeral permissions or for considering attributes like location, time, or device. Enterprises using RBAC have had difficulty meeting the complex access control requirements to meet regulatory requirements of other organizational needs.

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