What is Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)? Examples, Benefits, and More | UpGuard (2022)

Role-based access control (RBAC), also known as role-based security, is an access control method that assigns permissions to end-users based on their role within your organization. RBAC provides fine-grained control, offering a simple, manageable approach to access management that is less error-prone than individually assigning permissions.

This can reducecybersecurity risk, protectsensitivedata, and ensures that employees can only access information and perform actions they need to do their jobs. This is known asthe principle of least privilege.

Because of this, RBAC is popular in large organizations that need to grant access to hundreds or even thousands of employees based on their roles and responsibilities. That said, it is increasingly popular amongst smaller organizations as it is often easier to manage than access control lists.

In an RBAC system, user access provisioning is based on the needs of a group (e.g. marketing department) based on common responsibilities and needs. This means each role has a given a set of permissions, and individuals can be assigned to one or more roles.

For example, you may designate a user an administrator, a specialist, or an end-user, and limit access to specific resources or tasks. Inside an organization, different roles may be provided write access while others may only be provided viewing permissions.

The user-role and role-permissions relationships make it easy to perform role assignment because individual users no longer have unique access rights, rather they have privileges that conform to the permissions assigned to their specific role or job function.

For example, if you were applying RBAC to an organization that usesUpGuard, you could give allvendor risk managementemployees user accounts onUpGuard Vendor Risk.

What are Examples of RBAC?

Through RBAC, you can control what end-users can do at board and granular levels. You can designate whether the user is an administrator or standard user, and align roles and permissions based on the user's position in the organization.

(Video) Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) Explained: How it works and when to use it

The core principle is to allocate only enough access for an employee to do their job.

If the employee's job changes, you may need to add and/or remove them for their current role group.

By adding a user to a role group, the user has access to all the permissions of that group. If they are removed, access becomes restricted. Users can also be assigned temporary access to certain data or programs to complete a task and be removed after.

Common examples of RBAC include:

  • Software engineering role: Has access to GCP, AWS, and GitHub
  • Marketing role: Has access to HubSpot, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, and Google Ads
  • Finance role: Has access to Xero and ADP
  • Human resources role: Has access to Lever and BambooHR

In each of these roles, there may be a management tier and an individual contributor tier that has different levels of permission inside the individual applications granted to each role.

(Video) Role Based Access Control Explained

What are the Benefits of RBAC?

Once you implement RBAC, access management is easier as long as you adhere strictly to role requirements. According to a 2010 report for NIST by the Research Triangle Institute, RBAC reduces employee downtime, improves provisioning, and provides efficient access control policy administration.

The benefits of RBAC include the possibility to:

  • Create a systematic, repeatable assignment of permissions
  • Audit user privileges and correct identified issues
  • Add, remove or change roles, as well as implement them across API calls
  • Reduce potential errors when assigning user permissions
  • Reducethird-party riskandfourth-party riskby providingthird-party vendors and supplierswith pre-defined roles
  • More effectively comply with regulatory and statutory requirements forconfidentiality, integrity, availability, and privacy. This is becoming more important with the introduction of general data protection laws like GDPR,LGPD,PIPEDA,FIPA, andthe SHIELD Act, as well as industry-specific regulations likeCPS 234,FISMA,23 NYCRR 500, and HIPAA.
  • Reduce administrative work and IT support by allowing you to quickly switch roles and permissions globally across operating systems, platforms, and applications
  • Decrease the risk ofdata breachesanddata leakageby restricting access to sensitive information

What are Best Practices for Implementing RBAC?

Role-based access control allows you to improve your security posture, comply with relevant regulations, and reduce operational overhead. However, implementing role-based access control across an entire organization can be complex, and can result in pushback from stakeholders.

To implement RBAC, you should follow these best practices:

  • Start with your needs:Before moving to RBAC, you need to understand what job functions use what software, supporting business functions, and technologies. Additionally, you will want to consider any regulatory or audit requirements you may have.
  • Scope your implementation:You don't necessarily have to implement RBAC across your entire organization right away, consider narrowing the scope to systems or applications that store sensitive data first.
  • Define roles:Once you've performed your analysis and decided on the scope, you can begin to design roles around what permissions different roles need. Watch out for common role design pitfalls like excessive or insufficient granularity, role overlap, or granting too many exceptions.
  • Write a policy:Any changes made need to be outlined for current and future employees to see. Even with the use of an RBAC tool, documentation can help avoid potential issues.
  • Roll out in stages:Consider rolling out RBAC in stages to reduce workload and disruption to the business. Start with a core set of users and coarse-grain controls before increasing granularity. Collect feedback from internal users and monitor your business metrics before implementing additional roles.
  • Continually adapt:It takes most organizations a few iterations to roll out RBAC successfully. Early on, you should evaluate your roles and security controls frequently.

What are Complementary Control Mechanisms to RBAC?

Access control measures regulate user permissions, such as who can viewsensitive informationon a computer system or who can run specific tasks in a CRM. They are an essential part of minimizing business risk.

Access control systems can be physical (limiting access to buildings, rooms, or servers) or logical controlling digital access to data, files, or networks).

As such, the RBAC model can be complemented with other access control techniques such as:

(Video) Whiteboard Wednesday - Role-Based Access Control: What is It? What are the Benefits?

  • Discretionary access control (DAC):DAC is an access control method where the owner of a protected system or resource sets policies defining who can access it. This can include physical or digital controls, and is less restrictive than other access control systems, as it offers individuals complete control over their own resources. The downside is it is inherently less secure, as associated programs will inherit security settings and the owner may accidentally grant access to the wrong end-user.
  • Mandatory access control (MAC):MAC is an access control method where a central authority regulates access rights based on multiple levels of security. MAC assigns classifications to system resources, the security kernel, and the operating system. Only users or devices with the required information security clearance can access protected resources. This is a common access control method in government and military organizations.

Read our complete guide on access control here.

What are the Alternatives to RBAC?

Alternatives to RBAC include:

  • Access control lists(ACL):An access control list (ACL) is a table that lists permissions attached to computing resources. It tells the operating system which users can access an object, and what actions they can carry out. There is an entry for each individual user, which is linked to attributes for each object (e.g. view, export, create). For most businesses, RBAC is superior to ACL in terms of security and administrative overhead. ACL is better suited for implementing controls for low-level data, while RBAC is better used as a company-wide access control system.
  • Attribute-based access control(ABAC):ABAC evaluates a set of rules and policies to manage access rights according to specific attributes, such as environmental, system, object, or user information. It applies boolean logic to grant or deny access to users based on the evaluation of atomic or set-valued attributes and the relationships between them. ABAC differs to RBAC as it doesn't rely on pre-defined roles, and ABAC provides more granularity. For example, an RBAC system may grant access to GitHub for all managers, while an ABAC policy would limit access to only software engineers.

How UpGuard Can Help You Improve Manage First, Third and Fourth-Party Risk

Companies likeIntercontinental Exchange,Taylor Fry,The New York Stock Exchange, IAG, First State Super, Akamai, Morningstar, and NASA use UpGuard's security ratings to protect their data,prevent data breachesand assess their security posture.

UpGuard Vendor Riskcan minimize the amount of time your organization spends assessing related and third-partyinformation securitycontrols by automatingvendor questionnairesand providingvendor questionnaire templates.

We can help you continuously monitor your vendors' external security controls and provide an unbiased security rating.

We can also help you instantly benchmark your current and potential vendors against their industry, so you can see how they stack up.

For the assessment of your information security controls,UpGuard BreachSightcan monitor your organization for 70+ security controls providing a simple, easy-to-understandsecurity ratingand automatically detect leaked credentials and data exposures in S3 buckets, Rsync servers, GitHub repos and more.

(Video) Role Based Access Control

The major difference between UpGuard and other security ratings vendors is that there is very public evidence of our expertise in preventingdata breachesanddata leaks.

Our expertise has been featured in the likes ofThe New York Times,The Wall Street Journal,Bloomberg,The Washington Post,Forbes,Reuters, andTechCrunch.

You can read more about what our customers are saying onGartner reviews, andread our customer case studies here.

If you'd like to see your organization's security rating,click here to request your free security rating.

Book a demo of the UpGuard platform today.

(Video) AZ-900 Episode 28 | Azure Role-based Access Control (RBAC)

FAQs

What is an example of RBAC? ›

One role-based access control example is a set of permissions that allow users to read, edit, or delete articles in a writing application. There are two roles, a Writer and a Reader, and their respective permission levels are presented in this truth table. Using this table, you can assign permissions to each user.

What is a benefit of role based access control RBAC in Microsoft Azure? ›

Azure role-based access control (Azure RBAC) helps you manage who has access to Azure resources, what they can do with those resources, and what areas they have access to. Azure RBAC is an authorization system built on Azure Resource Manager that provides fine-grained access management to Azure resources.

What are the two types of role based access control? ›

Technical – assigned to users that perform technical tasks. Administrative – access for users that perform administrative tasks.

What are the 3 types of access control? ›

Three main types of access control systems are: Discretionary Access Control (DAC), Role Based Access Control (RBAC), and Mandatory Access Control (MAC).

Where is RBAC used? ›

RBAC can be used to facilitate administration of security in large organizations with hundreds of users and thousands of permissions. Although RBAC is different from MAC and DAC access control frameworks, it can enforce these policies without any complication.

How do you do role-based access? ›

5 Steps to Implement Role-Based Access Control

Create a mapping of roles to resources from step 1 such that each function can access resources needed to complete their job. Create security groups that represent each role. Assign users to defined roles by adding them to the relevant role-based groups.

How can RBAC be used to secure resources? ›

RBAC restricts user access to the minimum levels required to perform a job. This helps organizations enforce security best-practices like the principle of least privilege (PoLP), which diminishes the risk of data breaches and data leakage.

What is the difference between role-based access control and rule based access control? ›

Rule-based access controls are preventative – they don't determine access levels for employees. Instead, they work to prevent unauthorized access. Role-based models are proactive – they provide employees with a set of circumstances in which they can gain authorized access.

What are the three types of RBAC controls in Azure? ›

This allows systems administrators and security personnel to more easily manage roles. Azure broadly defines three different roles: Reader, Contributor, and Owner.

What are the three types of role Basic Access RBAC controls in Microsoft Azure Mcq? ›

1 Answer
  • Owner: This allows the user to have full access. This includes the access to assign roles to other people.
  • Contributor: This user can create and manage all forms of Azure resources but can not grant permission to anybody else.
  • Reader: This allows the user to just have access to view the Azure resources.

What are the main differences between RBAC and Azure AD roles? ›

While RBAC roles are used to manage access to Azure resources like VMs and storage accounts, Azure AD Administrator roles are used to manage Azure AD resources in a directory.

What is role-based security in an organization? ›

A role-based security model provides a way for administrators to control user and group access to objects that are under a defined security point within the object hierarchy according to the role the user or group is expected to perform within the organization.

Why is access control needed? ›

Access controls limit access to information and information processing systems. When implemented effectively, they mitigate the risk of information being accessed without the appropriate authorisation, unlawfully and the risk of a data breach.

What are the five categories of access control? ›

The 5 Different Types of Access Control
  • Manual access control.
  • Mechanical access control.
  • Electronic access systems.
  • Mechatronic access control.
  • Physical access systems.

What is the best type of access control? ›

Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

On the other end of the spectrum, mandatory access control systems (MAC) are the most secure type of access control.

What is RBAC module? ›

Role-based access control (RBAC) refers to the idea of assigning permissions to users based on their role within an organization. It offers a simple, manageable approach to access management that is less prone to error than assigning permissions to users individually.

How do you do role-based authorization? ›

Each group has a set of permissions. For role-based authorization, the customer is responsible for providing the user ID, any optional attributes, and all mandatory user attributes necessary to define the user to Payment Feature Services. The customer must also define the roles that are assigned to the user.

What is subject in RBAC? ›

It holds a list of subjects (users, groups, or service accounts), and a reference to the role being granted. A RoleBinding grants permissions within a specific namespace whereas a ClusterRoleBinding grants that access cluster-wide. A RoleBinding may reference any Role in the same namespace.

How do you implement roles and permissions? ›

You need a table mapping every role to every resource to every permission. Add a middleware on each resource that takes the user and resource and checks the db if the required permission is set to true. If it is, then your user has the right permission for that resource. There are examples of doing this, too.

What is user based access? ›

What is User-Based Access? User-based access, sometimes called user-based permissions, is a method of securing software and its features at the individual level. The most basic form of user-based access is a simple login and password combination that either grants or denies access.

How is RBAC implemented in Active Directory? ›

RBAC for Active Directory can be designed and implemented via native tooling and interfaces, by leveraging software you may already own, by purchasing third-party products, or any combination of these approaches.

What are features of role based access control? ›

The central notion of Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) is that users do not have discretionary access to enterprise objects. Instead, access permissions are administratively associated with roles, and users are administratively made members of appropriate roles.

What is access control rule? ›

An access control rule maps a domain, an object type, a life cycle state, and a participant to a set of permissions. An access control rule specifies the rights of a user, group, role, or organization to access objects of a specified type and state within a domain.

What is rule-based security? ›

A security policy based on global rules imposed for all subjects. These rules usually rely on a comparison of the sensitivity of the objects being accessed and the possession of corresponding attributes by the subjects requesting access.

What is risk control access? ›

Risk-based access provides access decision and enforcement that is based on a dynamic risk assessment or confidence level of a transaction. Risk-based access uses behavioral and contextual data analytics to calculate risk.

What is the highest role in Azure? ›

The Azure AD roles include: Global administrator – the highest level of access, including the ability to grant administrator access to other users and to reset other administrator's passwords.

What are roles in Azure? ›

A role definition is a collection of permissions that can be performed, such as read, write, and delete. It's typically just called a role. Azure role-based access control (Azure RBAC) has over 120 built-in roles or you can create your own custom roles.

How do I assign an RBAC in Azure? ›

In Azure RBAC, to grant access, you assign an Azure role.
  1. In the list of Resource groups, open the new example-group resource group.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Access control (IAM).
  3. Click the Role assignments tab to see the current list of role assignments.
  4. Click Add > Add role assignment.
21 Aug 2022

What is RBAC in cyber security? ›

Role-based access control (RBAC), also known as role-based security, is an access control method that assigns permissions to end-users based on their role within your organization.

When using role based access control RBAC permissions are assigned? ›

With RBAC, permissions are associated with roles, and users or groups are assigned to appropriate roles. Roles are defined according to job competency, authority, and responsibility within the enterprise. Users and groups are easily reassigned from one role to another.

What is RBAC and how it is different from Active Directory user? ›

Role Based Access Control for Active Directory (RBAC AD) enables IT admins to control what individual users can do within Secret Server. Use preset roles to get going fast: Secret Server password management software ships with out-of-the-box roles to solve common configurations that get you going quickly.

Which of the following are examples of Azure AD permissions? ›

Categories of Azure AD roles

For example, User Administrator, Application Administrator, Groups Administrator all grant permissions to manage resources that live in Azure AD.

What is Azure administrator roles and responsibilities? ›

According to Microsoft, Azure Administrators “implement, monitor, and maintain Microsoft Azure solutions, including major services related to compute, storage, network, and security.”

How do you do role-based authorization? ›

Each group has a set of permissions. For role-based authorization, the customer is responsible for providing the user ID, any optional attributes, and all mandatory user attributes necessary to define the user to Payment Feature Services. The customer must also define the roles that are assigned to the user.

How do you do role-based access? ›

5 Steps to Implement Role-Based Access Control

Create a mapping of roles to resources from step 1 such that each function can access resources needed to complete their job. Create security groups that represent each role. Assign users to defined roles by adding them to the relevant role-based groups.

What is role-based security in an organization? ›

A role-based security model provides a way for administrators to control user and group access to objects that are under a defined security point within the object hierarchy according to the role the user or group is expected to perform within the organization.

How do you implement roles and permissions? ›

You need a table mapping every role to every resource to every permission. Add a middleware on each resource that takes the user and resource and checks the db if the required permission is set to true. If it is, then your user has the right permission for that resource. There are examples of doing this, too.

What is rule based authorization? ›

In Rule-Based Authorization, administrators define a series of roles based on the permissions they want those roles to confer. Users are then assigned one or more roles.

How do you implement user access control? ›

Recommendations for your organizations:

Assign unique accounts for each user. Provide user accounts with the least privilege required to perform required functions. Restrict administrator accounts to only perform administrative activities. Consider implementing a centralized authorization system.

Which access control method is used most? ›

Role-based access control (RBAC) is quickly becoming the most popular type of access control.

What is RBAC module? ›

Role-based access control (RBAC) refers to the idea of assigning permissions to users based on their role within an organization. It offers a simple, manageable approach to access management that is less prone to error than assigning permissions to users individually.

What is user based access? ›

What is User-Based Access? User-based access, sometimes called user-based permissions, is a method of securing software and its features at the individual level. The most basic form of user-based access is a simple login and password combination that either grants or denies access.

What is role-based in cyber security? ›

Role-based security is a principle by which developers create systems that limit access or restrict operations according to a user's constructed role within a system.

What is RBAC Access Denied? ›

You should see "RBAC: access denied" . The error shows that the configured deny-all policy is working as intended, and Istio doesn't have any rules that allow any access to workloads in the mesh.

What are user roles? ›

User Role means the specific role or roles to which an Authorized User is assigned and which prescribes what Information the Authorized User is permitted to access, use and disclose.

How is RBAC model implemented? ›

How to Implement RBAC in 8 Steps
  1. Audit your current status. The first thing you need to do is audit your current status. ...
  2. Define roles. ...
  3. Query-level implementation. ...
  4. Interface-level implementation. ...
  5. Component-level implementation. ...
  6. Testing roles and implementation. ...
  7. Role assignment. ...
  8. Monitoring and auditing.
23 May 2022

What is an RBAC matrix? ›

The RBAC permissions matrix displays the type of product roles that are available within each cloud product. Admin provides full access to create, read, update, and delete. Creator provides limited access to create, read, and update.

What is RBAC in AWS? ›

The traditional authorization model used in IAM is called role-based access control (RBAC). RBAC defines permissions based on a person's job function, known outside of AWS as a role. Within AWS a role usually refers to an IAM role, which is an identity in IAM that you can assume.

Videos

1. Role Based Access Control (RBAC)
(Jim Dickson)
2. Configuring Role Based Access Control
(Jim Dickson)
3. Role Based Access Control (RBAC) in Kubernetes | K21Academy
(K21Academy)
4. Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) explained
(it-bs media)
5. Best practices for implementing role-based access control (RBAC)
(ManageEngine ADSolutions)
6. Role Based Access Control
(Concepts Work)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Frankie Dare

Last Updated: 09/15/2022

Views: 5918

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Frankie Dare

Birthday: 2000-01-27

Address: Suite 313 45115 Caridad Freeway, Port Barabaraville, MS 66713

Phone: +3769542039359

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Baton twirling, Stand-up comedy, Leather crafting, Rugby, tabletop games, Jigsaw puzzles, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Frankie Dare, I am a funny, beautiful, proud, fair, pleasant, cheerful, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.