Controlled Access to Confidential Data

Access to sensitive information is a thorny problem. The methods that a company employs to protect the sensitive data it holds are varied, and they may alter as regulations or business practices evolve. To have the greatest control over sensitive data, companies must use a centralized method that allows administrators to establish and define policies based on which data is being used for what purpose. Then, the policies need to be applied across all consumption options and platforms (such as internal and external data).

One method to accomplish this is through mandatory access control. By defining what data each team requires to complete their work, and granting access based on this, DAC eliminates many security dangers by ensuring that employees only have access rights necessary for their jobs. DAC can be challenging because it requires manual assigning permissions and keeping track of who has been granted access to what.

Another method that is popular is to restrict access to data using the model of access control based on role. This allows administrators to establish policies that grant access based upon roles in the organization and not user accounts. This model is less susceptible to error and allows for an more detailed model of «least privilege» that allows only the most basic access is granted to users based on their necessity to know.

The best way to ensure that sensitive information is secure is to regularly review and update the policies and technologies in place to limit access to data. This requires collaboration between legal teams and the team that is responsible for the data platform, which implements and enforces these policies and the teams that created them.

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