RBAC is a security paradigm in which users are granted access to resources based on their role within the organization. With an RBAC system in place, firms are better equipped to comply with their own statutory and regulatory requirements for privacy and confidentiality, critical for health care organizations and financial institutions and those imposed by external business partners and government agencies.

FREMONT, CA: Role-based Access Control (RBAC) helps maximize operational efficiency, protects data from leakage or stolen, reduces admin and IT support work, and makes it easier to meet audit requirements. Low maintenance costs and increased efficiency are RBAC's vital benefits as a security strategy for mid-size and large organizations. RBAC systems, however, can also be designed to maximize business performance and value. For example, they can streamline and automate many transactions and business processes and provide resources for users to do their job better, faster, and more responsibly. In addition, managers and IT staff can monitor and access data to prepare more precise planning and budget models based on actual needs. RBAC also reduces internal and external IT and administrative costs if the organization provides role-based access to select external constituencies such as consultants, business partners, suppliers, and customers.

The following section discusses how entrepreneurs can leverage RBAC to increase their business's value.

Overview of the implementation

Master plan creation: The master plan should include project design and scope, realistic timeline and budget, and a set of benchmarks and performance measurements to extract maximum security and business value from RBAC.

Compile system, hardware, software: This step requires identifying all servers, databases, and applications. Only then can business units and management evaluate the level of protection needed for each application and data source based on the core mission, desired level of security and confidentiality, and the need for regulatory or statutory consent.

Define all roles: Assembling a comprehensive list of job functions in cooperation with HR is best. Managers can then expand the list with detailed profiles or job descriptions.

Analyze access roles: The "roles" information must be categorized and analyzed to formulate rules on roles-based access. An automated workflow strategy should also be planned to detail how to change or update roles, register new users, and promptly terminate accounts when employees leave. Once plans are approved, data is stored in suitable technology tools.

Integrate RBAC across the application: Before the system becomes operational, each application's embedded security functions must be transferred to the new centralized system, including legacy systems, home-grown applications, and customized commercial applications. This step is key to a secure, enterprise-wide access information system.

Implementing educational and organizational change: Top-down education and training are essential to RBAC's rapid acceptance and user buy-in. For example, suppose employees need to understand how and why RBAC is critical to information security and how it can make them more productive. Then, they are more likely to adapt quickly and enthusiastically to the system.

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