Statistics show that four in five U.S. businesses have been the victim of a cyber attack. While some cyber attacks target large businesses, many of them selectively target small businesses. Small businesses are perceived as low-hanging fruit to hackers. When compared to large businesses, they tend to have weaker safeguards, thus making them easier to target.

If you own a small business, you may want to leverage role-based access control (RBAC) to protect it from cyber attacks. Along with traditional safeguards, RBAC can better protect your small business from cyber attacks.

Overview of RBAC

RBAC is an access control system that defines levels of access based on users’ roles within a business. Even if you own a small business, you may have multiple workers who access your network or remote server. Some of these workers may be employed internally, whereas others may be freelancers to whom you outsource various tasks. Rather than providing them with the same level of access, you can use RBAC.

How RBAC Works

RBAC works by restricting access levels based on each user’s roles. Access levels, of course, govern what a user can and can’t do. Admin is typically the highest access level. Admin users have full control over the network or service. But you can create other access levels with fewer privileges.

The principle behind RBAC is that users should have access levels based on their roles. An information technology (IT) technician, for instance, may require a higher access level than a receptionist.

The 3 Approaches to RBAC

The NIST/ANSI/INCITS standard recognizes three approaches to RBAC: core, hierarchical and constrained. Core is the most common. Core RBAC details the individual roles within a business and their respective levels of access.

Heirarchical RBAC consists of the same role definitions as core but with added support for role inheritance. In other words, it allows for parent- and child-level user roles. Child-level user roles are placed under a parent-level user role.

Finally, there’s constrained RBAC. Constrained RBAC is based on the same role-based principles as core but with separation of duties added. User roles can have their duties separated with constrained RBAC.

In Conclusion

To protect your small business from cyber attacks, you may want to implement RBAC. Whether you use core, hierarchical or constrained, it will lower your small business’s risk of sustaining a cyber attack. RBAC consists of restricting access levels based on user’s roles.