Thursday, May 10, 2007

Types of Access Control

Access controls are necessary to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of objects (and by extension, their information and data). The term access control is used to describe a broad range of controls, from forcing a user to provide a valid username and password to log on to preventing users from gaining access to a resource outside of their sphere of access.

Access controls can be divided into the following seven categories of function or purpose. You should notice that some security mechanisms can be labeled with multiple function or purpose categories.

Preventative access control A preventative access control is deployed to stop unwanted or unauthorized activity from occurring. Examples of preventative access controls include fences, locks, biometrics, mantraps, lighting, alarm systems, separation of duties, job rotation, data classification, penetration testing, access control methods, encryption, auditing, presence of security cameras or closed circuit television (CCTV), smart cards, callback, security policies, security awareness training, and antivirus software.

Deterrent access control A deterrent access control is deployed to discourage the violation of security policies. A deterrent control picks up where prevention leaves off. The deterrent doesn't stop with trying to prevent an action; instead, it ges further to exact consequences in the event of an attempted or successful violation. Examples of deterrent access controls include locks, fences, security badges, security guards, mantraps, security cameras, trespass or intrusion alarms, separation of duties, work task procedures, awareness training, encryption, auditing, and firewalls.

Detective access control A detective access control is deployed to discover unwanted or unauthorized activity. Often detective controls are after-the-fact controls rather than real-time controls. Examples of detective access controls include security guards, guard dogs, motion detectors, recording and reviewing of events seen by security cameras or CCTV, job rotation, mandatory vacations, audit trails, intrusion detection systems, violation reports, honey pots, supervision and reviews of users, incident investigations, and intrusion detection systems.

Corrective access control A corrective access control is deployed to restore systems to normal after an unwanted or unauthorized activity has occurred. Usually corrective controls have only a minimal capability to respond to access violations. Examples of corrective access controls include intrusion detection systems, antivirus solutions, alarms, mantraps, business continuity planning, and security policies.

Recovery access control A recovery access control is deployed to repair or restore resources, functions, and capabilities after a violation of security policies. Recovery controls have more advanced or complex capability to respond to access violations than a corrective access control. For example, a recovery access control can repair damage as well as stop further damage. Examples of recovery access controls include backups and restores, fault tolerant drive systems, server clustering, antivirus software, and database shadowing.

Compensation access control a compensation access control is deployed to provide various options to other existing controls to aid in the enforcement and support of a security policy. Examples of compensation access controls include security policy, personnel supervision, monitoring, and work task procedures.

Compensation controls can also be considered to be controls used in place of or instead of more desirable or damaging controls. For example, if a guard dog cannot be used because of the proximity of a residential area, a motion detector with a spotlight and a barking sound playback device can be used.

Directive access control A directive access control is deployed to direct, confine, or control the actions of subject to force or encourage compliance with security policies. Examples of Directive access controls include security guards, guard dogs, security policy, posted notifications, escape route exit signs, monitoring, supervising, work task procedures, and awareness training.

Access controls can be further categorized by how they are implemented. In this case, the categories are administrative, logical/technical, or physical.

Administrative access controls Administrative access controls are the policies and procedures defined by an organizations security policy to implement and enforce overall access control. Administrative access controls focus on two areas: personnel and business practices (e.g., people and policies). Examples of administrative access controls include policies, procedures, hiring practices, background checks, data classification, security training, vacation history, reviews, work supervision, personnel controls, and testing.

Logical/technical access controls Logical access controls and technical access controls are the hardware or software mechanisms used to manage access to resources and systems and provide protection for those resources and systems. Examples of logical or technical access controls include encryption, smart cards, passwords, biometrics, constrained interfaces, access control lists (ACLs), protocols, firewalls, routers, intrusion detection systems, and clipping levels.

Physical access controls Physical access controls are the physical barriers deployed to prevent direct contact with systems or portions of a facility. Examples of physical access controls include guards, fences, motion detectors, locked doors, sealed windows, lights, cable protections, laptop locks, swipe cards, guard dogs, video cameras, mantraps, and alarms.

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