Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) is a method of regulating access to computer or network resources based on the roles of indvidual users within an organzation.
RBAC lets employees have access rights only to the information they need to do their jobs and prevents them from accessing information that does not pertain to them.
Core Concepts of RBAC:
Roles: These are defined according to job competencies, authority, and responsibility within the organization. Each role is assigned specific permissions.
Permissions: These are the access rights or operations that can be assigned to specific roles.
Users: Individuals who are assigned to one or more roles.
Sessions: A mapping involving a user and an activated subset of roles assigned to that user.
Table Structures for RBAC:
Users Table: Stores information about users.
Roles Table: Contains role records.
Permissions Table: Includes specific permissions that can be assigned to roles.
Role-Permissions Table: A many-to-many mapping between roles and permissions. It defines which permissions are granted to each role.
User-Roles Table: Another many-to-many mapping that assigns roles to users. (This is optional depending on the code techinuqes that is used on the system).
Define Roles: Based on organizational structure, define roles like 'Admin', 'Editor', 'Viewer', etc.
Assign Permissions to Roles: Determine what each role can do (e.g., read, write, delete) and map these permissions to roles.
Assign Users to Roles: Users are assigned to one or more roles, thereby inheriting the permissions of those roles.
Check Access: When a user attempts to perform an operation, the system checks their roles and permissions to determine if the action is allowed.
Advantages of RBAC:
Least Privilege: Users are given only the access necessary to perform their jobs.
Separation of Duties: Roles can be used to separate administrative abilities and reduce the risk of fraud.
Simplified Management: Centralized role management makes it easier to control and audit user access.
Scalability and Flexibility: Roles can be easily modified, added, or removed as organizational needs change.
Enterprise Systems: Managing employee access to systems and data.
Healthcare Systems: Regulating access to patient records.
Financial Systems: Controlling access to sensitive financial data.
RBAC is a powerful and widely used access control mechanism that helps in effectively managing user permissions and securing sensitive data in an organization.
Its effectiveness lies in its simplicity and its ability to closely mirror the organizational structure and policies.