Skip to main content

Access Control


Access control is a security technique that manages who or what can see or use resources in a computing environment. This is a basic security concept that minimizes risk to your business or organization.

There are two types of access control: physical and logical. Physical access controls restrict access to campuses, buildings, rooms, and physical IT resources. Logical access controls restrict connections to computer networks, system files, and data.

To protect their premises, companies are using electronic access control systems that rely on user credentials, access card readers, auditing, and reporting to allow employees to access proprietary areas such as restricted offices and data centers and track employee access. Some of these systems include access control panels that restrict access to rooms and buildings, and alarm and lockout features to prevent unauthorized entry or manipulation.

A logical access control system performs user and device identity authentication and authorization by evaluating required credentials including passwords, personal identification numbers, biometric scans, security tokens, or other authentication factors . Multi-factor authentication (MFA), which requires two or more authentication factors, is often an important part of defense-in-depth to protect access control systems.

Why is Access Control important?

Reduced security risk from unauthorised access to physical and logical systems is the aim of access control. Any security compliance program's deployment of security technology and access control policies to safeguard sensitive information, such as customer data, depends on access control. Access to networks, computer systems, applications, files, and sensitive data including personally identifiable information and intellectual property is typically restricted by organisational infrastructures and policies.

In dynamic IT settings that combine on-premises systems and cloud services, access control solutions can be complicated and challenging to administer. The technology provider switched from a single sign-on system to a unified access management that offers access control for on-premises and cloud settings as a result of a high-profile breach.

How Access Control works?

Access controls identify individuals or entities, verify who a person or application is or what it claims to be, and determine the level of access and course of action associated with a username or IP address. Directory services and protocols, such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol and Security Assertion Markup Language, provide access control to authenticate and authorize users and entities to connect to computing resources such as distributed applications and web servers.

Organizations use different access control models depending on their compliance needs and the level of IT security they want to protect.

Types of Access Control

The main models of access control are the following:

  • Mandatory access control (MAC)
  • Discretionary access control (DAC)
  • Role-based access control (RBAC)
  • Rule-based access control
  • Attribute-based access control

Access Control and IgniteConnex

IgniteConnex offers you an identity platform (IgniteConnex Identity) that helps you to control the access of users on your application.

To control the access of users to your application, you need to get hands-on on the identity platform.

Explore more of IgniteConnex Identity Access Control here.

Implementing Access Control

Access control is integrated into the corporate IT environment. This may be an identity and access management system. These systems provide access control software, user databases, and administrative tools for access control policy, auditing, and enforcement.

When users are added to the access management system, system administrators use an automated provisioning system to set permissions based on the access control framework, job responsibilities, and workflow.

Least-privilege best practices limit access to only the resources employees need to perform their immediate work.

Challenges of Access Control

Many of the challenges of access control stem from the highly distributed nature of modern IT. It is difficult to keep track of constantly evolving assets because they are spread out both physically and logically. Specific examples of challenges include the following:

  • dynamically managing distributed IT environments
  • password fatigue
  • compliance visibility through consistent reporting
  • centralizing user directories and avoiding application-specific silos and
  • data governance and visibility through consistent reporting.

Many traditional access control strategies that worked well in static environments supporting on-premises organizational computing resources are ineffective in today's distributed IT environment. Modern IT environments consist of multiple cloud-based and hybrid deployments that distribute resources across physical locations and various unique devices, requiring dynamic access control strategies.


Access control has modernised security, changed how businesses monitor their activities, and reduced many mundane tasks for corporations. A business may build an access control system with twice as many features for less money than it would cost to hire a squad of security officers. Access control will become ever more specific and adaptable as technology advances, simplifying security in the workplace.