Access control is a broad term used to describe systems that manage, authenticate, and authorize people who can use an asset, tangible, or abstract. Basically, physical and logical access control systems work by identifying users and authenticating their credentials. Hence, they decide and determine if the bearer of those credentials is the right person and would be granted admission to a physical or logical asset. In a computing environment, access control is used to regulate who can or cannot view or use computing resources.
Main Types of Access Control
There are two main types of access control systems: physical and logical access control. Both physical and logical access control systems focus on regulating and managing who or what are allowed to access restricted areas and resources.
Physical Access Control
Essentially, physical access control manages, restricts, and limits access to physical locations, premises, and spaces. Such locations may include rooms, offices, facilities, buildings, areas, and IT assets. In a nutshell, physical access control policies permit or deny access to tangible assets. Common examples of physical access control are keys, badges, barricades and fences, RFID doors, fob controlled gates, and password-protected IT systems.
For quality assurance, it’s recommended that access control strategies are adaptable, flexible, and scalable to accommodate dynamic access requirements. This will enable the access control policies to smoothly transit between access and restriction hassle-free. Furthermore, this smooth transitioning should also be carefully balanced with security to forestall attacks, invasion, and security vulnerabilities.
Logical Access Control
Logical access control strategies limit and restrict virtual access, manage connections and permissions to use computer networks, digital resources, system files, and data. Compared to physical access control which utilizes some form of tokens to grant access to restricted areas, this type of access control technique essentially combines identification, authentication, and authorization protocols.
Today, organizations, businesses, and other entities employ a wide range of logical access control systems to protect their corporate assets. Usually, the level of sophistication and complexity of an organization’s logical access control system is often a function of the sensitivity and confidentiality of the resources it has.
Depending on the organization, a company’s logical access control model may incorporate the use of advanced biometric security features or sophisticated password programs. Sometimes, it can even include other methods of identifying, screening, and authenticating users, such as multifactor authentication.
For instance, government facilities, federal agencies, and defense headquarters often deploy high-level logical access security to inhibit external attacks from terrorists, rival governments, and hackers. However, depending on the size, business logical access security are not usually that complex. Most often, an organization’s logical access policies depend on its size, type of industrial transactions, and management processes.
The Intersection between Physical and Logical Access Controls
As the digital world evolves, so do the techniques to ensure security and protection of corporate assets, data, information, and other sensitive resources. Therefore, it’s more important than ever before for organizations to effectively manage access to their physical locations, tangible assets, and even intangible resources. In essence, a seamless, up-to-date, and responsive combination of both physical and logical access control is required for better security of corporate resources and systems.
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