The Complete Guide of RBAC vs ABAC 

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When it comes to controlling access to work areas and resources in companies, there are several technologies available: Roles, Access Control Lists, Access permission, authorization codes, and more. While some of these concepts may seem very similar, each method has its own unique benefits and drawbacks that should be evaluated before selecting a specific method. One of the most commonly used control methods is Role-based access control, also known as RBAC. Here are the major differences between RBAC and ABAC, as well as the ways in which each may be implemented.

Basically, Role-based access control is a system of regulating access to work areas and resources by limiting the set of associated objects (user permissions) associated with each role. This method requires authorization from an individual for each role. Typically, the person granting the authorization will have special privileges that include being able to determine user permissions and define access conditions.

On the other hand, role-based access controls are defined as a more generic way of regulating access to a set of resources. In this case, it does not require a permission for every associated entity or even for each role; rather, there are certain fine-grained access control for every role that an administrator can set. This is achieved by having an admin define permissions for the entities that he controls or those that he wants to control. Such procedures are often used when administrators want to restrict access to important information or resources, or when they need to establish security control over a group of computers. For instance, in some workplaces, it would be impractical to allow just anyone in the computer repair shop, while in another case, it would be necessary for everyone in the team to have special software or access credentials.

Another major difference between ABAC and RBAC is whether the information or resources are protected or not. In terms of securing sensitive data, the latter is considered to be more secure than the former. In ABAC, a business has the authority to decide how its data should be secured. It could prevent employees from sharing confidential or privileged information, or make it mandatory for them to sign in before they can gain access to any database. Both of these security measures are designed to restrict access to data that could be used for malicious purposes. However, in RBAC, there is no such restriction because by definition, the access to any information is allowed.

There is also a difference between ABAC and RBAC in terms of granularity. With role-based access control, an administrator can restrict access to individual or specific objects or locations, while with RBAC, the granularity of access controls is broader. granularity refers to the extent of control that can be applied in the decision to grant access, or the degree of granularity at the application layer. For instance, a bank could have wide-ranging restrictions on how personnel dealing with cash handle it, while the same bank could restrict employees handling of customer cash to employees who have been authorized to do so under a wide variety of circumstances. This granularity provides a degree of flexibility that makes it practical for organizations to effectively control all the different situations that come up.

One other thing to note is that when talking about roles and access control, some businesses use the term “authorized person” to refer to a user rather than an actual person. This can have important consequences for the operations that take place under these roles. In ABAC, for example, it is illegal for any employee to give false information to a customer, and it is perfectly acceptable for that employee to lie about his or her own identity. Under role-based access control, however, an employee would only be allowed to do what he or she was specifically assigned to do by his or her employer. That ensures that employers can limit employees’ responsibilities according to their abilities and knowledge rather than according to how good they are at lying.

There is also one other important difference between ABAC and RBAC. While both involve control of access, the difference lies in the ways in which information is controlled. In ABAC, people can gain access to various areas of information based on certain permissions that they have granted themselves. This is similar to what we see in computer networks where companies allow certain network nodes to connect to certain other nodes. 

However, in a role-based access control system, people gain access only to information that they have been assigned to perform, while in an ABAC system, people gain access not only to areas of information but to everything that they can think of, regardless of whether they are authorized to access it or not. This difference makes the use of role-based access control much more difficult and impractical for medium-sized enterprises.

So what does this all mean for businesses? Although RBAC is more efficient than ABAC when it comes to ensuring that multiple users have access to the same information, it’s still a fairly complicated system. Smaller businesses would most likely do well with a simpler attribute-based access control system. Businesses that require more complex access control, however, should seriously consider having their resources tied into a larger ERP system that offers them greater control over their data and resources.


Written by Frederick Jace

A passionate Blogger and a Full time Tech writer. SEO and Content Writer Expert since 2015.

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