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Access Control

Access control is the collection of mechanisms that permits the administrators of a system to exercise a directing or restraining influence over the behavior, use and content of a system. It permits management to specify what users can do, which resources they can access and what operations they can perform.

The access control is the process of enforced availability, integrity, or confidentiality of the information constraints by limiting access between methods and resources to collections of users or programs. Access Control is achieved by use of any mechanism which a system grants or revokes the right to access some data, or perform some action. Normally, a user must first logs in to a system, using some Authentication system. The Access Control mechanism then controls what operations the user may or may not make by comparing the User ID to an Access Control database. Access Control systems includes File permissions, such as create, read, edit or delete on a file server, Program permissions, such as the right to execute a program on an application server and Data rights, such as the right to retrieve or update information in a database.

Access is controlled using the initiator’s authenticated attributes, which are retrieved from the received credentials. Access control is used because of the security of the information and for the purpose of privacy. With the use of access control it can be ensured that data does not go to into the wrong hands, or unauthorized users gaining access to the internal computer network. It can also be traced if some one is responsible for any losses to the data. The value of data varies from one company to another.

Companies are running a considerable risk with employees roaming the world, carrying important information on their portable computers. Companies also have a moral obligation to protect personal information stored on computer, even if the loss of such data would not damage the company in financial terms.

If an organization asks its employees to supply personal data, it also has a responsibility to store it safely. The safe way to store data is in encrypted form controlled access makes the information safer. The file system available in systems being presently used by various organizations i.e. Windows XP offers several security advantages. One such advantage is access control through which restrictions can be made for allowing the access to a specific user, a computer, or a group of users.

The organizations set permissions on files and folders for individuals and the groups by setting permissions on Files and Folders The permissions are set to define the type of access granted to a user or group. For example, Read and Write permissions are granted to the entire Finance

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