Access control is a security technique that can be used to regulate who or what can view or use resources in a computing environment. The term access control refers to the practice of restricting entrance to a property, a building, or a room to authorized persons. Physical access control can be achieved by a human (a guard, bouncer, or receptionist), through mechanical means such as locks and keys, or through technological means such as access control systems.
Within these environments, physical key management may also be employed as a means of further managing and monitoring access to mechanically keyed areas or access to certain small assets.
Access Control Types
There are two main types of access control: physical and logical. Physical access control limits access to campuses, buildings, rooms and physical IT assets. Logical access limits connections to computer networks, system files and data.
The four main categories of access control are:
- Mandatory access control
- Discretionary access control
- Role-based access control
- Rule-based access control
Access control systems perform authorization identification, authentication, access approval, and accountability of entities through login credentials including passwords, personal identification numbers (PINs), biometric scans, and physical or electronic keys.
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