Access Control Policy: Template & Best Practices

Table of Contents

    The Access Control Policy refers to the set guidelines that state how sensitive data is protected and prevents unauthorized entities from accessing the data. It provides information on who has access to such data and under what circumstances. 

    Access control policies work by the authorization of user credentials, confirming who they are, and granting the specific permissions linked to their username and IP address if approved. 

     

    Here are some basic definitions related to it:

    Access control: Access control oversees all requests to access resources and data within a system. It meticulously assesses each request to ensure whether it merits approval or denial.

     

    Authorization: Authorization is the process of deciding what actions a user or entity can take within a system or resource based on their identity or role. It involves granting or denying access rights and permissions.

     

    Privileged access: Privileged access is an account that provides users with greater access to an organization’s resources and infrastructure compared to a standard account.

     

    Access Control Policy and Procedure

    Policy Statement

    The Access Control policy outlines the regulations, permissions, and limitations governing all users’ access to the organization’s assets, including logical and physical entry points.

    [Company Name] is dedicated to upholding robust access controls to protect information and systems from unauthorized access. Our goals encompass preserving data confidentiality, integrity, and availability. We’ll set precise requirements and communicate the importance of access control for safeguarding our assets.

     

    Purpose and Scope

    This policy aims to control logical and physical access to information and systems. It implements procedures to safeguard information systems and data.

    The policy statements outlined in this document apply to all resources of [Company Name] regardless of their sensitivity level. This includes:

    • All employees, whether full-time, part-time, or temporary.
    • Vendors associated with [Company Name].
    • Contractors, consultants, and other third parties working for or on behalf of [Company Name].
    • Any individuals or groups granted access to [Company Name]’s systems and information.

    This policy encompasses all information assets and serves as the cornerstone for information security management.

    Roles and Responsibilities

    1. Agencies

    • Ensure vendor contracts comply with regulations.
    • Develop policies for federal requirements and manage access.
    • Assign agency data custodian.
    • Develop security plans and oversee personnel adherence.

    2. Chief Information Security Officer

    • Enforce policy and assess access risks.
    • Approve or deny access requests based on risk assessment.
    • Consult the Chief Information Officer for final determinations.

    3. Department of Human Resources

    • Review state employee remote access requests.

    4. Department of Information Technology

    • Assign asset owners.
    • Ensure the least privileged access and make configuration changes.
    • Hold vendors accountable to policy.

    5. IT Procurement

    • Collaborate to ensure vendors adhere to policy.

    The following table shows access permissions for different roles across various company systems. It ensures that each role has appropriate access to systems based on their responsibilities.

    RoleCorporate NetworkEmailCRMCustomer DBUnixEmployees info
    UserYesYesNoNoNoNo
    IT System AdminYesYesYesYesYesYes
    DeveloperYesYesNoNoYesNo
    Sales ConsultantNoYesYesYesNoNo
    HRYesYesNoNoNoYes

     

    Access Control Mechanisms

    Data access is controlled per the data classification levels outlined in the [Policy Name] Policy, ensuring appropriate measures are applied as needed. 

    Access control policies fall into three main categories:

    1. Discretionary (DAC) policies: These policies regulate access based on the requester’s identity and predefined access rules, specifying what actions they are permitted to perform.
    2. Mandatory (MAC) policies: These policies dictate access based on regulations mandated by a central authority.
    3. Role-based (RBAC) policies: These policies manage access based on the roles assigned to users within the system, determining the actions permitted to users in specific roles.

    Default access control methods include:

    • Explicit logon to devices
    • Windows share and file permissions
    • Limitations on user account privileges
    • Access rights for servers and workstations
    • Firewall permissions
    • Network zone and VLAN ACLs
    • Authentication rights for IIS/Apache intranet/extranet
    • Database access rights and ACLs
    • Encryption during data transmission
    • Multi-factor authentication
    • Any other methods required by contractual agreements

     

    These access control measures apply to all networks, servers, workstations, laptops, mobile devices, and services managed by [Company Name].

    Role-based access control (RBAC) should be used specifically to secure access to file-based resources within [Company Name] ‘s Active Directory and [Directory Name] Directory domains.

    Access Control Enforcement

    [Company Name] ensures all information assets enforce approved authorizations following applicable access control policies and government regulations.

     

    Here are some basic rules regarding standard practices for access control enforcement:

    1. User access to the company’s resources and services requires a unique user account and a strong password.
    2. Accounts are created based on records in HR and student information systems. Access is granted through appropriate authorization forms for users not in these systems.
    3. Password management follows formal processes managed by the [Department Name].
    4. Password criteria can be found at the provided link. [Insert link]
    5. Password changes and self-service resets can be done through specified online portals. [Provide a link to the online portal]
    6. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) should be enabled for all accounts.

    Access Provisioning Process

    Access to any State information asset must be granted by authorized [Company Name] personnel.

    • Authorized personnel initiates new user-access requests through the [System name] user request workspace.
    • Changes to established user access, such as modifications or terminations, require requests through the [System name] by authorized personnel.

    User Access Privileges

    • Access to any company information asset is based on each user’s access privileges, which may include restrictions by day, date, and time.

    Information Release Protocols

    [Company Name] shall only release information outside the established system boundary under the following conditions:

    • The receiving organization’s information asset or system component implements [Company Name] defined security safeguards.
    • The [Company Name] defined safeguards are utilized to validate the appropriateness of the released information.

    Technical Controls

    • Firewalls: Implemented at network entry points and updated quarterly to align with emerging threats.
    • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS): Continuously monitor network traffic in real-time and trigger alerts for potential security breaches.
    • Endpoint Security Solutions: Installed on all devices and updated weekly to detect and mitigate emerging threats.

    Administrative Controls

    • Periodic Access Reviews: Conducted quarterly for all user accounts to ensure alignment with job roles and responsibilities.
    • Audits: Conducted annually by an independent third party to assess the effectiveness of access controls and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
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