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Describe different models of access control.

Discretionary Access Control (DAC):

  • Definition: DAC is a model where the access rights of a user are determined by the user or an authorized user (e.g., system administrator). In other words, users have discretion over their resources and can decide who can access them.
  • Authorization Process: In DAC, each user can control access to their objects by specifying which users or system processes are granted access rights. Users can assign permissions such as read, write, and execute to others.
  • Flexibility: DAC is highly flexible as it allows users to grant or restrict access at their discretion. However, this flexibility can lead to security concerns if users are not careful in managing access.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC):

  • Definition: RBAC, also known as non-discretionary access control, focuses on assigning access rights based on the roles that individuals hold within an organization. Instead of specifying permissions for individual users, permissions are associated with roles, and users are assigned to these roles.
  • Role Assignment: Users are assigned to specific roles based on their job functions, responsibilities, or other organizational criteria. Each role is then associated with a set of permissions that are necessary to perform tasks associated with that role.
  • Principle of Least Privilege: RBAC helps enforce the principle of least privilege by ensuring that users are given only the minimum permissions required to perform their job functions. This reduces the risk of unauthorized access and potential security breaches.
  • Administrative Ease: RBAC simplifies access management for administrators, especially in large organizations. Instead of managing permissions for each user individually, administrators can assign and revoke access based on roles.

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