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Jul 6, 2023

How Access Control Enhances Cloud Protection for Organizations


The chances are fairly good that your home network is protected only by a username and password. As for individual devices, they are protected by way of login credentials. The minimal security that guards your home network is sufficient for the task. It would be insufficient in a commercial setting, especially in the cloud. Among other things, cloud protection demands access control policies.

Access control policies determine who has access to data and how it can be used. In a cloud environment, the policies are an important tool for minimizing risks. By controlling how data can be accessed and by whom, administrators can keep things locked down as tightly as possible.

The Basic Premise

The basic premise of access control is limiting how users can move around a network and access data-based parameters established by administrators. Users are granted permissions according to those parameters. A good example is limiting access to financial data so that only workers in the accounting department can see it. It is off-limits to everyone else.

Access control in a cloud protection scenario serves two purposes. First, it limits how internal network users can access and utilize data. Second, it keeps outside intruders at bay. Access control reduces certain types of cybersecurity threats by locking out hackers who might otherwise gain initial entry to a network.

Different Types of Access Control

Robust cloud protection utilizes various forms of access control. The most common form is arguably role-based access control (RBAC). This particular model assigns roles to network users based on their positions. Typical roles include things like administrator, subscriber, and user. But cybersecurity teams can create all sorts of roles based on their organization’s needs.

There could be separate roles for senior administrators and less privileged IT security personnel. There could be separate roles for upper, middle, and lower managers. The possibilities are endless.

In addition to RBAC, other forms of access controls include:

  • Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) – Permissions are assigned based on user attributes. Attributes could be anything from department name to job title.
  • Time-Based Access Control (TBAC) – Internal access is granted based on a predetermined amount of time. For example, full access to all data might be granted during overnight maintenance periods. At all other times, default policies are followed.
  • IP Control – Access is granted or blocked based on the IP address of the user. Administrators create whitelists and blacklists to streamline traffic control.

Every access control model has one thing in common: it sets up parameters by which data access permissions are then assigned to users. No user can gain access to data, or even locations on the network, without the right permissions.

The Default for Cloud Environments

It goes without saying that access control should be a default policy for every cloud environment. At Hillstone Networks, we believe this is fundamental to cloud protection. A cloud that isn’t secured through access control is vulnerable by its very nature. All a hacker needs to do is get into the cloud. Once he does, all bets are off.

We also believe that cloud size and scope are irrelevant here. Even the smallest, least complicated clouds are made exponentially more secure with access control. Obviously, the largest and most complex clouds in the world must absolutely be governed by access control policies.

Access control is just one of the security strategies Hillstone Networks can help your organization with. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information about how we can enhance cloud protection for your organization. We can go above and beyond access control to help secure your cloud at every level.