What is Mandatory access control in information security?

Mandatory access control is access control policies that are decided by the system and not the application or data owner. Mandatory Access Control (MAC) is a group of security policies constrained according to system classification, configuration and authentication. MAC policy management and settings are created in one secure network and defined to system administrators.

MAC defines and provides a centralized enforcement of confidential security policy parameters. Mandatory access control creates strict security policies for single users and the resources, systems, or data they are enabled to access. These policies are controlled by a management; single users are not given the authority to set, alter, or revoke permissions in a method that contradicts current policies.

Under this system, both the subject (user) and the object (data, system, or other resource) should be assigned similar security attributes to connect with each other. The bank’s president would not only need the proper security clearance to access user data files, but the system administrator would require to define that those files can be considered and altered by the president. While that process can seem redundant, it provides that users cannot implement unauthorized actions simply by gaining access to specific data or resources.

Modern access control systems based upon −

  • It can be integrated enterprise user and identity databases and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directories.

  • It can be powerful business procedure pertaining to the provisioning and deprovisioning of a user.

  • It can be provisioning application integrated with the business provisioning and de-provisioning process.

  • A global enterprise id for each user to integrate the user’s identity among some applications and systems.

  • A strong end to end audit of everywhere the physical person went and the systems, software and information systems they accessed.

The types of access control structure available for information technology initiatives today continues to enhance at a breakneck pace. Most access control approaches are based on the same basic principles. If it can understand the basic concepts and principles, it can use this understanding to new products and technologies and shorten the learning curve so it can maintain pace with new technology initiatives.

Access control devices properly recognize people, and test their identity through an authentication procedure so they can be held accountable for their actions. Best access control systems data and timestamp all connection and transactions so that access to systems and information can be audited at current dates.

Reputable access control systems all supports authentication, authorization, and administration. Authentication is a procedure in which users are challenged for identity credentials so that it is applicable to test that they are who they say they are.