Definition

role-based access control (RBAC)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Develop an IAM strategy for the mobile enterprise

Role-based access control (RBAC) is a method of regulating access to computer or network resources based on the roles of individual users within an enterprise. In this context, access is the ability of an individual user to perform a specific task, such as view, create, or modify a file. Roles are defined according to job competency, authority, and responsibility within the enterprise.

When properly implemented, RBAC enables users to carry out a wide range of authorized tasks by dynamically regulating their actions according to flexible functions, relationships, and constraints. This is in contrast to conventional methods of access control, which grant or revoke user access on a rigid, object-by-object basis. In RBAC, roles can be easily created, changed, or discontinued as the needs of the enterprise evolve, without having to individually update the privileges for every user.

This was last updated in April 2012

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