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Role-based vs Rule-based Access Control For Businesses

Role-based vs Rule-based Access Control For Businesses

Who is able to go where – both physically and digitally – within your business is an important matter if you have valuable assets and data that you don’t want just anyone to be able to access. 

Larger companies may want to limit access to different parts of their premises based on a number of factors, which can include the job each individual member of staff is doing and their level of responsibility.

Access control systems come in two forms, which are known as role-based and rule-based access control. Let’s look at these in turn to examine their differences and understand which might be the better option for your particular business and circumstances.

Role based vs rule based access control for businesses

Role-based access control

What is it and how does it work? Role-based access control is in many ways the simpler of the two to operate, because it allocates access solely based on a person’s job title or level of seniority rather than any other predetermined rule. So, for example, access to customer information might be restricted to those who need it in their day-to-day roles, such as Customer Service Advisors and Credit Control Clerks.

Advantages: Because access is based on simple factors, once the system is set up, it pretty much looks after itself. If you want an employee to be able to access certain parts of your business, you just have to make sure they have the right job title or status.

Disadvantages: What you gain in simplicity and ease of operation, you lose in flexibility. So, if you want someone who wouldn’t normally be allowed access to a system or part of the building to be able to do so for a one-off project, you have to find ways to work around it, such as giving them someone else’s log-in or key fob.

Rule-based access control

What is it and how does it work? Rule-based access control systems allow an administrator to create special rules on a person-by-person basis, with access granted via an individual’s personal logins or pre-programmed fob. That means that regardless of their role or job title, they can be allowed access as required and when necessary. 

Advantages: The flexibility allowed by rule-based access control means that you’re not restricted by the limitations of someone needing the right job title. 

Disadvantages: While role-based access control is easy to look after, its rule-based alternative is going to require a great deal more hands-on management to make sure each individual has the right access.

Which system is better?

In the end, neither system is better than the other – you just need to choose the one that will work best for your business and the way you operate. That could depend on the size of your company, whether you can spare a person to manage the administration of a rule-based system, and how flexibly you view your staff and their roles.

Here at Scutum South East, we can design and install a wide range of access control systems to make sure you are able to manage access throughout your business in the way that suits you. From individually programmable keyfob and swipe card systems to video access control, we can offer cutting-edge solutions that put you in control.

With many years of experience to call on, we’ll discuss your requirements so we can understand what you want from an access control system and provide and install the one that works for you.

Contact us now to find out more.


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About Scutum South East

Scutum South East is a leading expert in fire safety and security solutions for businesses and organisations located across South East England, including London and Surrey.

From fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire risk assessments to access control, CCTV and intruder alarm systems – and a lot more besides – we offer a comprehensive range of products and services designed to keep you, your business and your staff and visitors safe.

With decades of industry experience to call on, we’re proud to hold accreditations from leading trade associations and bodies such as British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the British Fire Consortium, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).

If you’d like to find out more about Scutum South East, get in touch with our friendly team or explore our products and services on our site.


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