Access to confidential data is a complex issue. The methods that a company employs to protect its sensitive information can be different, and they may change as business practices evolve. To ensure the highest level of control, organizations should adopt an integrated method that permits administrators to establish policies based upon what data is used for what purposes. These policies should be applied across all platforms and consumption methods (such as internal data and external data).

Mandatory access control is one method to achieve this. By defining the data that each team needs to carry out their work, and granting access based on that, DAC eliminates many security risks by making sure employees only have access rights required to perform their duties. However it can be difficult to maintain DAC because the process involves manually granting permissions and keeping track of what permissions have been granted to whom.

Another popular method is to restrict access to data through a role-based access control model. It is simple for administrators to establish policies that give access based on roles within an organization, not just individual user accounts. This model is less vulnerable to errors and provides an more detailed model of “least privilege” that only grants the most basic level of access is given to users with an emphasis on their need to be aware.

The best method for ensuring that all sensitive information is secure is to regularly review and update the policies and technology that are in place to control access to data. This requires collaboration between the legal teams and the team in charge of the data platform, which manages and enforces these policies, and the teams who developed them.

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