Role based access is a security mechanism used by organizations to restrict system access for users. In order to streamline workflows, employees are grouped into roles according to their designation and granted access permissions. This is especially common in large organizations with hundreds of employees where there is a higher chance of leaking sensitive information.
Typically, users with the same roles have identical access rights. The key to secure access control is to devise a system that lets you design suitable user roles. An ideal option is a cloud based tracking software that enables you to define employee roles and grant access based on your unique workflows.
Once you have logged in all your assets into the software, you can define access permissions to all staff members from this centralized platform. Let’s briefly walk through some steps to implement role based access for your business:
Inventory your database
The first step towards planning role based access management for your organization is to sort out your database. List down the type of assets and inventory items you own. This will give you a better understanding of how user roles should be defined. If your assets are not accurately entered within the software, it will be tough to define access for them.
Within a large organization, it is not necessary to implement restricted access right away for all operations. Start off by narrowing down your scope for sensitive assets and then keep expanding.
Analyze your workforce and define roles
After you have updated your database and finalized the scope, you can lay down the different roles and permissions required for your workflows. Keep it simple. Don’t go overboard with defining too many roles so that it becomes difficult to manage multiple roles within a single department.
Pro tip: Create a hierarchy to streamline operations and make role based access easier to implement.
An asset tracking software enables you to practice access control for large teams. You can define roles in the following ways with the help of the software:
Roles for multiple departments:
In large organizations, it is common to have numerous departments with different teams working on the same project. In such situations, lack of proper management can lead to asset misplacement due to confusion in roles. The best way to maintain seamless workflows across teams is to define permissions and set restrictions for all departments.
For instance, you want to set up user roles for your college or university. Let’s assume you have three departments, Library Support,Accounts and Human Resources. By using a tracking software you can easily define user listings for staff members based on their designation within the department. To set up a secure role based access system you can even impose approvals within these groups for transparency.
Roles for multiple locations:
Businesses often run operations from multiple locations under a single head office. Each office has its own employees and set of assets and inventory. To ensure uninterrupted workflows, it is critical to have a robust role based access management system in place. Without clearly defined guidelines, deliveries and shipments could end up at the wrong office location.
With the right tracking software, you can easily define employee roles according to their location. Let’s say you want to demarcate teams for the San Francisco office and the New Jersey office. By using the software you can easily assign permissions based on the team’s location. Such settings enable you to control actions from a single platform and ensure all tasks are managed smoothly.
Roles for multiple groups:
Organizations typically stock a broad range of items ranging from fixed business assets, items that are tracked in bulk, or disposable inventory. These items can be further divided into groups for ease of access throughout the organization.
Let’s take the example of sports equipment at a gym. Equipment could include heavy exercise machines, electronic devices, maintenance supplies, and sports drinks etc. Given this broad range, it is important to define who has access to which equipment. If any of these items fall into the wrong hands, there is a high risk of serious damage. For example if an employee from the finance department tries to service exercise equipment without any experience, it could lead to increased downtime.
To prevent mishandling of equipment, businesses can lay down role based access for various groups of items. Clearly defined item restrictions means only authorized employees can check in or checkout assets.
Carry out an audit
Laying down user roles is a complex project. It does not have to be completed in one go. Start off by implementing basic role based access controls across the organization. You can then periodically review the roles. Check whether any of the roles have unnecessary access to a system. Other than this, you can always ask for feedback. A thorough audit will let you know what needs to be adjusted and renewed for the next phase.
Given the large number of staff members at an organization, it becomes critical to ensure that everyone has the correct roles defined for them. Failure to keep a tight check on employee roles can lead to sensitive information getting leaked. Regular audits are very useful in such cases as they help determine how things are progressing.
Maintain a policy
As the company grows and adds more employees to the team, the user roles also evolve. To keep track of item permissions and restrictions it is important to maintain accurate documentation. An easy way to do this is to create a policy regarding role based access. This way you can ensure the same rules will be followed for current and future employees. Just make sure not to make frequent one off changes for a single employee. This will disrupt the entire system and create room for uncertainty.
Practice seamless scalability with role based access
One of the major advantages of having strictly defined user roles is that as the business expands, the rules don’t have to change. Once you set items restrictions for the team, then the same policy can be implemented in the future as the organization scales. This saves the company from devising new systems every time a new office opens up at a different location.
Roles implemented through a centralized tracking software make it easier for employees to have access to the right tools and simplified administration leads to an efficient and productive work environment.