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Access Control Within Computers

  • Date Submitted: 04/17/2012 01:09 AM
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Access Control

Allen Firestone

Operating Systems

Access Control is a series of instructions designed to build security in a system through data management and role assignment. To put it simply, Access Control allows access to be given to certain individuals or, in the case of computers, even processes in order to allow them to complete tasks within their domain of function. Access Control appears in more than just computers, it is involved in nearly everything in everyday life. From the dorms we live in to the banks we visit. In dorms it is the scan cards and readers at entrance. In banks it is the combination or timer associated with the vault door. However for this paper, we will be focusing purely on computer related Access Control methods.
To better understand Access Control it will help us to understand where the idea of Access Control came from and how it developed through history, focusing on the early beginnings of   one of the inaugural algorithms. Once we know where and how Access Control was developed, we can then look at Authorization and how its' sub-sections (Privileges, Objects, Authentication, and Subjects) all work together. After a decent understanding of these topics is made, we can then look at different Access Control techniques, Specifically: Discretionary Access Control, Mandatory Access Control, Attribute-Based Access Control, and finally Role-Based Access Control.

Throughout history, innovations in technology have either come from a necessity, or from a desire to make luxuries more accessible to the population. Access Control was most certainly developed out of a need by the Government to be able to better secure itself against enemies both foreign and domestic, as well as to develop better offensive capabilities through better organization and information control. In the 1970's, as computers were being more and more utilized by the military, a concern that these multi-user...


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