As security professionals, one of the most important things that we do is ensure that only authorized individuals gain access to information, systems, and networks under our protection. The three major steps of the access management process are identification, authentication, and authorization. In this video, learn how security professionals apply these three principles.
- [Narrator] As security professionals one of the most important things that we do is ensure that only authorized individuals gain access to the information, systems, and networks under our protection. The access control process consists of three steps: identification, authentication, and authorization. During the first step of the process, identification, an individual makes a claim about his or her identity. The person trying to gain access doesn't present any proof at this point.
They simply make an assertion. It's important to remember that the identification step is only a claim, and the user could certainly be making a false claim. Imagine a physical world scenario where you want to enter a secure office building where you have an appointment. During the identification step of the process you might walk up to the security desk and say, "Hi, I'm Mike Chapple." Proof comes into play during the second step of the process, authentication. During the authentication step, the individual proves his or her identity to the satisfaction of the access control system.
In our office building example, the guard would likely want to see my driver's license to confirm my identity. Just proving your identity isn't enough to gain access to a system, however. The access control system also needs to be satisfied that you are allowed to access the system. That's the third step of the access control process, authorization. In our office building example the security guard might check a list of that day's appointments to see if it includes my name. It's very important that you remember the distinction between the identification and authentication phases.
Be ready to identify the phase associated with an example of an access control mechanism. So far we've talked about identification, authentication, and authorization in the context of gaining access to a building. Let's now talk about how they work in the electronic world. When we go to login to a system, we most often identify ourselves using a username, most likely composed of some combination of the letters from our names. When we reach the authentication phase, we're commonly asked to enter a password there are many other ways to authenticate, and we'll talk about those later in this course, as well as how strong access control systems combine multiple authentication approaches.
Finally, in the electronic world, authorization often takes the form of access control lists that itemize the specific file system permissions granted to an individual user or group of users. All access control systems provide the means to accomplish these three steps of the access control process.
You can sign up for Mike's free study group at certmike.com, and find his study guides at the Sybex test prep site. To review the complete CISSP Body of Knowledge, visit https://www.isc2.org/cissp-domains/default.aspx.
Note: This course is part of a series releasing throughout 2018. A complete learning path will be available once all the courses are released.
- Identity and access management overview
- Identification mechanisms: user names, access cards, biometrics, and registration
- Authentication factors
- Password authentication protocols
- Identity as a service (IDaaS)
- Enforcing accountability
- Managing credentials with policies
- Using access control lists
- Defending against access control attacks