Dynamic Authorization

Dynamic authorization is the core technology behind the NextLabs platform, in which authorization and access rights to an organization’s network, applications, data, and other sensitive assets are granted dynamically in real-time via attribute-based access control (ABAC) policies.  Dynamic authorization is a technology in which authorization and access rights to an organization’s network, applications, data, or other sensitive assets are granted dynamically in real-time using attribute-based rules and policies.  As such, it is a core element of any organization’s implementation of Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA).

With traditional Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), or list-based authorization systems, administrators need to constantly monitor and reassess changes in user status, reassign and revoke roles, or even monitor and reassign permissions on individual files or records.  This can be very resource intensive, and as organizations grow it does not scale well and can lead to role explosion.

With dynamic authorization systems driving by ABAC policies, in contrast, access to data is granted or denied in real-time by policy according to variables, such as the latest user status, data classifications, and environment information.  A Dynamic Authorization Policy Engine, like the one at the core of the NextLabs platform, allows security administrators to define a small number of policies that will always be up to date, because the variables used in policy are evaluated at the time of the authorization request.  Policies can be designed in such a way that they cover many different combinations of attributes.

A dynamic authorization system with ABAC significantly streamlines the management process. It removes the need to individually administer thousands or even hundreds of thousands of access-control lists and/or role and role assignments on a daily basis. Additionally, organizations do not need to deploy expensive and complex identity governance solutions. With ABAC, hundreds of roles can be replaced by just a few policies. These policies are managed centrally across all sensitive applications and systems, providing a single pane of glass over the “who, what, where, when, and why.” Centralized management makes it easy to add or update policies and quickly deploy them across the enterprise.

Authorization policies are managed externally from the protected application (aka “Externalized Authorization Management”), so they can be modified without requiring code changes or application downtime. This enables organizations to react quickly to changes in business or regulatory environments, greatly increasing agility and flexibility, and enhancing overall data protection. Dynamic authorization with ABAC also provides central monitoring and tracking of user activity and data access providing compliance and security officers with insight into user behavior and suspicious activities.

In summary, dynamic authorization offers significant benefits over traditional access models:

  • Higher levels of security
  • Enhanced visibility and control
  • Improved compliance
  • More business agility
  • Lower costs