Updated June 30, 2023

Dynamic authorization is a technology in which authorization and access rights to an enterprise’s network, applications, data, or other sensitive assets are granted dynamically in real-time using attribute-based policies.

Unlike traditional Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), which requires administrators to continuously monitor, update, or alter rights on specific files or records. Dynamic authorization grants or denies access to data in real time based on characteristics such as the location, department, job function, among other environmental attributes.

The Importance of Access Control 

The access control process serves as an essential line of defense to safeguard the crown jewels of an organization. It is essential to address the principles of least privilege and separation of duties while granting the minimum amount of access.  

For organizations, inappropriate or insufficient access control may result in negative effects and losses that are hard to foresee and assess. Inadequate control over corporate assets and funds or the leakage of sensitive information could also have a significant financial impact. 

How does dynamic authorization work with ABAC to streamline the management process? 

When using Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) with dynamic authorization, it significantly streamlines access management maintenance. It eliminates the requirement for daily, individual administration of tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of access-control lists, roles, and role assignments. Therefore, removing the need for organizations to implement 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, making it easy to add or update policies and quickly deploy them across the enterprise. Centralized management 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.

Why do you need Dynamic Authorization?

Technology is accelerating, and organizations must be able to manage identity and access in a way that is flexible enough to meet their priorities, user expectations, and business opportunities and risks. Dynamic authorization will provide organizations with the flexibility and efficiency required to meet the ever-changing requirements. In addition to access control management, it is also a core pillar of NIST Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) with capabilities to achieve secure collaboration while staying in compliance. 

Dynamic Authorization – Core pillar of ZTA 

Dynamic authorization solves the disadvantages and risks of RBAC by utilizing additional attributes for authorization decisions. It enables runtime authorization enforcement as well as highly granular controls, which are vital to achieving zero trust fully and completely.  

Together with ABAC, dynamic authorization can be used to implement a data-centric approach to an organization’s security, dynamically evaluating access and entitlement policies for every access request to protect specific resources at the specific time they need to be protected.  This is the essence of the ZTA principle of ‘Never Trust, Always Verify’. 

Secure collaboration 

Having a quick and easy way to share information across organizations and geographical boundaries is essential to successful collaboration. However, it is crucial to balance the “need to share” and the “need to protect” to enable secure collaboration across the extended enterprise while safeguarding valuable intellectual property and sensitive corporate information.

With the addition of dynamic authorization, automation of access-control processes to simplify and speed up authorization management is made possible. As a result, organizations can provide fast and easy access to employees’ and business partners’ critical enterprise data. Together with granular access controls, it further streamlines collaboration and provides enhanced protection across all applications and repositories.

In addition, it will also enable the creation of robust data segregation rules that helps organizations to meet the requirements of tough enterprise data security and nondisclosure legislation such as export controls and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For instance, with SAP Dynamic Authorization Management, you can identify and classify all sources of personal data that the GDPR aims to protect.

All in all, dynamic authorization will enable organizations to react quickly to changes in business or regulatory environments, greatly increasing agility and flexibility, and enhancing overall data protection.

Interested to know more? Watch this video about The Evolution of SAP Access Control along with NextLabs’ SAP Dynamic Authorization Management (DAM) and read our page on NextLabs’ Dynamic Authorization technology.