Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Database Systems

pp 7-11

Access Control

  • Elena FerrariAffiliated withUniversity of Insubria


Authorization verification


Access control deals with preventing unauthorized operations on the managed data. Access control is usually performed against a set of authorizations stated by Security Administrators (SAs) or users according to the access control policies of the organization. Authorizations are then processed by the access control mechanism (or reference monitor) to decide whether each access request can be authorized or should be denied.

Historical Background

Access control models for DBMSs have been greatly influenced by the models developed for the protection of operating system resources. For instance, the model proposed by Lampson [16] is also known as the access matrix model since authorizations are represented as a matrix. However, much of the early work on database protection was on inference control in statistical databases.

Then, in the 1970s, as research in relational databases began, attention was directed towa ...

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