Role-Based Access Control Design Tailored for Security

February 10, 2021

At Abnormal, we've created a simplified, security-driven RBAC design pattern that allows our customers to maximize their user setup with minimum hurdles.

Based on our research, security users have the following set of concerns:

  • Privacy: Depending on role, security clearances, corporate regulations, users may only access only a subset of information or can only obtain very specific data access within each security product.
  • Multi-Tenancy vs. Single Tenant: Gaining a single pane of glass for all email tenants can greatly reduce UX complexity, as well support the growing number of tenants, as M&As can frequently occur within organizations.
  • Big Team vs. Small Team: Depending on team size, their roles and areas of focus may vary dramatically and therefore their needs for Abnormal differ as well.
  • Managers/CISOs vs. SOC: Different security roles require different types of information including reporting, incident investigation, admin access, and more.
  • MSSP vs. In-House: UX may differ based on security staffing setup and location.

We designed the RBAC experience with the following roles and user experience so that regardless of which type of security team composition you employ, you can easily navigate our user management system. We've kept it simple so that our customers can focus less on configuration, and more on protecting their organization.

Rbac user roles

Admin Access

This role is great for small organizations with simple user provision use cases. Users can easily add any new user and give them complete access to the Abnormal Portal. They do not need to touch the remainder of the RBAC system and can continue to enjoy the simplistic experience.

Per-Product Access

This can be configured in a number of ways.

  • Global or per tenant
  • Read or Read + Write
  • Show or hide email content

This role is designed to be incredibly flexible. We've designed it so that a complex organization can provision all aspects of a user and their access to Abnormal. This is great for a larger team that has different analysts covering different feature areas of Abnormal; for example, MSSP teams can be provisioned to only see certain tenants and a certain subset of email information, where as CISOs may only want to access the reporting aspect of Abnormal.

Notification-Only Access

This role is designed to help non-SOC staff, mailing list accounts, and general-purpose accounts to stay informed on Abnormal activities via email notification only. We also want to be mindful of customers who may not be able to access Abnormal Portal or who prefer to leverage email notifications for existing alerting and SOAR setup.

While we know there is always room for improvement, our current design philosophy focuses on keeping it simple and security-driven while building a foundation so that we can support iterations and change. We look forward to hearing feedback and continue to evolve our design!

Learn more about the various roles by requesting a demo of the Abnormal platform today.

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