How Role-Based Access Control Keeps File Transfers Secure


From 2017 to 2021, worldwide spending on cybersecurity nearly doubled — from 34 billion to 57.7 billion USD. This is encouraging for anyone working in cybersecurity. For the past four years, organizations have put their money where their mouth is and prioritized cybersecurity.

Unfortunately, spending more money is not enough. The second and more important piece of the puzzle is the employees — specifically, what should and can they access?

That’s where role-based access control (RBAC) comes in.

What is role-based access control?

When role-based access control is in place, employees have permission to access, perform actions in or be an administrator in different areas of a company’s digital infrastructure.

In practice, RBAC could look like this:

  • Software engineering role: Has access to cloud environments and software development tools.
  • Marketing role: Has access to company social media accounts and the customer relationship management (CRM) software.
  • Finance role: Has access to payroll software and financial management tools.

RBAC is closely related to the principle of least privilege. This cybersecurity principle means that people should have the bare minimum of access they need to do their job. Giving the software engineer access to the marketing person’s accounts, or vice versa, would violate the principle of least privilege.

What are the benefits of role-based access control?

The biggest benefit of RBAC is stronger security. Because each employee can only access certain websites or applications, a disgruntled employee can do less damage to a company’s employees, customers and reputation.

Other benefits of RBAC include

  • Keeps employees focused on the tasks they were hired for
  • Prevents employees and teams from interfering too much in each other’s work
  • Minimizes mistakes because employees can only use what they were trained to use

How does role-based access control work in Thru?

Thru is a cloud managed file transfer (MFT) solution with three primary entities: organizations, endpoints and flows. In the past, flows were referred to as transports.

In Thru, each organization, including yours, has users associated with it. You can distinguish between users from your enterprise and partner users.

Enterprise users can either be members or administrators. They can see information about all the file transfers between your company and your partners.

Like enterprise users, partner users can be members or administrators. They can only see information about file transfers for their organization. You can also enable limited access so partner users can either only upload files or only view deliveries.

how to setup role-based access control for secure file transfer

Beyond RBAC: Thru’s Built-In Security

RBAC is great to have in an MFT solution, but you need more to completely secure file transfers.

At Thru, we manage all aspects of security for you — cloud infrastructure security, application security and data security — so your files are never intercepted or leaked. If you have a specific security question, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you soon.


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