Establishing Control with Central Policy Management of Access Controls – Part 2

Gal Helemski
June 24, 2024

This blog is part of a 4-part blog series on the values of centralizing authorization policies

In the world of enterprise security, control is not just about enforcement – it's about empowering organizations to create, manage, and update access control policies with precision and agility. Centralized policy management significantly enhances control by providing a unified framework to handle policies across diverse digital environments. This blog delves into the importance of having control via centralized policy management and how it benefits security and IAM stakeholders.


The Multi-pronged Approach Towards Full Control 

Streamlined Policy Management 

Centralized policy management simplifies the creation, modification, and enforcement of authorization policies. By consolidating policies into a single framework, organizations can ensure consistency and eliminate the risk of conflicting rules across different systems.

For example, a global corporation with multiple regional offices can use centralized policy management to enforce a corporate security policy worldwide uniformly, while allowing for local adjustments as needed.


Distributed Enforcement 

Control means that policies can be distributed and enforced at various points within the digital infrastructure. This decentralized enforcement ensures that security measures are applied consistently, regardless of where data or applications reside whether it’s at the application, API, service mesh, or data layer level.

For example, a financial institution can enforce stringent access controls across its data stores and APIs where sensitve data is accessed, ensuring consistent and more robust security.



The concept of "policy as code" enables organizations to define security policies in a format that is both human-readable and machine-executable. This approach enhances precision and reduces the likelihood of errors during policy implementation. More importantly, it brings business owners into the fold by making policy management more accessible to non-technical users who may have a stake in how their users access their applications and or data asets.

For example, an e-commerce company can define its security policies in code, allowing for automated enforcement and easy integration with DevOps practices for greater in agility with it’s application update releases.


How Centralized Policy Management Enhances Control

1. Ease of Management 

Centralized policy management systems provide intuitive interfaces for creating and managing policies. These systems often include features such as templates and pre-defined policy sets that simplify policy creation.

For example, a healthcare provider can quickly implement HIPAA-compliant policies using predefined templates that restrict access to personal medical health data for people who aren’t their primary care physicans.


2. Testing and Validation 

Before deploying new policies, centralized systems allow for thorough testing and validation in a controlled environment. This ensures that policies work as intended and do not disrupt existing operations.

For example, an insurance company can test new data access policies in a sandbox environment, validating their effectiveness before rolling them out across the organization.


3. Business & Security Agility 

Centralized policy management enables real-time adjustments to security policies. This agility is crucial for responding to emerging threats and changing business requirements without compromising security – which is common for global enterprises with ever evolving regulations and faces threats at the global scale.

For example, a manufacturing company facing a new identity-centric threat can update its security policies in real-time to mitigate the risk of unauthorized access immediately.


4. Lifecycle Management 

Centralized systems provide comprehensive auditing and reporting capabilities. This transparency ensures that all parts of the workflow such as policy changes are logged, and the effectiveness of policies can be regularly reviewed.

For example, a government agency can generate detailed reports on its policy enforcement, supporting its compliance with regulatory requirements and internal audits.


5. Policy Translation 

Centralized policy management systems provides the ability to translate native access control policies from different platforms into a unified approach. This capability simplifies the management of diverse systems and ensures that security policies are consistently applied across the entire organization.

For example, a financial institution can translate access control policies from various systems such as Snowflake and PowerBI while managing it centrally within an authorization platform. This translation enables unified control and oversight, ensuring consistent enforcement of security policies across all solutions.


Key Takeaway

Control is a fundamental aspect of effective security management, and centralized policy management systems provide the tools necessary to achieve it. By simplifying policy management, enabling distributed enforcement, and facilitating real-time adjustments, centralized systems empower organizations to maintain a robust security posture. As digital environments continue to evolve, the ability to control security policies centrally will remain crucial for protecting organizational assets and ensuring compliance.

To learn more about how PlainID can help your enterprise establish full control over authorization policies, reach out for a demo.


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