Access control systems are used to limit access to data and set restrictions to protect private data. Among these access controls, MAC and DAC are commonly used. MAC stands for Mandatory Access Control, and Discretionary Access Control is abbreviated as DAC.
- MAC (Mandatory Access Control) controls access based on predefined rules, while DAC (Discretionary Access Control) allows users to control access to their resources.
- MAC is used for high-security environments, while DAC is commonly used in personal computers and small networks.
- MAC provides more secure access control than DAC.
Mac vs. Dac
MAC is a security model that uses a set of rules to restrict access to resources based on the user’s identity and the data’s sensitivity. This model provides a high level of security. DAC is a security model that allows the owner of a resource to determine who can access it. In this model, the owner of the resource has complete control over who can access it.
MAC is the mandatory access control and provides more data security and protection since the power is given to the admin, and the users cannot edit it.
DAC is user-friendly as it enables easy and quick access to data and files of other users. It is pretty flexible as all users are privileged to access and modify the data and restrict policies.
|Parameters of Comparison
|It restricts the users based on their power and level in the hierarchy.
|It provides access to users based on their identity and not on levels.
|MAC expands as mandatory access control.
|DAC means discretionary access control.
|MAC is not labor-intensive.
|DAC is extra labor-intensive comparatively.
|MAC is very strict with rules and restrictions and is not flexible.
|DAC is not that secure due to its high flexibility.
|Only admins can modify, remove or provide access to users.
|DAC allows other users to provide and modify restrictions and access other users.
What is MAC?
The MAC’s operating system provides users access based on their data and identities. To gain access, the user must submit their information. It is the most secure mode of access control.
The users are not allowed to edit and access other users’ data. It is confidential and secure as the projects and tasks are done with utmost privacy and secrecy.
The security system identifies the user and his position so that it grants only the required and appropriate access to data.
MAC depends on manual scaling, which is a demerit as it is laborious for the administrator to handle and manage the data.
What is DAC?
This is an identity-based model of access control. The admin or the owner has the privilege of assigning access to individuals based on their position in the organization or creating groups with users having the same positions and granting them access to different levels of data.
However, the privilege given to all the users to access and edit other users’ data is also a disadvantage as it becomes chaotic, and there is no specific management or person who can take complete charge of all the errors.
Due to these factors, it is not ideal to be employed in organizations that deal with sensitive and personal data. It is the best option for startups and IT organizations with a small number of employees as it is best suited for their purposes and levels of security.
It has excellent flexibility, scalability, and simplicity. It is not complex to handle, install and manage. It is simple and easy to learn. It is easy to manage, and the installation cost is also less.
Main Differences Between Mac and Dac
- MAC follows and implies strict rules, while DAC is comparatively relaxed regarding restrictions.
- MAC allows only the admin to change power and access levels, while DAC provides every user to modify the power and set access levels for their fellow users.
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Sandeep Bhandari holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computers from Thapar University (2006). He has 20 years of experience in the technology field. He has a keen interest in various technical fields, including database systems, computer networks, and programming. You can read more about him on his bio page.