What is ACCESS in computer networking?

Generally, the process of connecting to and using resources on a network. To provide a user with access to network resources, permissions must first be granted to the user. For example, if a user is granted the read permission (and only this permission) for a file on the NTFS file system, the user is said to have read-only access to the file.

Accessing network resources
Accessing network resources

An important part of a network administrator’s job is to configure appropriate levels of access control – that is, to manage access to network resources such as shared files, printers, and applications so that:

  • Users who need access to these resources have the appropriate level of access to them.
  • Users who do not need access to the resources – as well as distrusted users or hackers – are prevented from accessing them.

In Microsoft Windows, when a user or process attempts to access an object such as a file on an NTFS volume, a component of the Windows operating system called the Security Reference Monitor compares the access token attached to the process with the access control list (ACL) attached to the object.

Through this comparison, the Security Reference Monitor determines whether to grant access to the user or process.



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