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PBAC in MySQL content image


In today’s world, it’s crucial to protect sensitive information stored in databases to maintain security and integrity. MySQL, a popular open-source relational database management system, offers various mechanisms to safeguard data. One method to manage access is Policy-Based Access Control (PBAC), which offers flexible and detailed rights management. This article will discuss the basics of PBAC in MySQL. Also, it will explain its security features. Additionally, we will provide examples to demonstrate how PBAC works.

What is PBAC in MySQL?

PBAC is a security model called Policy-Based Access Control. It lets database admins set rules for who can access what based on user, role, and resource attributes. PBAC is a modern way to control access rights, more flexible than older methods like DAC or MAC.

MySQL implements PBAC through the use of SQL statements and built-in functions. It allows admins to make rules for who can access certain parts of a database like tables or views. They can set conditions or attributes for access.

Security Aspects of PBAC in MySQL

PBAC in MySQL enhances data security by providing fine-grained control over access rights. Here are some key security aspects of PBAC:

  1. Attribute-Based Access Control: PBAC determines who can access resources by giving or taking away permissions based on user, role, or resource traits. Administrators can make rules based on user roles, department, location, or other relevant attributes.
  2. Dynamic Policy Evaluation: The system checks PBAC policies in real-time, considering the user’s context and resource attributes. This ensures that access rights are always up to date and enforced based on the latest policy definitions.
  3. Least Privilege Principle: PBAC believes in giving users only the access they need to do their job, known as the principle of least privilege. This helps minimize the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches.
  4. Separation of Duties: PBAC allows sharing sensitive tasks among multiple users to avoid one person having too much power. This reduces the risk of insider threats and enhances overall security.

Examples of PBAC in MySQL

To better understand how PBAC works in MySQL, let’s consider a few examples. Assume we have a database named “company_db” with a table called “employees”. We want to implement PBAC policies to control access to this table based on user roles and department attributes.

In this example, we will make a rule that lets “manager” users choose and change information in the “employees” table.


CREATE POLICY manager_policy
ON company_db.employees
TO 'manager'


  • The CREATE POLICY statement defines a new policy named “manager_policy”.
  • The policy applies to the “employees” table in the “company_db” database.
  • The FOR clause specifies the SQL operations (SELECT and UPDATE) that the policy applies to.
  • The TO clause indicates that the policy is applicable to users with the role “manager”.
  • The USING clause sets the condition for the policy to TRUE, allowing managers to always have access.

In this example, we will make a policy. This policy will only let users see records from the “employees” table. They can only see the records if their department matches the record’s department.


CREATE POLICY department_policy
ON company_db.employees
USING (user_department = department);


  • We created a policy named “department_policy”.
  • It applies to the “employees” table in the “company_db” database.
  • The policy is applicable for SELECT operations.
  • The USING clause establishes a rule for matching the user’s department with the department of the record being accessed. This rule is set based on a variable called user_department.

To use these policies effectively, users need the right attributes like user roles and departments. Assign these attributes to them and keep them up to date in the database or external systems.

Exceptional Tools for Data Management

While MySQL provides built-in mechanisms for implementing PBAC, managing data security, auditing, masking, and compliance can be challenging. This is the point where DataSunrise steps in. DataSunrise offers a comprehensive suite of tools that simplify and enhance data management tasks.

With DataSunrise, you can:

  • Define and enforce granular security policies across multiple databases.
  • Monitor and audit database activities in real-time.
  • Mask sensitive data to protect privacy and comply with regulations.
  • Ensure compliance with various industry standards and regulations.

To learn how DataSunrise can improve data security and simplify data management, schedule an online demo with our team. Our experts will be happy to showcase the exceptional features and flexibility of DataSunrise’s tools.


PBAC in MySQL provides a powerful and flexible approach to managing access control based on policies and attributes. Database administrators can use PBAC to enforce security policies. This ensures that users can only access the data they need for their tasks. PBAC improves data security and helps organizations follow the principle of least privilege by using policies and dynamic evaluation.

Utilizing the inherent PBAC in MySQL is advantageous. However, working with a specialized solution like DataSunrise can enhance your data management even further. With its exceptional tools for security, auditing, masking, and compliance, DataSunrise empowers organizations to safeguard their sensitive data and maintain a robust security posture.


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