A policy engine is a software component that allows an organization to create, monitor and enforce rules about how network resources and the organization's data can be accessed.
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The policy engine relies on a combination of network analytics and programmed rules to grant role-based permissions based on any number of factors, such as hierarchy of need. For example, a policy engine might identify a specific employee connecting to the network and give that person access to resources for their user group -- but nothing else. The policy engine might also be used to ensure that the employee's computing device is free of malware before it is allowed on the network.