Adding, Deleting, and Modifying User Accounts in RACF

Adding, Deleting, and Modifying User Accounts in RACF

RACF is a security product that originated from IBM and mainly runs on z/OS (mainframe). It offers an easy solution for the access control, enabling the organizations to control the users’ rights and security policies, as well as the access to the resources. RACF is essential for user account management because it enables you to:

  • Authenticate Users: RACF confirms the identity of users who want to access your system hence only those with the authority can get through.
  • Authorize Access: RACF decides what options and rights the particular user is to be provided with, what actions he or she will be allowed to perform and which resources are to be available for him or her.
  • Audit User Activity: RACF also monitors the activities of the users and records them thus offering the security analyst a complete history of the activities.

With proper understanding of the user account management in RACF, you will be able to improve security of your organization and prevent unauthorized access to vital information and data which may be against the law or against security standard of the country.

Different Types of User Accounts in RACF

Thus, RACF supports the following types of user accounts for different purposes and with different access rights. It is therefore important to comprehend these account types so as to enhance the management of user accounts. The main types of user accounts in RACF are:

Regular User Accounts: These accounts are created for specific user who needs to work on the system and its resources.

Group User Accounts: These accounts are used to represent a set of users that require access to similar resources and have similar permissions.

System User Accounts: Such accounts are used for system level activities and are often administrative in nature and therefore privileged.

Privileged User Accounts: These accounts are assigned to the users who need some extra or administrative type of access to the system, for instance, system administrators or security officers.

This paper aims to present the distinctions between these account types and the best practices for their usage to ensure a proper and safe RACF functioning.

Adding User Accounts in RACF: Step-by-Step Guide

Therefore, the addition of user accounts in RACF is among the most crucial exercises that should be handled with proper care. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  • Gather User Information: All the information that you require from the user is name, department, designation, and any special authorization required by the user.
  • Determine the Appropriate User Account Type: Decide which type of account is more suitable for the user depending on his/her position and needs: standard, group, system, or privileged.
  • Create the User Account: The new user account must be created by the use of the ADDUSER command under the RACF, the parameters to be input include the user name, password and default group.
  • Assign Permissions and Access Rights: Determine the user needs, and the kind of access that the user needs, then use the RACF commands to set the access rights.
  • Verify the User Account: Check whether the user account has been created well, and the permissions as well as the rights granted are proper.

Moreover, it is crucial that you respect the security protocols of your company addressing the input of new users to RACF. This will assist in avoiding compromise of the system and therefore ensure that your system is very strong.

Deleting User Accounts in RACF: Strategies and Guidelines

The action of deleting user accounts in RACF is one that should only be done after a lot of careful thinking not to end up increasing the risks to security more than solving them. Here are some best practices and considerations to keep in mind:

  • Identify Inactive or Unused Accounts: The RACF user accounts need to be checked from time to time in a way that any unused accounts or those that have not been used for a long time should be deleted. These accounts should be considered for deletion most of the time, and should only be kept if there is a serious business reason not to.
  • Revoke Access Before Deletion: When it comes to the user accounts one should ensure that the user has no rights to any of the resources or systems. This means that only the persons who are allowed to access the information contained in the database will only be the ones who will be able to access it and there is no question about the security of the information.
  • Maintain an Audit Trail: These are writing the reason for the removal of each user account and ensuring that the process of account removal is logged and audited.
  • Consider Disabling Rather Than Deleting: Sometimes user account should be locked rather than deleted. It allows you to retain the account data and, if needed, use it at a later stage in the future.
  • Notify Affected Parties: Inform the user’s manager, the HR department, and any other interested parties in the organization regarding the account deletion, so there would not be any issues at the user’s workplace.

By applying the mentioned best practices, you will be able to delete user accounts in RACF with minimal risks of security threats or system breakdowns.

Modifying User Accounts in RACF: Advices and Recommendations for Customization

Changing user accounts in RACF is one of the routine activities that enable you to meet the dynamic user needs and organizational changes. Here are some tips and tricks to help you customize user accounts effectively:

  • Update User Information: To change a user’s personal details including the name, department or job title, the command that should be used is ALTUSER.
  • Adjust Access Permissions: It is necessary to review and, if necessary, change the access rights and availability of resources for each account based on the user’s current position and requirements.
  • Manage Password Policies: Password standards for the RACF environment can be set up to improve the general security of the passwords by specifying minimum password length, complexity, and expiration period.
  • Implement Multi-Factor Authentication: One should also enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) for user accounts to enhance security and protect account access from unauthorized individuals.
  • Leverage RACF Profiles: RACF profiles can be used to categorize the user accounts in a better way, this would help in applying the same security measures and access control measures to several accounts at once.

Following the above guidelines, it is possible to remain vigilant and always conduct the monitoring and updating of the user accounts in RACF to help in fostering a safe and effective IT environment that meets the evolving needs of the business.


The management of user accounts in RACF as a fundamental step that is critical to the security of an organization’s IT systems. This understanding of the different kinds of user accounts, adherence to proper protocols for creating, deleting, and modifying accounts, and the extent of RACF’s flexibility in customization make it possible to work with user accounts that are efficient, safe, and appropriate for the needs of the organization.

Try RACF now for a free trial and begin the process of understanding how to manage user accounts in your organization.

Written by Avatier Office