Employing Secondary and Approximate Authorizations to Improve Access Control Systems

Konstantin Beznosov

18 October 2006

Abstract: The request-response paradigm used for developing access control solutions commonly leads to point-to-point (PTP) architectures, with security enforcement logic obtaining decisions from authorization servers through remote procedure calls. In massive-scale and complex enterprises, PTP authorization architectures result in fragile and inefficient solutions. They also fail to exploit virtually free CPU resources and network bandwidth. This talk introduces a three-fold approach to improving availability and performance of authorization solutions: employing publish-subscribe technologies, *actively* recycling authorizations, and flooding policy enforcement points with speculatively precomputed *junk* authorizations. After introducing the approach, the talk describes in detail the active authorization recycling part. Specifically, it defines the secondary and approximate authorization model (SAAM). In SAAM, approximate authorization responses are inferred from cached primary responses, and therefore provide an alternative source of access control decisions in the event that the authorization server is unavailable or slow. The ability to compute approximate authorizations is expected to improve the reliability and performance of access control sub-systems and ultimately the application systems themselves. The operation of a system that employs SAAM depends on the type of access control policy it implements. We propose and analyze algorithms for computing secondary authorizations in the case of policies based on the Bell-LaPadula model. In this context, we define a dominance graph, and describe its construction and usage for generating secondary responses to authorization requests. We discuss preliminary results of evaluating stand-alone and distributed versions of SAAM-BLP algorithms.

Keyword(s): SAAM ; JAMES ; access control ; Bell-LaPadulla ; BLP ; CSAR ; access control models and languages

Published in: Konstantin Beznosov "Employing Secondary and Approximate Authorizations to Improve Access Control Systems," Halifax, NS, Canada, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University, 12 October, 2006, pp.43.:

The record appears in these collections:
Access Control Models and Languages

 Record created 2009-04-27, last modified 2013-05-22

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