Access Control with Delegated Authorization Policy Evaluation for Data-Driven Microservice Workflows
AbstractMicroservices offer a compelling competitive advantage for building data flow systems as a choreography of self-contained data endpoints that each implement a specific data processing functionality. Such a ‘single responsibility principle’ design makes them well suited for constructing scalable and flexible data integration and real-time data flow applications. In this paper, we investigate microservice based data processing workflows from a security point of view, i.e., (1) how to constrain data processing workflows with respect to dynamic authorization policies granting or denying access to certain microservice results depending on the flow of the data; (2) how to let multiple microservices contribute to a collective data-driven authorization decision and (3) how to put adequate measures in place such that the data within each individual microservice is protected against illegitimate access from unauthorized users or other microservices. Due to this multifold objective, enforcing access control on the data endpoints to prevent information leakage or preserve one’s privacy becomes far more challenging, as authorization policies can have dependencies and decision outcomes cross-cutting data in multiple microservices. To address this challenge, we present and evaluate a workflow-oriented authorization framework that enforces authorization policies in a decentralized manner and where the delegated policy evaluation leverages feature toggles that are managed at runtime by software circuit breakers to secure the distributed data processing workflows. The benefit of our solution is that, on the one hand, authorization policies restrict access to the data endpoints of the microservices, and on the other hand, microservices can safely rely on other data endpoints to collectively evaluate cross-cutting access control decisions without having to rely on a shared storage backend holding all the necessary information for the policy evaluation. View Full-Text
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Preuveneers, D.; Joosen, W. Access Control with Delegated Authorization Policy Evaluation for Data-Driven Microservice Workflows. Future Internet 2017, 9, 58.
Preuveneers D, Joosen W. Access Control with Delegated Authorization Policy Evaluation for Data-Driven Microservice Workflows. Future Internet. 2017; 9(4):58.Chicago/Turabian Style
Preuveneers, Davy; Joosen, Wouter. 2017. "Access Control with Delegated Authorization Policy Evaluation for Data-Driven Microservice Workflows." Future Internet 9, no. 4: 58.
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