Towards improving the availability and performance of enterprise authorization systems

Qiang Wei
2009
Authorization protects application resources by allowing only authorized entities to access them. Existing authorization solutions are widely based on the request-response model, where a policy enforcement point intercepts application requests, obtains authorization decisions from a remote policy decision point, and enforces those decisions. This model enables sharing the decision point as an authorization service across multiple applications. But, with many requests and resources, using a
more » ... e shared decision point leads to increased latency and presents the risk of introducing a bottleneck and/or a single point of failure. This dissertation presents three approaches to addressing these problems. The first approach introduces and evaluates the mechanisms for authorization recycling in role-based access control systems. The algorithms that support these mechanisms allow a local secondary decision point to not only reuse previously-cached decisions but also infer new and correct decisions based on two simple rules, thereby masking possible failures of the central authorization service and reducing the network delays. Our evaluation results suggest that authorization recycling improves the availability and performance of distributed access control solutions. The second approach explores a cooperative authorization recycling system, where each secondary decision point shares its ability to make decisions with others through a discovery service. Our system does not require cooperating secondary decision points to trust each other. To maintain cache consistency at multiple secondary decision points, we propose alternative mechanisms for propagating update messages. Our evaluation results suggest that cooperation further improves the availability and performance of authorization infrastructures. The third approach examines the use of a publish-subscribe channel for delivering authorization requests and responses between policy decision points and enforcement points. By removing enforcement points' dependence on a [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0067777 fatcat:c6xvf54aojh3rnfznbvu4cmw54