Context-aware Policy Enforcement for PaaS-enabled Access Control


It is a generally accepted fact that, for reasons having to do with security and privacy, businesses and individual users are hesitant to adopt the paradigm of Cloud Computing and, as a result, miss out on the opportunity to benefit from cost reductions as well as increased flexibility or business agility brought about by this paradigm. These worries are primarily caused by the significantly increased attack surfaces that are the direct consequence of the heterogeneous nature of cloud services as well as the inherent dynamic nature of cloud environments. Contextual parameters are what distinguish data access requests made through the cloud, so in order to alleviate these concerns, effective and flexible access control approaches are required to take into consideration these parameters. PaaSword is a novel holistic access control framework that extends the popular XACML standard with semantic reasoning capabilities. These capabilities support the federation of effective context-aware access control policies and their infusion into cloud applications with minimal manual intervention and effort. This work presents PaaSword. In order to determine how well our solution performs, a comparative evaluation test against a well-known reference implementation of the XACML standard, specifically the open source WSO2 Balana engine, has been presented and will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

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