Modeling and Inferring on Role-Based Access Control Policies Using Data Dependencies

  • Romuald Thion
  • Stéphane Coulondre
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4080)

Abstract

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) models are becoming a de facto standard, greatly simplifying management and administration tasks. Organizational constraints were introduced (e.g.: mutually exclusive roles, cardinality, prerequisite roles) to reflect peculiarities of organizations. Thus, the number of rules is increasing and policies are becoming more and more complex: understanding and analyzing large policies in which several security officers are involved can be a tough job. There is a serious need for administration tools allowing analysis and inference on access control policies. Such tools should help security officers to avoid defining conflicting constraints and inconsistent policies.

This paper shows that theoretical tools from relational databases are suitable for expressing and inferring on RBAC policies and their related constraints. We focused on using Constrained Tuple-Generating Dependencies (CTGDs), a class of dependencies which includes traditional other ones. We show that their great expressive power is suitable for all practical relevant aspects of RBAC. Moreover, proof procedures have been developed for CTGDs: they permit to reason on policies. For example, to check their consistency, to verify a new rule is not already implied or to check satisfaction of security properties. A prototype of RBAC policies management tool has been implemented, using CTGDs dedicated proof procedures as the underlying inference engine.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Ramaswamy, C., Sandhu, R.: Role-based access control features in commercial database management systems. In: Proc. 21st NIST-NCSC National Information Systems Security Conference, pp. 503–511 (1998)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sandhu, R.S., Coyne, E.J., Feinstein, H.L., Youman, C.E.: Role-based access control models. IEEE Computer 29(2), 38–47 (1996)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    CERT/CC, U.S.S., magazine, C.: E-crimewatch survey. Technical report (2005), http://www.cert.org/archive/pdf/ecrimesummary05.pdf
  4. 4.
    Bertino, E., Catania, B., Ferrari, E., Perlasca, P.: A logical framework for reasoning about access control models. ACM Trans. Inf. Syst. Secur. 6(1), 71–127 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bonatti, P.A., Samarati, P.: Logics for authorization and security. In: Chomicki, J., van der Meyden, R., Saake, G. (eds.) Logics for Emerging Applications of Databases, pp. 277–323. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Maher, M.J., Srivastava, D.: Chasing constrained tuple-generating dependencies. In: PODS, pp. 128–138. ACM Press, New York (1996)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Abiteboul, S., Hull, R., Vianu, V.: Foundations of Databases. Addison-Wesley, Reading (1995)MATHGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Coulondre, S.: A top-down proof procedure for generalized data dependencies. Acta Inf. 39(1), 1–29 (2003)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Beeri, C., Vardi, M.Y.: A proof procedure for data dependencies. J. ACM 31(4), 718–741 (1984)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Barker, S., Stuckey, P.J.: Flexible access control policy specification with constraint logic programming. ACM Trans. Inf. Syst. Secur. 6(4), 501–546 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gavrila, S.I., Barkley, J.F.: Formal specification for role based access control user/role and role/role relationship management. In: ACM Workshop on Role-Based Access Control, pp. 81–90 (1998)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wang, J., Topor, R., Maher, M.J.: Reasoning with Disjunctive Constrained Tuple-Generating Dependencies. In: Mayr, H.C., Lazanský, J., Quirchmayr, G., Vogel, P. (eds.) DEXA 2001. LNCS, vol. 2113, pp. 963–973. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jajodia, S., Samarati, P., Sapino, M.L., Subrahmanian, V.S.: Flexible support for multiple access control policies. ACM Trans. Database Syst. 26(2), 214–260 (2001)MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Halpern, J.Y., Weissman, V.: Using first-order logic to reason about policies. In: CSFW, pp. 187–201. IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos (2003)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sandhu, R.S., Munawer, Q.: The arbac99 model for administration of roles. In: ACSAC, pp. 229–240. IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos (1999)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bertino, E., Bonatti, P.A., Ferrari, E.: Trbac: A temporal role-based access control model. ACM Trans. Inf. Syst. Secur. 4(3), 191–233 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Grumbach, S., Rigaux, P., Segoufin, L.: Spatio-temporal data handling with constraints. GeoInformatica 5(1), 95–115 (2001)MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Romuald Thion
    • 1
  • Stéphane Coulondre
    • 1
  1. 1.LIRIS: Lyon Research Center for Images and Intelligent Information SystemsVilleurbanneFrance

Personalised recommendations