Access Control Policies and Languages in Open Environments

  • S. De Capitani di Vimercati
  • S. Foresti
  • S. Jajodia
  • P. Samarati
Part of the Advances in Information Security book series (ADIS, volume 33)

Abstract

Access control is the process of mediating every request to resources and data maintained by a system and determining whether the request should be granted or denied. Access control plays an important role in overall system security. The development of an access control system requires the definition of the regulations (policies) according to which access is to be controlled and their implementation as functions executable by a computer system. The access control policies are usually formalized through a security model, stated through an appropriate specification language, and then enforced by the access control mechanism enforcing the access control service. The separation between policies and mechanisms introduces an independence between protection requirements to be enforced on the one side, and mechanisms enforcing them on the other. It is then possible to: i) discuss protection requirements independently of their implementation, ii) compare different access control policies as well as different mechanisms that enforce the same policy, and iii) design mechanisms able to enforce multiple policies. This latter aspect is particularly important: if a mechanism is tied to a specific policy, a change in the policy would require changing the whole access control system; mechanisms able to enforce multiple policies avoid this drawback. The formalization phase between the policy definition and its implementation as a mechanism allows the definition of a formal model representing the policy and its working, making it possible to define and prove security properties that systems enforcing the model will enjoy [30].

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. De Capitani di Vimercati
    • 1
  • S. Foresti
    • 1
  • S. Jajodia
    • 2
  • P. Samarati
    • 1
  1. 1.Università degli Studi di MilanoMilano
  2. 2.Center of Secure Information SystemsGeorge Mason UniversityUSA

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