A policy engineering framework for federated access management
Federated systems are an emerging paradigm for information sharing and integration. Such systems require access management policies that not only protect user privacy and resource security but also allow scalable and seamless interoperation. Current solutions to distributed access control generally fail to simultaneously address both dimensions of the problem. This work describes the design of a policy-engineering framework, called X-FEDERATE, for specification and enforcement of access management policies in federated systems. It has been designed from the perspectives of both security management and software engineering to not only allow specification of requirements for federated access management but also allow development of standardized policy definitions and constructs that facilitate policy deployment and enforcement in a federated system. The framework comprises of an access control language specification that is an extension of the well-accepted Role Based Access Control (RBAC) standard. The language extends RBAC to incorporate various essential features for federated access management. The framework also includes the design of an administrative model targeted at access control policy administration in a decentralized environment. The framework has been implemented as a research prototype that illustrates the use of X-FEDERATE as an enabling technology for secure Web-based federation with applications in federated digital libraries and federated electronic healthcare management.^
Arif Ghafoor, Purdue University.