Dynamic authentication for cross-realm SOA-based business processes
journal contributionposted on 31.07.2020, 09:42 by Jie Xu, Dacheng Zhang, Lu Liu, Xianxian Li
Modern distributed applications are embedding an increasing degree of dynamism, from dynamic supply-chain management, enterprise federations, and virtual collaborations to dynamic resource acquisitions and service interactions across organizations. Such dynamism leads to new challenges in security and dependability. Collaborating services in a system with a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) may belong to different security realms but often need to be engaged dynamically at runtime. If their security realms do not have a direct cross-realm authentication relationship, it is technically difficult to enable any secure collaboration between the services. A potential solution to this would be to locate intermediate realms at runtime, which serve as an authentication path between the two separate realms. However, the process of generating an authentication path for two distributed services can be highly complicated. It could involve a large number of extra operations for credential conversion and require a long chain of invocations to intermediate services. In this paper, we address this problem by designing and implementing a new cross-realm authentication protocol for dynamic service interactions, based on the notion of service-oriented multiparty business sessions. Our protocol requires neither credential conversion nor establishment of any authentication path between the participating services in a business session. The correctness of the protocol is formally analyzed and proven, and an empirical study is performed using two production-quality Grid systems, Globus 4 and CROWN. The experimental results indicate that the proposed protocol and its implementation have a sound level of scalability and impose only a limited degree of performance overhead, which is for example comparable with those security-related overheads in Globus 4.