18th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference
December 9-13, 2002
Las Vegas, Nevada

A Context-Aware Security Architecture for Emerging Applications

Michael J. Covington, Prahlad Fogla, Zhiyuan Zhan and Mustaque Ahamad
Georgia Institute of Technology

We describe an approach to building security services for context-aware environments. Specifically, we focus on the design of security services that incorporate the use of security-relevant ``context'' to provide flexible access control and policy enforcement. We previously presented a generalized access control model that makes significant use of contextual information in policy definition. This document provides a concrete realization of such a model by presenting a system-level service architecture, as well as early implementation experience with the framework. Through our context-aware security services, our system architecture offers enhanced authentication services, more flexible access control and a security subsystem that can adapt itself based on current conditions in the environment. We discuss our architecture and implementation and show how it can be used to secure several sample applications.

Keywords: Role-Based Access Control, Context-Aware Computing, Security Architecture

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