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

Reusable Components for Developing Security-Aware Applications

Stefan Probst, Wolfgang Essmayr and Edgar Weippl
Software Competence Center Hagenberg

Today, security is considered to be an important aspect of multi-tier application development. Thoroughly researched concepts for access control exist and have been proven in mainframe computing. However, they are often not used in today’s development of multi-tier applications. One reason may be the lack of appropriate reusable components that support application developers that frequently have to re-invent the wheel when it comes to access controls. The goal of this paper is to promote awareness of security issues when developing applications and to illustrate a suitable approach for that. Our framework called GAMMA (Generic Authorization Mechanisms for Multi-Tier Applications) offers several authentication, access control, and auditing mechanisms. Access control models can be combined or used simultaneously in order to provide application-specific and highly customizable mechanisms. Moreover, due to its component-based structure, new security models and additional approaches for authentication or auditing can easily be added.

Keywords: Security, Access Controls, Software Framework

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