An Editor for Adaptive XML-Based Policy Management of IPsec

Raj Mohan
Indian Army

Timothy E. Levin, Cynthia E. Irvine
Naval Postgraduate School

TCP/IP provided the communications foundation for the Internet and the IPsec protocol now promises to enable the desired security strength. IPsec provides users with a mechanism to enforce a range of security services for both confidentiality and integrity, enabling them to securely pass information across networks. Dynamic parameterization of IPsec further enables security mechanisms to adjust the level of security service "on-the-fly" to respond to changing network and operational conditions. The IPsec implementation in OpenBSD works in conjunction with the Trust Management System, KeyNote, to achieve this. However the KeyNote engine requires that an IPsec policy be defined in the KeyNote specification syntax. Defining such a dynamic security policy in the KeyNote Policy Specification language is, however, complicated and could lead to incorrect specification of the desired policy, thus degrading the security of the network. We present an alternative XML representation of this language and a graphical user interface to create and manage a consistent and correct security policy. The interface has the simplicity of a simple menu-driven editor that not only provides KeyNote with a policy in the specified syntax but also integrates techniques for correctness verification and validation.

Keywords: Security Management Tools, IPsec, Policy Management

Read Paper Read Paper (in PDF)