Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui

Blog Feed Post

Guard Your Data Services Carefully

A common thing to do these days is to create data access web services directly on top of your databases to open up access to that data to other services and applications, essentially creating a data services layer for your SOA. I've even recommended such an approach before. While conceptually this may be a good idea, this also presents an increased security risk.

To be widely usable (or reusable), these data services tend to need to support a general querying interface. A lot of EII products will in fact let you create data services that will take XQuery to query the data source. This is in effect analogous to widely opening up a SQL interface into your database. There's a reason why direct connections to databases are not made widely available--either someone can issue malicious queries to the database or some inept developer can create some massive query that will bring the database to its knees.

Besides not widely opening up direct database connections, RDBMSes also have pretty fine-grained access control so that you can specify what users have what kind of access to specific tables and columns. The data services in your SOA will also need such fine-grained access control policies. In this case, they will be specifying access control on the specific operations and XML elements and attributes. The key is to be able to specify and enforce the policies down to the specific elements and attributes.

Ideally, this would be done through a tight integration between the service's policy enforcement point and the XQuery processor (assuming you're supporting XQuery on your data service) so that if your XQuery references attributes and elements you don't have access to, the query wouldn't even be processed. I don't know of any products that do this, but there are some other ways to do it.

Assuming the source of your data service is an RDBMS, you could set up an access control policy internal to the RDBMS that maps to the access control policy of the data service so that once the XQuery is translated to SQL and executed in the RDBMS you let the RDBMS's security mechanisms enforce the access control.

If maintaining two sets of mapped access control policies like this sounds like a pain in the ass, the other approach is to have a post processing step where you can strip out data from the XML using XSLT for the parts that the client does not have access to. With this approach, you need to make sure that you've designed the XML schema such that once you've stripped out those parts you still have a valid XML document. Also this approach may not be the most efficient--bringing back all the data as XML and then applying XSLT to filter stuff out. It would be much more efficient to do that in the RDBMS.

And then lastly, similar to how direct access to databases are not made widely available, you're going to have to be more restrictive about who you grant access to your data services. This will also prevent any Joe Schmoe developer in your enterprise from issuing some crazy XQuery that will bring down your data service and the database behind it. Such restrictiveness may be in direct conflict with one of your reasons for creating data services in the first place, but it's probably a necessary compromise.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Tieu Luu

Tieu Luu works at SuprTEK where he helps the U.S. government create and implement strategies and architectures that apply innovative technologies and approaches in IT. You can read more of Tieu’s writing at his blog at http://tieuluu.com/blog.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...