Extending and improving the usability of an application to investigate the performance of ICT access control systems

Shahzada Ali Saleem

    Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis

    Abstract

    Information Technology (IT) platforms enable digital artifacts such as spreadsheets and videos to be shared, but sensitive data such as trade secrets and personal information needs to be protected from unauthorised access. Security rules are checked whenever access is requested. Security checking can quickly become a bottleneck and make the IT platform much more difficult to use, so the Scalability Testbed for Access Control Systems (STACS) testbed has been built in TSSG (Butler et al., 2010) to make it easier to study the conditions where access control performance becomes unacceptable. To use the testbed, it is necessary to configure it to match the scenarios being studied. Butler and Jennings (2015) introduced the ATLAS framework that incorporates this testbed and adds extra components a) to configure it to undertake more complex performance experiments (notably, by generating suites of policies and requests with differing characteristics) and b) to analyse the results of these experiments. This dissertation describes work relating to the extension of the ATLAS system 1) to provide an easy-to-use GUI for specifying parameters relating to the generation of XACML policy and request sets and 2) for the support of XACML 3.0 as well as XACML 2.0. The key contributions are: 1. A workflow and GUI that breaks down the task of configuring the policy and request generator of ATLAS into easy steps using an attractive editing application with a focus on information design and usability; 2. Adding the option to export sets of policies and requests in the EXtensible Access Control Markup Language Version 3.0 (XACML3.0) standard, building upon the existing ATLAS infrastructure for exporting EXtensible Access Control Markup Language Version 2.0 (XACML2.0) policies and requests; 3. Adding an adapter to integrate a new implementation of PDP for evaluating requests based on XACML3.0 standard called BalanaPDP in STACS.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Jennings, Brendan, Supervisor
    • Butler, Bernard, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2016

    Keywords

    • ICT access control systems

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