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Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Beyond Separation of Duty: An Algebra for Specifying High-level Security Policies

Qihua Wang - Purdue University

Oct 25, 2006

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A high-level security policy states an overall requirement for a sensitive task. One example of a high-level security policy is a separation of duty policy, which requires a sensitive task to be performed by a team of at least k users. It states a high-level requirement about the task without the need to refer to individual steps in the task. While extremely important and widely used, separation of duty policies state only quantity requirements and do not capture qualification requirements on users involved in the task. This talk will introduce a novel algebra that enables the specification of high-level policies that combine qualification requirements with quantity requirements motivated by separation of duty considerations. A high-level policy associates a task with a term in the algebra and requires that all sets of users that perform the task satisfy the term. The syntax and semantics of the algebra, as well as the algebraic properties of its operators will be presented. The talk will also discuss results for computational problems related to the
algebra and compare the algebra with regular expressions.

About the Speaker

QihuaWang is a PhD student in Department of Computer Science, Purdue University. He received his Bachelor’s degree in computer science from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), in 2004. His research interest is access control policy management.

Unless otherwise noted, the security seminar is held on Wednesdays at 4:30P.M. STEW G52 (Suite 050B), West Lafayette Campus. More information...


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