Verification of Security Policy Enforcement in Enterprise Systems

Puneet Gupta and Scott D. Stoller

Many security requirements for enterprise systems can be expressed in a natural way as high-level access control policies. A high-level policy may refer to abstract {\it information resources}, independent of where the information is stored; it controls both direct and indirect accesses to the information; it may refer to the context of a request, i.e., the request's path through the system; and its enforcement point and enforcement mechanism may be unspecified. Enforcement of a high-level policy may depend on the system architecture and the configurations of a variety of security mechanisms, such as firewalls, host login permissions, file permissions, DBMS access control, and application-specific security mechanisms. This paper presents a framework in which all of these can be conveniently and formally expressed, a method to verify that a high-level policy is enforced, and an algorithm to determine a trusted computing base for each resource.