Mathematical Modelling of Delegation in Role Based Access Control

University essay from KTH/Skolan för informations- och kommunikationsteknik (ICT)

Abstract: One of the most widespread access control model that assigns permissions to a user is Role Based Access Control (RBAC). The basic idea is to limit the access to resources by using the indirection of roles, which are associated both to users and permissions. There has been research conducted with respect to clarifying RBAC and its components, as well as in creating mathematical models describing different aspects of its administrative issues in RBAC. But, till date no work has been done in terms of formalization (Mathematical Modelling) of delegation and revocation of roles in RBAC. Which provides most important extensions of the policy and provides flexibility in the user to user delegation of roles, especially in the environment where roles are organized in a hierarchy. The process allows a user with a role that is higher in the hierarchy to assign a part of the role to someone who is lower in the hierarchy or at the same level. This can be done for a limited time or permanently. The reverse process is called revocation and it consists of ending different types of delegations. This thesis has found the answer to the following research question i.e. how different mathematical Modelling for delegation and revocation of Roles in RBAC can be performed? This thesis presents different types of delegation and techniques for revocation with a comprehensive mathematical Modelling of both processes. As this can be clearly visible that this thesis objective is to derive a mathematical models for delegation and revocation of roles in RBAC policy, for deriving mathematical models formal method is applied. The mathematical models developed include grant and transfer delegation with and without role hierarchy, time based revocation, user based revocation and cascading revocation. The case scenario of an organization using RBAC is used to illustrate and clarify the mathematical models. The mathematical models presented here can serve as a starting point for developing, implementations of delegation and revocation on top of existing authorization modules based on the RBAC model.

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