An MDA Compliant Approach for Designing Secure Data Warehouses
Rodolfo Villarroel (Universidad Católica del Maule, Chile), Eduardo Fernández-Medina (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain), Juan Trujillo (Universidad de Alicante, Spain) and Mario Piattini (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)
Copyright: © 2009
This chapter presents an approach for designing secure Data Warehouses (DWs) that accomplish the conceptual modeling of secure DWs independently from the target platform where the DW has to be implemented, because our complete approach follows the Model Driven Architecture (MDA) and the Model Driven Security (MDS). In most of real world DW projects, the security aspects are issues that usually rely on the DBMS administrators. We argue that the design of these security aspects should be considered together with the conceptual modeling of DWs from the early stages of a DW project, and being able to attach user security information to the basic structures of a Multidimensional (MD) model. In this way, we would be able to generate this information in a semi or automatic way into a target platform and the final DW will better suits the user security requirements.
As this chapter treats different research topics, the related work is organized as follows.
Lately, several MD data models have been proposed. Some of them fall into the logical level (such as the well-known star-schema (Kimball & Ross, 2002). Others may be considered as formal models as they provide a formalism for the consideration of the main MD properties. A review of the most relevant logical and formal models can be found in Blaschka, Sapia, Höfling, and Dinter (1998) and Abelló, Samos, and Saltor (2001).
In this section, we will only make brief reference to the most relevant models that we consider “pure” conceptual MD models. These models provide a high level of abstraction for the main MD modeling properties at the conceptual level and are totally independent from implementation issues. One outstanding feature provided by these models is that they provide a set of graphical notations (such as the classical and well-known Extended Entity-Relationship model) which facilitates their use and reading. These are as follows: The Dimensional-Fact (DF) Model by Golfarelli, Maio, and Rizzi (1998), The Multidimensional/ER (M/ER) Model by Sapia, Blaschka, Höfling, and Dinter (1998), The starER Model by Tryfona, Busborg, and Christiansen (1999), the Yet Another Multidimensional Model (YAM2) by Abelló et al. (2001), and the model proposed by Trujillo, Palomar, Gómez, and Song (2001). Unfortunately, none of these approaches for MD modeling considers security as an important issue in their conceptual models, and consequently they do not solve the problem of modeling security from the early stages of a DW project.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Audit Process: Gathers data about activities in the system and analyzes it to discover security violations or diagnose their cause.
Data Warehouse (DW): A subject-oriented, integrated, time-variant, non-volatile collection of data in support of management’s decision-making process.
Security: The capability of a software product to protect data and information in order to avoid that unauthorized individuals or systems are able to read and modify them and not to deny access to authorized staff.
UML Profile: A set of improvements that extend an existing UML type of diagram for a different use. These improvements are specified by means of the extendibility mechanism provided by UML (stereotypes, properties and constraints) in order to be able to adapt it to a new method or model.
Access Control: Determines what one party will allow another one to do with respect to resources and objects mediated by the former. Access control models are typically composed of a set of authorization rules that regulate access to objects. Each authorization rule usually specifies the subject to which the rule applies, the object to which the authorization refers, the action to which the rule refers, and the sign describing whether the rule states a permission or a denial for the access.
Model Driven Security (MDS): A new approach for integrating security into the information systems design. This approach considers design models and security models, which are combined, leading to a new kind of models that is called security design model.
Model Driven Architecture (MDA): An Object Management Group (OMG) standard that addresses the complete life cycle of designing, deploying, integrating, and managing applications.
Multilevel Databases: Databases that contain objects with different levels of confidentiality and register subjects with different abilities.