Web Services Security Development and Architecture: Theoretical and Practical Issues

Web Services Security Development and Architecture: Theoretical and Practical Issues

Carlos A. Gutiérrez (Correos Telecom, Spain), Eduardo Fernández-Medina (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain) and Mario Piattini (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)
Indexed In: SCOPUS
Release Date: January, 2010|Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 376
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-950-2
ISBN13: 9781605669502|ISBN10: 1605669504|EISBN13: 9781605669519|ISBN13 Softcover: 9781616922375
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Description & Coverage

Despite solid advances, numerous challenges have yet to be resolved by Web services-enabled service-oriented architecture systems.

Web Services Security Development and Architecture: Theoretical and Practical Issues explores a global approach to methodical development in constructing safety architectures for online systems. Addressing security concerns during the full development lifecycle of Web services-based systems, this critical mass of the most sought after knowledge bridges the gap between practical and theoretical approaches in the field.


The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Engineering of service oriented systems
  • Forensics over Web services
  • Ontology-based authorization model
  • Policy-based security engineering
  • Secure service ratings in federated software systems
  • Security analysis of service oriented systems
  • Security in service oriented architectures
  • Standard of Web services security
  • Threat Modeling
  • Vulnerability effects in Web services
Reviews and Testimonials

It is a valuable resource for senior undergraduate or graduate courses in information security which have a special focus on SOA security. It might also be useful for technologists, managers, and developers who are interested in discovering more about this topic.

– Carlos A. Gutiérrez, Correos Telecom, Spain; Eduardo Fernández-Medina, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain; Mario Piattini, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
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Editor Biographies
Carlos A. Gutiérrez has more than 10 years of professional experience, currently being in the position of IT & e-Business project manager at Correos Telecom (Madrid, Spain). He is also assistant professor of Software Engineering at the University of Castilla - La Mancha (Ciudad Real, Spain). Gutiérrez obtained his doctoral degree in computer sciences at the University of Castilla - La Mancha and his MSc in Computer Sciences at the Autonomous University of Madrid. He is Expert in e-Business from the Technical University of Madrid, holds a postgraduate in Business Administration from the Madrid Chamber of Commerce and is PMP and ITIL foundations-certified. Gutiérrez participates at the ALARCOS Research Group of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Castilla – La Mancha. His main research interests are security engineering, software security architectures and security in distributed systems.
holds a PhD. and an MSc. in Computer Science from the University of Sevilla. He is Associate Professor at the Escuela Superior de Eduardo Fernández-Medina Informática of the University of Castilla-La Mancha at Ciudad Real (Spain), his research activity being in the field of security in information systems, and particularly in security in business processes, databases, datawarehouses, and web services. Fernández-Medina is co-editor of several books and chapter books on these subjects, and has several dozens of papers in national and international conferences (BPM, UML, ER, ESORICS, TRUSTBUS, etc.). He is author of several manuscripts in national and international journals (Decision Support Systems, Information Systems, ACM Sigmod Record, Information Software Technology, Computers & Security, Computer Standards and Interfaces, etc.). He is a member of the Alarcos research group of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, in Ciudad Real, Spain, and he leads the subgroup of security in the Alarcos Research Group.
Mario Piattini has an MSc and a PhD in computer science (Politechnical University of Madrid) and a MSc in Psychology (UNED). He is also a certified information system auditor and a certified information system manager by ISACA (Information System Audit and Control Association) as well as a full professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Ciudad Real, Spain). Furthermore, he is the author of several books and papers on databases, software engineering, and information systems. He is a co-editor of several international books including Advanced Databases Technology and Design (2000, Artech House, UK), Information and database quality (2002, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, USA), Component-based software quality: methods and techniques (2004, Springer, Germany), and Conceptual Software Metrics (Imperial College Press, UK, 2005). He leads the ALARCOS research group of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Ciudad Real, Spain). His research interests include advanced databases, database quality, software metrics, security and audit, and software maintenance.
Editorial Review Board
  • Duminda Wijesekera, George Mason University , USA
  • Sushil Jajodia, George Mason University , USA
  • Jan Jürjens, The Open University Milton Keynes, UK
  • Bhavani Thuraisingham, University of Texas, USA
  • Elena Ferrari, University of Insubria, Italy
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    The flow of today's market conditions is continuously changing. Competitive demands from traditional and non-traditional businesses, the rapid appearance and growth of new channels, the rising trend to outsource certain business processes, and the demand to comply with an ever-growing amount of new regulatory and legal requirements, are all creating an increasing demand for change. The effective and efficient management of organizational changes has traditionally been a real challenge. In order to withstand this and to show a profit in the future, organizations will need to develop their capability to sustain a constant state of change and evolution. The capability of an organization’s IT systems to handle this level of change will be a major factor in its success when it comes to adapting to increasingly more dynamic marketplace environments.

    Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is the main architectural style that IT departments are currently adopting to support the aforementioned business requirements owing to its capacity to enable the loose-coupling and dynamic integration of business services and applications, and their possible operations across trust limits.

    Just as organizations’ timely response to changes in the business environment is critical to their survival, so is the appropriate protection of their assets. In the field of IT systems, the main assets are information and IT services, which support the implementation of the business services and must, therefore, handle this information in a secure manner. Securing access to information is thus a critical factor for any business, and security is even more critical for IT deployments based on SOA principles.

    This book’s main objective is to present some of the key approaches, research lines, and challenges that exist in the field of security in SOA systems.

    It is a valuable resource for senior undergraduate or graduate courses in information security which have a special focus on SOA security. It might also be useful for technologists, managers, and developers who are interested in discovering more about this topic. Its authors are noted researchers in the field of IT security engineering, methodologies, Semantic Web, Web services and SOA.

    We shall first provide a general picture of security in Web services and then discuss the contents of the book.

    General Picture of Security in Web Services: challenges and objectives

    As was previously mentioned, the SOA paradigm enables organizations to actually fall into line with the current changing business environment requirements. There has consequently been an increasing adoption of SOA, both in industry and academia, and as a consequence of its main implementation technology: Web services technology.

    The security challenges presented by the Web services approach are highly complex and technologically advanced. On the one hand, the security challenges arising from this technology are:

  • Risks that appear as a result of the publication on the Internet of a complete and well-documented interface to back office data and company's business logic. One of the main security problems associated with the adoption of WS is derived from the Internet publication of business interfaces through HTTP or HTTPS ports. Protecting the semantic Web by ensuring that security is preserved at the semantic level.
  • Context-aware and context-based protection at the document level. Documents usually have information with different “degrees of sensitivity” which it is necessary to protect at different levels of security. Access control policies that govern access to the different security parts of the documents, and an architecture enforcing these policies, currently constitute an extremely important research area in the context of WS security.
  • Service trustworthiness. Dynamic discovery and the composition of services imply that a Web service consumer may not know whether the services, either individually or as a whole, will behave as expected. How to select trustworthy Web services consequently remains a challenge.
  • The unstructured and overwhelming number of WS security related literature and approaches make the developers’ task of attaining a complete knowledge of all the potential WS security issues, and the standard means to address them, extremely difficult.

    On the other hand, some of the main security objectives are:

  • Management of security policies in a large and distributed WS environment.
  • Application-level, end-to-end and just-one-context-security communications. Network topologies require that end-to-end security be maintained in all the intermediaries in the path of the message. When data is received and forwarded on by an intermediary beyond the transport layer, both the data integrity and any security information that flows with it may be lost.
  • Interoperability of the requirements and on-line security elements.
  • Ability to federate the full information concerning the subjects, thus permitting single sign-on environments and facilitating across-enterprise interoperability.
  • Maintaining sensitive users’ attributes and identity private in trust domains.

    Aims of this book

    This book aims to provide a theoretical and academic description of Web services security issues, and practical and useful guidelines, models and techniques for implementing secure Web services-based systems in organizations.

    The book covers the following topics:

  • Security goals, features and requirements specification of Web services-based systems: reviews of approaches toward modelling, analyzing, validating, verifying and documenting security requirements for Web services-based systems from both theoretical and practical perspectives will be presented.
  • Web services-based security architectures: theoretical and industrial approaches through which to define Web services-security architectures will be covered, and we shall also attempt to cover all potential types of threats, attacks and security requirements.
  • Web services-based security standards: an in-depth review of the major international standards related to Web services security will be carried out.

    Organization of this book

    This book is divided into four parts, each addressing a state-of-the-art topic in Web services security. These are as follows: Web Services Security Engineering, Web Services Security Architectures, Web Services Security Standards and Web Services Security Threats and Policies.

    Part I: Web Services Security Engineering

    Security engineering integrated into software development is one the major security topics developed during the last few years. Applying security engineering throughout the different steps devised by the different software development methodologies has been a major topic in both scientific and industrial literature.

    This part of the book deals with this subject in Chapters 1 and 2.

    The first chapter, “Identification of Vulnerability Effects in Web Services using Model-Based Security” by Höhn, Lowis, Accorsi and Jürjens, presents an approach that integrates model-based engineering and vulnerability analysis in order to cope with the security challenges of a service-oriented architecture.

    The second chapter, “Security Analysis of Service Oriented Systems– A Methodical Approach and Case Study” by Innerhofer-Oberperfler, Mitterer, Hafnera and Ruth Breu, presents the ProSecO process which is aimed at defining a security model process for security requirement elicitation, security risk evaluation and security control specification, thus providing security analysts with system security state information in both design and production-time.

    Part II: Web Services Security Architectures

    Web services security architectures should define the highest level organization of the IT security infrastructure necessary to meet the security requirements specified for the systems to be built by articulating the necessary security mechanisms in such a way that reusability, manageability and (internal/external) interoperability is guaranteed.

    Part II of the book shows different architectural approaches to different security requirements, and consists of five chapters.

    Chapter 3, “Ontology-Based Authorization Model for XML Data in Distributed Systems”, by Jain and Farkas, proposes a framework that preserves authorization permissions on XML data even when its structure changes during transactions. In order for this to occur, the authors define an authorization framework that permits the specification of authorization requirements from the semantic perspective rather than on the syntactic representation of that information.

    Chapter 4, “Secure Service Rating in Federated Software Systems based on SOA”, by Brehm and Marx, deals with the establishment of reputation in federated software systems in which trust evaluation management is de-centralized.

    Chapter 5, “Forensics over Web Services: The FWS” by Gunestas, Wijesekera and Singhal describes a security Web service whose objective is to store and preserve the evidences yielded from Web services interactions thereby enabling the capability to recreate the composed Web service invocations independent of those parties with a vested interest. This forensic security service would facilitate and base later forensic investigations on a reliable infrastructure that could be used in a court of law.

    Chapter 6, “Policy-based Security Engineering of Service Oriented Systems”, by Maña, Pujol and Muñoz, presents a policy-based security engineering process for service oriented applications based on security and dependability patterns. This chapter focuses on the verification of the compliance with security policies, based on the formal specification of security and dependability properties.

    Chapter 7, “Security Policies in Web services”, by Parachuri and Mallick, discusses the different approaches developed in the field of security policies in Web services systems giving a brief overview for each one.

    Part III: Web Services Security Standards

    Undoubtedly, the earliest and greatest effort on the subject of Web services security has been that of the definition of the security standards that accomplish all the security aspects that this type of systems must deal with. The main motivation behind this effort is the particular feature that Web services (and their security) should provide: interoperability. This quality aspect is being achieved thanks to the definition of an overwhelming number of standards generated from a diverse set of standardization bodies, consortiums, organizations, etc.

    This aspect is covered by Chapters 8 and 9. Chapter 8, entitled “Web services security: Standards and industrial practice” by Fernandez, Hashizume, Buckley and Larrondo-Petrie, provides an in-depth state-of-the-art review of the existing Web services security standards and their practical implementations.

    Chapter 9, entitled “Security in Service Oriented Architectures: Standards and Challenges” by Kayem, reviews current Web services security standards and how they cope with the dynamic nature of the scenarios enabled by Web services technologies.

    Part IV: Web Services Security Threats

    This last part of the book covers specific threats and policies inherent to Web services technologies. The main security threats and attacks are exemplified and the countermeasures to, fully or partially, mitigate them are shown.

    Chapter 10, “A Survey of Attacks in the Web Services World” by Jensen and Gruschka, reviews the main types of security attacks on Web services enabled infrastructures and explains the main countermeasures to allow their mitigation at an acceptable level of risk. Chapter 11, “Threat Modeling: Securing Web 2.0 based Rich Service Consumers” by Gupta, Mathur and Srivastava, provides an overview of security threats to Web 2.0 systems and explains security best practices to protect them.

    Carlos A. Gutiérrez, Correos Telecom, Spain
    Eduardo Fernández-Medina, University of Castilla – La Mancha, Spain
    Mario Piattini, University of Castilla – La Mancha, Spain