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Tuesday, 14 September 2004, 8:51 AM EST

Authorizing access is a vital part of most any system's security. But, for strong access control, simply asking "Where are you going?" is not enough. Asking "Where did you come from?" is also important. This question is standard practice at airports (one hopes), but usually not in software security.

The authorization or access-control component of the system security infrastructure protects system resources against inappropriate or undesired user access. A security architecture defines what it means by a "resource." A security architecture also decides what kinds of user entities are granted access. For example, in "role-based authorization," users are assigned roles or groups, and then the role or group is given access to a resource.

By Efraim Berkovich at Java World.

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