OPA for HTTP Authorization

Open Policy Agent[1] is a promising, light weight and very generic policy engine to govern authorization is any type of domain. I found this comparion[2] very attractive in evaluating OPA for a project I am currently working on, where they demonstrate how OPA can cater same functionality defined in RBAC, RBAC with Seperation of Duty, ABAC and XACML.  
Here are the steps to a brief demonstration of OPA used for HTTP API authorization based on the sample [3], taking it another level up.
Running OPA Server First we need to download OPA from [4], based on the operating system we are running on.  For linux, curl -L -o opa Make it executable, chmod 755 ./opa Once done, we can start OPA policy engine as a server.
./opa run --server Define Data and Rules Next we need to load data and authorization rules to the server, so it can make decisions. OPA defines these in files in the format of .rego. Below is a sample …

SPIFFE in a Nutshell

SPIFFE in a Nutshell I have been studying SPIFEE(Secure Production Identity Framework For Everyone)[1] for for sometime and here I am drafting the flow as I have understand now, for the benefit of anyone else trying to understand the flow. 
Identity Registry - SPIRE server has a own identity registry which keeps two coarse-grained attributes that decides how the SPIFFE IDs will be issued to a workload. It keeps details as in the below table.
SPIFFE ID Node Selector Process Selector spiffe:// aws:ec2:1234 k8s:namespace:1234 spiffe:// token:7236427472 unix:uid:1002

A separate registration API is provided to manage these entries in the identity registry.

Node Selector - This defines a machine (physical or virtual) where a workload can be running on. The exact type of selector to be used is decided based on the infrastructure provider (AWS, GCP, bare metal) that the workload is running. Eg. AWS EC2 Instance ID, a serial number of a physical machine. Node attestor act base…

Authorization for a Multi-Cloud System

This is a project design I am currently working on to consume SPIFFE(Secure Production Identity Framework For Everyone) bootstrapped trust and identification to provide authorization in a dynamically scaling, heterogeneous system, inspired by Mr. Prabath Siriwardena from WSO2 and under the supervision of Prof. Gihan Dias from University of Moratuwa. An enterprise system running across multiple clouds, as in the hybrid cloud, is an obvious example that will be benefitted from this. The objective is to open doors for the SPIFFE standard based systems to co-exist with rest of the systems with minimal effort, without compromising on security aspects while having an authorization solution based on SPIFFE.
What is SPIFFE? In brief, it is a trust bootstrapping and identification framework, submitted as a standard and accepted by CNCF(Cloud Native Computing Foundation)[1]. As of now, this standard has two main implementations as SPIRE and Istio[2], a platform that supports service mesh archit…

How to Pick Best Stocks in Share Market

When thinking about investments, 3 things come to my mind, in the Sri Lankan context. Buy real state in a suburb or a town that is fast growingPut in a Fixed Deposit in a bankInvest in the stock market As the current FD rates are in the declining phase, it did not really come as a good option for me at the moment of writing this. Hence I thought to investigate a bit on investing in the share market as it doesn't really need a larger amount of money as to by property as in option 1.
Below is an insightful speech by the richest person in Sri Lanka, who is known as a business magnate, 'Mr. Dhammika Perera', explaining how he started with share market (while the overall speech highlights many important facts, he specifically talks about share market from 6minutes and 26 seconds. Speech is in Sinhalese).

One thing he said, captured me that do not enter a business if you do not know about it. He also emphasized that it's the knowledge we should seek, not money, which surpris…

Beyond PSD2 for a Better Open Banking Expereince

PSD2 is acting as a catalyst in the digital transformation happening in the Banking industry. While meeting the compliance requirements of PSD2, financial institutes are excited to make use of the new business models and opportunities opened by this laid foundation. More the customers and partners we can reach, more the business activities and more the revenue. Making the banking functions more accessible and reactive will be a key enabler to provide a seamless experience to these parties, including internal banking staff whom directly affects the business efficiency.
IAM plays a critical role in improving business accessibility without compromising the system boundaries. PSD2 mandates strong customer authentication(SCA), setting the bar high for user authenticity, while keeping few exemptions, not to bother payment services user(PSU) with SCA for every little transactions. While adhering to this policy will make an institute PSD2 complaint, if they can react fast to the fraud rates…

Identity Mediation for PSD2

Partners, mergers, legal entities, government entities, customers all need to work together in this era, while honoring the boundaries they should work within. This is with link to my previous post on challenges of future IAM requirements arising with increased interchangeability requirements between diversified parties.
Challenges of Future IAM (concerned with Mergers , Acquisitions, Startups) - of Identity and Access Management (IAM)- This need is much more emphasized with the new regulations such as PSD2 in EU region that is putting foundation for Open Banking. While these standards define guidance for implementation interfaces,  End user authentication and authorizationThird party authentication and authorizationIdentity mgt of internal staff,  has hidden needs of identity mediation. Federated authentication i…

Building a Fool Proof Security Strategy for PSD2 Compliance

Following are the slides I used in a webinar by WSO2 to look at the IAM and overall security aspects of a fully PSD2 Complaint Solution. While it lists down the basic requirements to be PSD2 complaint, it also explains the requirements that are not visible out in the surface, but very valuable in building a comprehensive and robust solution that will have a long term vision while being PSD2 complaint as per the urgent need.

Building a Fool Proof Security Strategy for PSD2 Compliance from WSO2 Inc.

The webinar recording is available at