Access control systems are among the most critical security components. Faulty policies, misconfigurations, or flaws in software implementation can result in serious vulnerabilities. The specification of access control policies is often a challenging problem. Often a system’s privacy and security are compromised due to the misconfiguration of access control policies instead of the failure of cryptographic primitives or protocols. This problem becomes increasingly severe as software systems become more and more complex and are deployed to manage a large amount of sensitive information and resources organized into sophisticated structures. Identifying discrepancies between policy specifications and their properties (intended function) is crucial because correct implementation and enforcement of policies by applications is based on the premise that the policy specifications are correct. As a result, policy specifications must undergo rigorous verification and validation through systematic testing to ensure that the policy specifications truly encapsulate the desires of the policy authors.
For more information regarding the Access Control Policy Tool (ACPT), please visit the Computer Security Resource Center (CSRC).