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A System for Centralized ABAC Policy Administration and Local ABAC Policy Decision and Enforcement in Host Systems using Access Control Lists



David F. Ferraiolo, Serban I. Gavrila, Gopi Katwala


We describe a method that centrally manages Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) policies and locally computes and enforces decisions regarding those policies for protection of resource repositories in host systems using their native Access Control List (ACL) mechanisms. The method is founded on the expression of an ABAC policy that conform to the access control rules of an enterprise and leverages the ABAC policy expression by introducing representations of local host repositories into the ABAC policy expression as objects or object attributes. Repositories may be comprised of individual files, directories, or other resources that require protection. The method further maintains a correspondence between the ABAC representations and repositories in local host systems. The method also leverages an ability to conduct policy analytics in such a way as to formulate ACLs for those representations in accordance with the ABAC policy and create ACLs on repositories using the ACLs of their corresponding representations. As the ABAC policy configuration changes, the method updates the ACLs on affected representations and automatically updates corresponding ACLs on local repositories. Operationally, users attempt to access resources in local host systems, and the ABAC policy is enforced in those systems in terms of their native ACLs.
Proceedings Title
ABAC 2018 : 3rd Workshop on Attribute Based Access Control
Conference Dates
March 21, 2018
Conference Location
Tempe, AZ
Conference Title
8th ACM Conference on Data and Applications Security and Privacy (CODASPY 2018)


Attribute-Based Access Control, ABAC, Access Control List, ACL, policy, repositories
Created March 21, 2018, Updated November 10, 2018