Skip to main content

Why Share Access Keys are important in a cloud (Azure) solution

Azure resources and services can be accessed using different mechanism. From LIVE accounts and/or AD users to access tokens (Shared Access Signatures (SAS) and Shared Access Policies).
Token based authentication and authorization provides delegated access to any service or resource that is exposed by Azure. It helps us a lot when we need to provide access to external systems. We have a granular and fine control to all resources that can be accessed in this way. Each token can be generated on the fly, based on our needs. 
You don't want to share the 'full admin' rights to all external systems or components.
From security perspective, this is a very useful thing. We don't need to create users, manage password, registration form and maintain the user list. 

It is very tempting to use such a solution inside the system. Each internal component that access a Azure resources will be able to access it only based on a unique token that was generated only for that scope. 
For example, if two components needs to access a specific Service Bus Topic, than for each components a unique token will be generated that allow them to access that specific resource.

In this way, if the security of that component is compromised, we can invalidate that token, without affecting the rest of the application. Of course, managing all this tokens can be a nightmare, similar with the one that we have when we need to manage users from Active Directories (ADs).
To be able to manage a system only based on tokens, we need to be sure from the 1st moment that we have a powerful configuration and management system. Otherwise, configuration and deployment can become a nightmare. 

Why token based authentication and authorization is so powerful?
Nowadays, applications and system are based on smaller and smaller components. Each components can manage only one functionality. In an ecosystem where you have 50-100 components and subsystem you need a powerful and flexible solution. This solution needs to allow you to manage the security without blocking the entire system in a case of a security breach.

Why to not use the 'root' access keys?
For small systems we could use the root keys internally without any kind of issues. The problems appears if you need a more granular access each resources, based on the component that needs to access it. On top of this, if you are working in a bank or life science industry, than the rules are very strict. In such industries you need to have a granular access to each resource.
Also, if the security of a component is compromised and you are using the 'root' keys, than you will have a short period of time when the system will not be available. You will need some time to regenerate the unique keys (tokens) and distribute them to each components. Yes, it is true that for 'root' access keys you have a primary and a secondary one, but when a component is compromised that contains both keys, than you need to reset both of them.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to check in AngularJS if a service was register or not

There are cases when you need to check in a service or a controller was register in AngularJS.
For example a valid use case is when you have the same implementation running on multiple application. In this case, you may want to intercept the HTTP provider and add a custom step there. This step don’t needs to run on all the application, only in the one where the service exist and register.
A solution for this case would be to have a flag in the configuration that specify this. In the core you would have an IF that would check the value of this flag.
Another solution is to check if a specific service was register in AngularJS or not. If the service was register that you would execute your own logic.
To check if a service was register or not in AngularJS container you need to call the ‘has’ method of ‘inhector’. It will return TRUE if the service was register.
if ($injector.has('httpInterceptorService')) { $httpProvider.interceptors.push('httpInterceptorService&#…

ADO.NET provider with invariant name 'System.Data.SqlClient' could not be loaded

Today blog post will be started with the following error when running DB tests on the CI machine:
threw exception: System.InvalidOperationException: The Entity Framework provider type 'System.Data.Entity.SqlServer.SqlProviderServices, EntityFramework.SqlServer' registered in the application config file for the ADO.NET provider with invariant name 'System.Data.SqlClient' could not be loaded. Make sure that the assembly-qualified name is used and that the assembly is available to the running application. See http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=260882 for more information. at System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure.DependencyResolution.ProviderServicesFactory.GetInstance(String providerTypeName, String providerInvariantName) This error happened only on the Continuous Integration machine. On the devs machines, everything has fine. The classic problem – on my machine it’s working. The CI has the following configuration:

TeamCity.NET 4.51EF 6.0.2VS2013
It seems that there …

Run native .NET application in Docker (.NET Framework 4.6.2)

Scope
The main scope of this post is to see how we can run a legacy application written in .NET Framework in Docker.

Context
First of all, let’s define what is a legacy application in our context. By a legacy application we understand an application that runs .NET Framework 3.5 or higher in a production environment where we don’t have any more the people or documentation that would help us to understand what is happening behind the scene.
In this scenarios, you might want to migrate the current solution from a standard environment to Docker. There are many advantages for such a migration, like:

Continuous DeploymentTestingIsolationSecurity at container levelVersioning ControlEnvironment Standardization
Until now, we didn’t had the possibility to run a .NET application in Docker. With .NET Core, there was support for .NET Core in Docker, but migration from a full .NET framework to .NET Core can be costly and even impossible. Not only because of lack of features, but also because once you…