Cybersecurity has become a great concern as threats of service interruption, unauthorized access, stealing and altering of information, and spreading of viruses have become more prevalent and serious.

Application layer access control of applications is a critical component in the overall security solution that also includes encryption, firewalls, virtual private networks, antivirus, and intrusion detection. An access control solution, based on an open-source access manager augmented with custom software components, was developed to provide protection to both Web-based and Java-based client and server applications.

The DISA Security Service (DISA-SS) provides common access control capabilities for AMMOS software applications through a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) and network-accessible security services for authentication, single sign-on, authorization checking, and authorization policy management.

The OpenAM access management technology designed for Web applications can be extended to meet the needs of Java thick clients and standalone servers that are commonly used in the JPL AMMOS environment. The DISA-SS reusable components have greatly reduced the effort for each AMMOS subsystem to develop its own access control strategy.

The novelty of this work is that it leverages an open-source access management product that was designed for Webbased applications to provide access control for Java thick clients and Java standalone servers. Thick clients and standalone servers are still commonly used in businesses and government, especially for applications that require rich graphical user interfaces and high-performance visualization that cannot be met by thin clients running on Web browsers.

This work was done by Kam S. Tso and Michael J. Pajevski of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The software used in this innovation is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Dan Broderick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. NPO-48435

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the August, 2013 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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