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Blockchain based auditable access control for distributed business processes

Akhtar, Ahmed, Shafiq, Basit, Vaidya, Jaideep, Afzal, Ayesha, Shamail, Shafay and Rana, Omer ORCID: 2021. Blockchain based auditable access control for distributed business processes. Presented at: 40th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS 2020), Singapore, Singapore, 29 November - 01 December 2020. 2020 IEEE 40th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS). IEEE, pp. 12-22. 10.1109/ICDCS47774.2020.00015

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The use of blockchain technology has been proposed to provide auditable access control for individual resources. However, when all resources are owned by a single organization, such expensive solutions may not be needed. In this work we focus on distributed applications such as business processes and distributed workflows. These applications are often composed of multiple resources/services that are subject to the security and access control policies of different organizational domains. Here, blockchains can provide an attractive decentralized solution to provide auditability. However, the underlying access control policies may be overlapping in terms of the component conditions/rules, and simply using existing solutions would result in repeated evaluation of user’s authorization separately for each resource, leading to significant overhead in terms of cost and computation time over the blockchain. To address this challenge, we propose an approach that formulates a constraint optimization problem to generate an optimal composite access control policy. This policy is in compliance with all the local access control policies and minimizes the policy evaluation cost over the blockchain. The developed smart contract(s) can then be deployed to the blockchain, and used for access control enforcement. We also discuss how the access control enforcement can be audited using a game-theoretic approach to minimize cost. We have implemented the initial prototype of our approach using Ethereum as the underlying blockchain and experimentally validated the effectiveness and efficiency of our approach.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Computer Science & Informatics
Additional Information: "© 2021 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works."
Publisher: IEEE
ISBN: 9781728170022
ISSN: 2575-8411
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 March 2021
Date of Acceptance: 31 May 2020
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 10:29

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