Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Mano Marks, Mehdi Daoudi, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Agile Computing

Cloud Security: Blog Feed Post

Kaazing WebSocket Gateway Security is Strong

Part 2 in a two-part blog post that discusses HTML5 WebSocket and security

This is the second post of a two-part blog post that discusses HTML5 WebSocket and security. The first post, HTML5 WebSocket Security is Strong, talked about the security benefits that derive from being HTTP-compatible and the WebSocket standard itself. In this, the second post, I will highlight some of the extra security capabilities that Kaazing WebSocket Gateway offers.

Kaazing WebSocket Gateway makes your Web application architecture more secure. We leverage the HTTP and WebSocket standards as well as Kaazing-specific technology for capabilities beyond what the standard provides, but what real-world applications typically need. What are some of those things? Read on…

  • HTTP Authentication (Challenge/Response)

    Specified by RFC 2617, a WebSocket gateway/server can issue a standard HTTP challenge and receive a token or other authentication information in the HTTP Authorization header.

    The WebSocket gateway/server is the front line protecting your back-end server or application code. Rather than letting an untrusted (possibly malicious) user get access to the back-end service before discovering they don’t have credentials, you could prevent an unauthenticated user from even establishing a WebSocket connection in the first place.

    It’s the difference between letting someone through your front door in order to check their id versus checking their id outside the door first.

  • Single Sign-On (SSO)

    Our customers are enterprise companies that will usually have an SSO or authentication framework already in place. Rather than impose our own (proprietary) security restrictions on them, Kaazing’s vision is to utilize standards and plug in to your existing security architecture using an open and customizable interface.

    When the Kaazing Gateway issues a (standards-based) challenge for a new WebSocket connection, if the client has an existing token or cookie then that can be returned to the Gateway for validation. Thus if a user is already signed into your SSO framework then they can also use a WebSocket application without the need to log in again.

    Users can authenticate using a token provider from popular security vendors, or public token providers such as Facebook or Twitter, or your own proprietary token service.

  • Authentication Re-validation

    When using HTTP, a server has an opportunity (and overhead) with each individual request to re-authenticate the user. However a WebSocket connection is persistent; once a user has established the connection how do you enforce authentication rules?

    You could terminate the session and make the user re-authenticate. But what if have configured short sessions, such as 30 minutes? You don’t want to disconnect your users too often thereby causing them inconvenience. However you might not want long sessions either.

    Kaazing WebSocket Gateway can perform re-authentication without disconnecting your WebSocket connection. Staying consistent with the idea of plugging into your existing security framework, the Gateway will still rely on session rules dictated by your token provider rather than hard-coding them into the Gateway. And that’s the way it should be.

  • Fine-grained Authorization Control

    Once a user is authenticated and logged in, you know they are who they claim to be. However that doesn’t entitle them to perform any operation or see any data they want. With Kaazing WebSocket Gateway you have fine-grained authorization that lets you specify precisely what application-level operations users can perform or what data they can see.

    In keeping with Kaazing’s philosophy of adhering to standards, the Gateway uses a standard authorization model based on JAAS (Java Authentication and Authorization Service).

  • Distributed DMZ (DDMZ)

    Kaazing WebSocket Gateway was designed to live in a DMZ as the front-level protection for your back-end services. It offers encryption, authentication, authorization, and SSO to keep your trusted data safe.

    In addition, some security-conscious companies utilize layered DMZs for extra levels of protection on the Web. The Gateway has the capability to be distributed across DMZs so that each layer offers protection for the layer behind it. Users that don’t authenticate can fail fast closer to the user rather putting a burden on the center only to discover a user is not valid.

  • Secure Emulation

    In the real-world, emulation is a vital component for a WebSocket application. Users may be using old browsers, or intermediaries can interfere with a WebSocket connection. Over time this problem will fade as WebSocket becomes ubiquitous, but in the meantime a robust application needs to contend those times when a WebSocket connection become established.

    Kaazing has the premier WebSocket emulation on the planet. One of the important reasons for that is because any security configuration you specify in the Gateway will apply to both native and emulated WebSocket connections. This is completely seamless and transparent. Your developers and administrators not only won’t have to configure things differently for native versus emulated, but they won’t be aware there even is a difference. In other words, configure the Gateway with your security preferences once, and those settings will apply to both native and emulated connections, as well as for all clients whether they are JavaScript, Flash, Silverlight, Java, or whether desktop, browser, or mobile.

  • Unified Security

    Kaazing WebSocket Gateway unifies your architecture by acting as a single access point for your back-end services for a variety of client types. It doesn’t matter if your client is browser or mobile based, or whether you use JavaScript, Flash/Flex, Silverlight, or Java: you access the Gateway (and thus your back-end services) in the same way. Moreover it doesn’t matter if you’re using native WebSocket or emulation.

    This carries over to security as well. You configure security options once on the Gateway and those settings apply to all clients,irrespective of the client technology and whether desktop, browser, or mobile.

In case you can’t already tell, at Kaazing we take security seriously. That’s because we have to. Many of our customers are banks and financial institutions with stringent security requirements, providing critical data from back-end system to users over the Web.

While standard security techniques can make a WebSocket connection secure (assuming your WebSocket vendor implements them), robust, real-world applications need more. The ability to plug in to your existing SSO framework, adhere to your existing session rules, offer fine-grained authorization, and so on are key differentiators that provide security, flexibility, and ease-of-use.

Instead of developers building security elements into the application itself, administrators can configure various security options independently of the app. This lets your developers focus on what they should be focusing on: application logic and slick user interfaces.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kaazing Blog

Kaazing is helping define the future of the event-driven enterprise by accelerating the Web for the Internet of Things.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
"LinearHub provides smart video conferencing, which is the Roundee service, and we archive all the video conferences and we also provide the transcript," stated Sunghyuk Kim, CEO of LinearHub, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Discover top technologies and tools all under one roof at April 24–28, 2017, at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA. Explore the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT Dev + Test Expo and enjoy all of these unique opportunities: The latest solutions, technologies, and tools in mobile or IoT software development and testing. Meet one-on-one with representatives from some of today's most innovative organizations
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.