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User authorization is a key component of server security, one that is often not given the right attention. How does it actually work? How can you optimize it within your ecosystem to safeguard private data and sensitive information? Let’s learn more about the specifics and touch upon some important best practices.
Server security refers to the measures, policies, and practices implemented to protect server systems and their data from unauthorized access, misuse, damage, or theft. This encompasses a wide range of security techniques, including encryption, authentication, access control, network security, software patching, and regular security audits, among others.
Server authorization is a field within server security that refers to practices and mechanisms that ensure server systems can only be accessed and controlled according to an organization’s Internal policies.Server authorization, together with other server security measures, ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and services hosted on the server, while safeguarding against potential threats like cyber-attacks, malware, and data breaches.
This is part of a series of articles about authorization.
In this article:
Server access control is the process of mediating access to resources on a server based on identity and policies (either explicit or implicit). This primary security service is supported by other security services, such as authentication and confidentiality. Access control decisions are usually enforced based on user-specific policies, with authentication being the method to establish the user’s identity.
In the context of server authorization, policies are generally applied to sets of resources, and may vary for individual actions (or capabilities) that can be performed on those resources, such as reading, writing, executing, creating, and deleting files.
Access control involves determining, documenting, and managing the subjects (users, devices, or processes) that should be granted access and the objects (resources) they should have access to. It also covers the methods and conditions of enforcement that allow or restrict subjects from connecting with, viewing, consuming, entering, or using identified information resources.
Broken Access Control (A01) is the top application security risk according to the OWASP Top 10 list, updated 2021. According to OWASP research, 94% of applications tested had some form of broken access control.
There are several approaches to server authorization that can be implemented to manage and enforce access control policies. Each approach has its unique benefits and is suitable for different scenarios. Here are some common server authorization approaches:
A wide range of technologies and protocols can be used for server authorization to enforce access control policies and ensure that only authorized users have access to server resources. Some of the commonly used technologies for server authorization include:
Learn more in our detailed guide to authorization service (coming soon)
Implementing server authorization best practices is crucial for ensuring the security and integrity of server resources and protecting sensitive data. Here are some best practices to follow when implementing server authorization:
The industry standard today is to use Authentication providers to “build the door”, but what about Authorization (the door knob)? Most authentication vendors don’t go that extra mile, forcing SaaS vendors to invest in expensive in-house development. This often delays investment in core technology development, which negatively impacts innovation and time-to-market (TTM) metrics.
Frontegg’s end-to-end user management platform allows you to authenticate and authorize users with just a few clicks via a centralized dashboard. Integration takes just a few lines of code and you can be up and running with this plug-and-play platform in a day or two. It’s also multi-tenant by design, which saves a lot of development time and helps teams focus on what matters most – innovation.
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