2 more tips for Web 2.0 security

Here are more security considerations that apply when using Web 2.0 applications.

Respect access rights
Mashups bring a new dimension of trust not always present in traditional application-integration techniques. One agency’s mashup might require access to another organization’s application. To obtain that access, the agency asks the application’s owner to provide authentication credentials. However, the agency must pursue only those access rights that have been granted to a credentialed user or else they risk a breach in trust.

Bobbie Wilbur, director of Applications Solutions at the Center to Promote HealthCare Access, which implements and operates a mashup named One-e-App, said the organization takes care to stay within the bounds of user authentication credentials it receives from other application owners. One-e-App helps low-income families use one application interface to enroll in various government health, social and other services programs.

In a mashup, the party accessing a system should “be careful to use the user permission inherent in the receiving system as a guide to what should or should not be done,” Wilbur said.

Reduce insider threats
A Web 2.0 site that’s limited to internal users and hosted on an organization’s own network still faces risk. If the site lets those users connect remotely, there should be mechanisms in place that control access.
“Some kind of access-limiting method in the account-granting process is definitely a requirement,” said Ben Greenbaum, a senior research manager at Symantec Security Response.

Organizations can go about that in different ways, including preassigning credentials — for example, hardware tokens — to remote users, he added.

In addition, steps should be taken to address the insider threat. Greenbaum said a large percentage of attacks come from insiders. He suggested that any file uploaded by a user should be scanned for viruses before it’s made available to other users.

About the Author

John Moore is a freelance writer based in Syracuse, N.Y.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group