Between Cloud, Mobility and the Enterprise is the API Middle Ground

Scott Morrison

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Top Stories by Scott Morrison

Here at Layer 7 we get asked a lot about our support for REST. We actually have a lot to offer to secure, monitor and manage REST-style transactions. The truth is, although we really like SOAP and XML here at Layer 7, we also really like REST and alternative data encapsulations like JSON. We use both REST and JSON all the time in our own development. Suppose you have a REST-based service that you would like to publish to the world, but you are concerned about access control, confidentiality, integrity, and the risk from incoming threats. We have an answer for this: SecureSpan Gateway clusters, deployed in the DMZ, give you the ability to implement run time governance across all of your services: Pictures are nice, but this scenario is best understood using a concrete example. For the services, Yahoo’s REST-based search API offers us everything we need–it even retur... (more)

Do You Agree to the Terms and Conditions?

Sometimes I wonder if anyone, in the entire history of computing, has every bothered to read and consider the contents of a typical End User License Agreement (EULA). Some Product Manager, I suppose (though truthfully, I’m not even sure of this one). The EULA, however, is important. It’s the foundation of an important consent ceremony that ends with only one effective choice: pressing OK. This much-maligned step in every software installation is the only real binding between an end user and a provider of software. Out of this agreement emerges a contract between these two partie... (more)

The Challenge of Web Services Security Inside the Firewall - A true story from the consulting trenches

True story from the consulting trenches: the operations staff had left hours ago, shaking their heads and reluctantly leaving the consultants to resolve a problem with their code. It was well past midnight, in the middle of winter, in a town many time zones from home. The project was late. Altogether, this was an awkward situation that you probably know well. The consultants - falling into that murky classification of not quite outsider, nor regular employee - worked from hobbled accounts; the security staff were pros and took their charge seriously. By 2:00 a.m., the group was ... (more)

Policy-It's More Than Just Security - From just-in-time integration to Web services

Business has long pursued the goal of making IT more of a strategic tool and less of a necessary evil. Organizations are constantly looking for easier, cheaper, and more logical ways to build applications and unite the silos of functionality they still depend on. One approach that has met with some success is the concept of just-in-time integration - a technique to combine new functionalities as quickly and cheaply as required, whether they reside inside an organization or outside of it (i.e., with a business partner). From the architectural perspective, just-in-time integration ... (more)

Propagating Security Context Across a Distributed Web Services Environment

It's a problem as old as networked computing. Consider two applications. They negotiate a level of trust. How can that trust - or security context - be transferred to a third application, one that may exist in an entirely different security domain from the first? This problem has been solved before, but is limited by proprietary solutions that resist integration. The challenge now, which is a significant one, is to solve it again, but this time for Web services - a task complicated by the need to accommodate a broad range of established security procedures and legacy technologie... (more)