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Sharing information and maintaining privacy and security is a requirement in distributed environments. Mitigating threats in a distributed environment requires constant vigilance and defense-indepth. Most systems lack a secure model that guarantees an end-to-end security. The authors devise a model that mitigates a number of threats to the distributed computing pervasive in enterprises. This authentication process is part of a larger information assurance systemic approach that requires that all active entities (users, machines and services) be named, and credentialed. Authentication is bi-lateral using PKI credentialing, and authorization is based upon Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) attribution statements. Communication across domains is handled as a federation activity using WS- protocols. They present the architectural model, elements of which are currently being tested in an operational environment.
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