AAI - Guarding the key to your data

Disclaimer: The information and links provided on these pages have been compiled and tested as of February 2014.

More and more digital research data are being produced and made available by institutional repositories, data centres and other providers worldwide. Research has become increasingly data intensive, interdisciplinary and international: researchers use data and associated tools and services with unprecedented frequency, and collaborate with colleagues from institutions across Europe and worldwide. [atfc, p.7] [cern, p.1-2]

In the light of these developments, organisations face the challenge of efficiently controlling user access to data and resources. For these reasons, adequate systems for reliable user identification and subsequent authorisation to use data and services must be established. In order to encourage researchers to use these systems, state-of-the-art features such as Identity Management and Single Sign-on are required. Systems for implementing these features are currently being set up by many research infrastructures and federations. They are commonly referred to as AAI – Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructures:

‘An AAI is an infrastructure to verify a user’s identity (authentication) and to verify that a user has the rights to access the service the user has requested (authorisation).’ [atfc, p.31]

This training module comprises 4 chapters, which can be worked through chronologically or separately. While for the first 3 chapters not much background knowledge is required, the last of these chapters is directed more towards people with some technical expertise.

Chapter 1: Who’s knocking at my data’s door?

In this chapter, we introduce the basic concepts underlying authentication and authorization infrastructures (AAI), i.e. digital identities, identity management, authentication, authorization and access control.

Chapter 2: Federated Identity and Authorization Management

This chapter gives an overview of federated identity management and the management of authorization in this context.

Chapter 3: AAI @ work

This chapter aims to offer some examples of Authorization and Authentication Infrastructures used in Digital Humanities and Social Science projects and communities in Europe.

Chapter 4: Technical Challenges and Approaches

In this chapter, we look at the most commonly used standards and technical implementations of authorization and authentication infrastructures, and discuss how they can be used to tackle technical as well as organizational or political challenges in Federated Identity Management (FIM).

Conclusion and FAQ

Finally, we have put together some of the most common questions regarding AAI and FIM, which are briefly answered here with direct links to pages of the training module. This FAQ can be used as a starting point for exploring the training module content.


Go to first chapter >>


Contact: training@dasish.eu
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