ASTM E2595 - 07(2013)

    Standard Guide for Privilege Management Infrastructure

    Active Standard ASTM E2595 | Developed by Subcommittee: E31.25

    Book of Standards Volume: 14.01


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 Motivation for the PMI comes from several organizational and application areas. For example:

    4.1.1 Supporting a distributed heterogeneous application architecture with a homogeneous distributed security infrastructure leveraged across the enterprise; providing user and service identities and propagation; and providing a common, consistent security authorization and access control infrastructure.

    4.1.2 Providing mechanisms to describe and enforce enterprise security policy systematically throughout the organization for consistency, maintenance, and ease of modification and to demonstrate compliance to applicable regulation and law.

    4.1.3 Providing support for distributed/service-oriented architectures in which enterprise-wide services and authoritative sources are protected by providing security services that themselves are also distributed using common interfaces and communication protocols.

    4.1.4 Providing “economies of scale” where it is desired to change the approach of individually managing the configuration of each point of enforcement to one that establishes a consolidated view of the safeguards in effect throughout the enterprise.

    4.1.5 Providing centralized control, management, and visibility to security policy across the enterprise and when connecting to other organizations. This allows for additional key features such as delegated administration, centralized policy analysis, and consolidated reporting.

    4.1.6 Providing a distributed computing security architecture allowing for synchronized security services that are efficiently maintained across the enterprise while also allowing for centralized policy control and distributed policy decision-making/enforcement. Ensuring proper security controls are enacted for each service and when used in combination.

    4.1.7 Provisioning incremental updates to policy and configuration data simultaneously across all distributed decision/enforcement points. Establishing and enforcing new policies not envisioned when individual applications were fielded and adapting to new requirements and threats. Managing identity and security implemented in a diverse mix of new and old technologies.

    4.1.8 Permitting an organization to grant, suspend, or revoke centrally any or all ability to connect to or access enterprise resources either individually or collectively and with the capability to enforce these policies at run-time.

    4.1.9 Supporting access decisions that are sensitive to a user’s credentials in addition to identity. For example, the user may have to be a licensed healthcare professional to access a medical record.

    4.1.10 Supporting Delegation—A user might delegate access for a resource to another user (for example, a physician might delegate access to his patient’s records to a specialist). This shows the need for a delegation capability for some applications.

    4.1.11 Supporting Sender Verification—When a user receives a signed document, he shall be sure the sender was, in some sense, authorized to sign and send the document. A simple example would be a prescription that shall be signed by a doctor. A simple identity certificate is insufficient, as it does not indicate the sender’s credentials (that is, that he is a doctor).

    4.1.12 Supporting Document Cosigning—Multiple examples exist in which more than one signature is required on a document (2). For example, a transcriptionist transcribes and signs a document, but it is not a valid part of the record until it is reviewed and signed by the primary care physician. Similar mechanisms can be used to provide cosignature controls when processing claims transactions. These types of applications require the ability to convey user authorizations (in assertions, credentials, authorization certificates, or possibly as extensions in identity certificates), to label documents and other objects with their security attributes (or to extract such attributes from the document), and to express authorization rules in machine-readable form.

    4.2 Existing standards, including ANSI X9.45, ISO 9594-8, IETFRFC 3280 X.509, OASIS SPML, SAML, WS-*, and XACML, define a number of mechanisms that can be used to construct a healthcare-specific PMI specification. This would include the following features:

    4.2.1 Privileges needed to access a target are conveyed in a claimant’s authorization credential. The claimant’s authorization credential may be an authorization certificate compliant with ISO 9594-8 (a particular form of attribute certificate) or a policy set description compliant with XACML or other referenced authorization standards.

    4.2.2 The sensitivity or other properties of the target being accessed may be held in a local database or in a signed data structure. This guide does not define a standard way to represent this information, since this is a local matter. It does provide guidance on how such information might be represented and manipulated using common mechanisms such as ASN.1 and XML. For a given target object, there may be multiple operations that may be performed; each such operation may have a different set of sensitivity attributes.

    4.2.3 The privilege policy may be held centrally, locally, or may be conveyed as a signed data structure. Different operations on a target may be subject to different privilege policies. This guide defines several standard policies, and applications may define additional policies.

    4.2.4 In the document authorization paradigm, cosignature requirements may be associated with a user or document, such that the signed document is considered authorized only if all necessary signatures are attached.

    4.2.5 Users may delegate privileges to other users.

    4.2.6 Users may be assigned to roles that convey permissions.

    4.2.7 Some authorizations may be sufficiently dynamic that it is not feasible to place them in an enterprise authorization infrastructure (that is, the cost of maintenance is too high given the short lifetime or rapid frequency of change of the privileges or constraints). Such authorizations may be kept in a local authorization server’s database and accessed as environmental variables.

    4.3 The remaining sections of this guide discuss mechanisms to convey privilege, sensitivity, and policy information in a distributed PMI.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide defines interoperable mechanisms to manage privileges in a distributed environment. This guide is oriented towards support of a distributed or service-oriented architecture (SOA) in which security services are themselves distributed and applications are consumers of distributed services.

    1.2 This guide incorporates privilege management mechanisms alluded to in a number of existing standards (for example, Guide E1986 and Specification E2084). The privilege mechanisms in this guide support policy-based access control (including role-, entity-, and contextual-based access control) including the application of policy constraints, patient-requested restrictions, and delegation. Finally, this guide supports hierarchical, enterprise-wide privilege management.

    1.3 The mechanisms defined in this guide may be used to support a privilege management infrastructure (PMI) using existing public key infrastructure (PKI) technology.

    1.4 This guide does not specifically support mechanisms based on secret-key cryptography. Mechanisms involving privilege credentials are specified in ISO 9594-8:2000 (attribute certificates) and Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) (attribute assertions); however, this guide does not mandate or assume the use of such standards.

    1.5 Many current systems require only local privilege management functionality (on a single computer system). Such systems frequently use proprietary mechanisms. This guide does not address this type of functionality; rather, it addresses an environment in which privileges and capabilities (authorizations) shall be managed between computer systems across the enterprise and with business partners.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E1762 Guide for Electronic Authentication of Health Care Information

    E1985 Guide for User Authentication and Authorization

    E1986 Guide for Information Access Privileges to Health Information

    E2084 Specification for Authentication of Healthcare Information Using Digital Signatures

    E2212 Practice for Healthcare Certificate Policy

    ANSI Standards

    INCITS359 Role-Based Access Control

    X9.45 Enhanced Management Controls Using Digital Signatures and Attribute Certificates

    HL7 Standard

    HealthLevel7 Context Management CCOW (Clinical Context Object Workgroup) Standard, Version 1.5


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 35.020 (Information technology in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 81111700(Management information systems MIS)


    DOI: 10.1520/E2595-07R13

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