Java EE applications consist of components that can contain both protected and unprotected resources. Often, you need to protect resources to ensure that only authorized users have access. Authorization provides controlled access to protected resources. Authorization is based on identification and authentication. Identification is a process that enables recognition of an entity by a system, and authentication is a process that verifies the identity of a user, device, or other entity in a computer system, usually as a prerequisite to allowing access to resources in a system.
Authorization and authentication are not required for an entity to access unprotected resources. Accessing a resource without authentication is referred to as unauthenticated, or anonymous, access.
The characteristics of application security that, when properly addressed, help to minimize the security threats faced by an enterprise include the following:
Authentication: The means by which communicating entities, such as client and server, prove to each other that they are acting on behalf of specific identities that are authorized for access. This ensures that users are who they say they are.
Authorization, or access control: The means by which interactions with resources are limited to collections of users or programs for the purpose of enforcing integrity, confidentiality, or availability constraints. This ensures that users have permission to perform operations or access data.
Data integrity: The means used to prove that information has not been modified by a third party, an entity other than the source of the information. For example, a recipient of data sent over an open network must be able to detect and discard messages that were modified after they were sent. This ensures that only authorized users can modify data.
Confidentiality, or data privacy: The means used to ensure that information is made available only to users who are authorized to access it. This ensures that only authorized users can view sensitive data.
Auditing: The means used to capture a tamper-resistant record of security-related events for the purpose of being able to evaluate the effectiveness of security policies and mechanisms. To enable this, the system maintains a record of transactions and security information.