Sun Java Communications Suite 5 Deployment Planning Guide

Chapter 17 Planning Calendar Server Security

This chapter describes how to plan for and protect the various components of your Calendar Server deployment.

This chapter contains the following sections:

Calendar Server Security Overview

Security plays a key role in the day-to-day operations of today’s businesses. Breaches in security can not only compromise trade secrets, but can also result in downtime, data corruption, and increased operation costs. Calendar Server provides a number of security levels to protect users against eavesdropping, unsanctioned usage, or external attack. The basic level of security is through authentication. Calendar Server uses LDAP authentication by default, but also supports the use of an authentication plugin for cases where an alternate means of authentication is desired. Furthermore, integration with Access Manager enables Calendar Server to take advantage of its single sign-on capability.

Security involves not only ensuring the integrity of users. It also means ensuring the confidentiality of data. To this end, Calendar Server supports the use of SSL encryption for login, or both login and data. In other words, only the login may be encrypted, or the entire session including the login may be encrypted, from the Web client to the server.

Integration with Secure Remote Access also provides SSL encryption, but through a proxy gateway. In addition, integration with the portal gateway provides a URL rewriting capability to further insulate Calendar Server from external entities. Calendar Server can be deployed with the portal gateway such that there is no direct connection to the Calendar Server without going through the gateway. In this case, every URL is rewritten, thus obfuscating the true URL of the Calendar Server. Even though a user is authenticated, that does not mean that the user should have access to other calendar users’ data.

Within a calendar domain exist other layers of security to prevent authenticated users from unauthorized access to other authenticated users’ calendar data. One security measure is through the Calendar Server access control entries. Access control enables calendar users to specify who can see their calendars, who can schedule events into their calendars, who can modify their calendars, and who can delete events from their calendars. Access control also enables users to select who can act on their behalf to respond to invitations, schedule or modify events, and delete events. Finally, access control can be used to span domains of users, thus preventing (or enabling) users in one domain from scheduling events with users of another domain.

In addition to access control, Calendar Server provides an additional level of security at the database protocol level for deployments that separate the calendar front end from the database back end. This level of security is referred to as Database Wire Protocol (DWP) authentication, and utilizes a user name/password pair to authenticate a DWP connection. The user name/password pairs on both the front end and database back end must be identical for a DWP connection to be authenticated.

Monitoring Your Security Strategy

Monitoring your server is an important part of your security strategy. To identify attacks on your system, monitor message queue size, CPU utilization, disk availability, and network utilization. Unusual growth in the message queue size or reduced server response time can identify some of these attacks. Also, investigate unusual system load patterns and unusual connections. Review logs on a daily basis for any unusual activity.

Planning Calendar User Authentication

User authentication enables your users to log in through their calendar clients to retrieve their calendar information. Methods for user authentication include:

Plain Text and Encrypted Password Login

User IDs and passwords are stored in your LDAP directory. Password security criteria, such as minimum length, are determined by directory policy requirements. Password security criteria is not part of Calendar Server administration. To understand directory server password policies, see the Directory Server documentation:

Both plain text and encrypted password login can be used.

Certificate-based Authentication with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Calendar Server uses the SSL protocol for encrypted communications and for certificate-based authentication of clients and servers. This section describes certificate-based SSL authentication.

SSL is based on the concepts of public-key cryptography. Although TLS (Transport Layer Security) is functionally a superset of SSL, the names are used interchangeably.

At a high-level, a server which supports SSL needs to have a certificate, a public key, a private key, certificate, key, and security databases. This helps assure message authentication, privacy, and integrity.

To authenticate with SSL, the calendar client establishes an SSL session with the server and submits the user’s certificate to the server. The server then evaluates if the submitted certificate is genuine. If the certificate is validated, the user is considered authenticated.

If you use SSL for authentication, you need to obtain a server certificate for your Calendar Server. The certificate identifies your server to clients and to other servers. Your server can have more than one server certificate with which it identifies itself. Your server can also have any number of certificates of trusted Certification Authorities (CAs) that it uses for client authentication.

For more information on SSL, see the Sun Java System Calendar Server 6.3 Administration Guide.