OAuth: The Next Big Thing in Security


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OAuth: The Next Big Thing in Security

  1. 1. OAuth:The Next Big Thing in Securitygroups.google.com/group/api-craftSam Ramji @sramjiApigee sramji@apigee.com +1-510-913-6495
  3. 3. Every market in history has had intermediaries
  4. 4. Business Intermediaries Customers
  5. 5. These intermediaries connect buyers andsellers by knowing what both want andcreating convenient ways to transact
  6. 6. Apps are the new intermediaries.
  7. 7. Business Apps Customers
  8. 8. They occupy many niches already andcontinue to multiply
  9. 9. App Store Growth 2008-2011 600 12 500 10 Apps AvailableThousands Total App Downloads 400 8 Billions 300 6 200 4 100 2 0 0 Data from Wikipedia
  10. 10. As do devices.
  11. 11. Mary MeekerKleiner Perkins
  12. 12. Companies cannot build for all these niches aseach one requires distinct expertise in designand development, and there are too manyniches.
  13. 13. As Marc Andreessen observed recently
  14. 14. “ In short, software is eating the world. We are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy. Marc Andreessen
  15. 15. Evans, Hagiu, and Schmalenseeexplored this deeply in 2006
  16. 16. And Annabelle Gawerhas formalized the solution
  17. 17. The platform business model.
  19. 19. As we’ve learned from digital natives like
  20. 20. open platforms grow the fastest.
  21. 21. Visualization by Apigee
  22. 22. In the API era of competition, speed is crucialbecause critical mass leads rapidly to marketdominance.
  23. 23. [Ecosystem Competition] Kishore S. Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, Accenture
  24. 24. Open platforms mean thatapps can be built by developers quicklywithout formal commitment tojoint research,joint development, andjoint marketing.
  25. 25. Open platforms decouple partners from theplatform provider’s business cycles.
  26. 26. This reduces the cost of innovation,enabling many more experiments to be mademore quickly,increasing the chance of a major improvementto the platform business, its customers, and itsintermediaries.
  27. 27. This is low-friction innovation.
  29. 29. This takes us to the stakes required for adigital business in the API era.
  30. 30. For an intermediary to connect a buyer andseller, there must be trust.
  31. 31. The intermediary must be trustworthy,and the transaction must be trustworthy.
  32. 32. In modern businesses, buyers (users)have accounts with sellers (providers)which are filled with dataas well as transaction privileges.
  33. 33. For the system to function well, buyers must be able to fire their intermediarywithout breaking their relationship with the seller.
  34. 34. With apps as the intermediary, new dynamicsexist on top of the historical foundation.
  35. 35. Apps are new.They are often short-lived.Their business model depends on building ahigh volume of users.They must have some way to attain their firsttransaction and be proven or else improved.
  36. 36. And this way must align with theloose coupling philosophy at the heartof an open platformotherwise we’ve just secured our way backinto old-fashioned closed businessesand killed our platform opportunity.
  37. 37. “ 20th Century IT was about raising barriers to entry for competitors. 21st Century IT is about lowering barriers to participation. James Governor Redmonk
  38. 38. So how do you build a trustworthy systemin an open world?
  39. 39. It takes an open security architecture.
  41. 41. It’s a free and open protocol built on licenses from the Open Web Foundationand it’s the right choice for securing open platforms.
  42. 42. The Valet Key Metaphor
  43. 43. Eran Hammer-Lahav comparesthe OAuth model to a valet key.This is an apt metaphor.
  44. 44. A Valet Key for Open Platforms
  45. 45. The heart of OAuthis an authorization token with limited rightswhich the user can revoke at any timeshould they become suspicious or dissatisfiedwith the app they’re usingto access your business.
  46. 46. When the token is first grantedthe business shows the user what rights theapp is asking for
  47. 47. and this negotiation is invisible to the app.
  48. 48. A perfect design for bootstrapping trust.
  49. 49. Just Enough Permission
  50. 50. An app should have just enough permissionto do the things the user wants it to.
  51. 51. OAuth allows for granular access to the user’saccount.The current alternative is all or noneGive the app your username and password –which gives the app access to everythingabout you.
  52. 52. In OAuth, permissions can be gracefullyupgraded as well.If the user tries to do something in an app andthey haven’t authorized the correspondingpermission, the business can give the usersthe option to add that permission, using thebootstrapping sequence used to grant thetoken in the first place.
  53. 53. Just Enough Responsibility
  54. 54. App developers are not security experts.
  55. 55. A developer’s job is to make software thatdoes what it is supposed to do.A security expert’s job is to make suresoftware never does what it is not supposedto do.
  56. 56. App developers DO NOT WANT theresponsibility of holding a user’s secretinformation.Usernames and passwords,Credit card and banking information,Lifetime history of everyone you’ve emailedThese are heavy secretsand require heavy security.
  57. 57. The right place for these is within your ownbusiness, secured by your own experts andyour own infrastructure investments.
  58. 58. Decoupling partners from these challengeskeeps security consistentwith the open platform potential forlow-friction innovation.
  60. 60. The most popular intermediariesare connecting buyers with severalcomplementary sellers at the same time
  61. 61. That increases their value to the buyerbut also multiplies the difficulty andrisk of security
  62. 62. If one app holds secrets for many businessesthat app becomes the highest-risk part of thesystem.
  63. 63. As more businesses follow the platformimperative and add APIs
  64. 64. there is an imperative for the healthy growthof the market through the new intermediaries.
  65. 65. The imperative is to make it easy fordevelopers to build great appsthat can delight usersand grow businesses.
  66. 66. The imperative is for businessesto standardize on OAuth.
  67. 67. “We have our own version of OAuth”
  68. 68. “We invented something that’s kind of like OAuth”
  69. 69. The imperative is to make it easy fordevelopers to build great appsthat can delight usersand grow businesses.
  70. 70. The imperative is for businessesto standardize on OAuth.
  71. 71. No developers were harmed in the production of thispresentation.
  72. 72. THANK YOUQuestions and ideas to:@sramjisramji@apigee.com +1-510-913-6495groups.google.com/group/api-craft