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“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” - SOA and Services

Can we assume that a SOA based system is secure if all services are tested for security? We think the answer is NO. So we will present in this talk additional security aspects which should be tested:

Services and Web Services

First we will give a short overview on security relevant aspect of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Also, SOA promises significant benefits to today's organizations due to unprecedented flexibility and reuse of service those systems are, technically speaking, only a collection of services - internal and external to an organization - which communicate with each other. The technology of Web Services is the most likely connection technology and is heavily based on XML to create a robust connection.

Web Services and Security

For two reasons it is crucial to remember that SOA is not equal to Web Services: First service-oriented architectures are nothing new; CORBA, DCOM and other protocols have long provided similar functionality and ideas while other technologies can be used to build a service-oriented architectures. Second, and this will be the main focus of this presentation, even in a Web services based system, there are many more aspects for security testing than testing for XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI flaws.

Security and Testing

First, we will discuss underlying security mechanisms like encryption and decryption algorithms, key generation algorithms and basic protocols to secure a network below the application. Second, we will point out that a Web Service is based on standard technologies, so infrastructure, operating system, the application server and all other underlying technologies must be tested for security. We will explain different technologies to do these tests. Third, we will discuss different aspects of identification, authentication and authorization in SOA environments and their influence on security testing. Fourth, it is important to a look on the business process layer. Security on the organizational level combined with Government and Regulatory compliance, will require security testing activities to be incorporated into the entire project life cycle.


SOA will raise the necessity of Security testing. Testing only services themselves is not enough to answer management’s question: “Is the data safe as it travels trough internal and external networks?”

Alexander Schinner
iqnite 2010
Dortmund, German