One of the 15 factors that I altercate in my chargeless O’Reilly eBook, Beyond the 12 Factor Application, is Affidavit and Authorization. Aegis is analytical for every appliance you deploy.
Even if you’re planning on acceptance absolutely bearding admission to your application, anybody complex with this appliance needs to be acquainted of its aegis needs. Are you appliance SSL? If so, area are you absolute the SSL? Are you appliance applicant affidavit validation? How will users accredit to the site? If they authenticate, how do you accredit what accomplishments they can perform?
All of these questions charge to be answered in abundant detail afore you arrange your application. As I acknowledgment in the book, aegis cannot be an reconsideration and you should apperceive the aegis contour of your appliance as anon as accessible (ideally afore the aboriginal iteration).
In this blog post, I’m activity to altercate the assorted affidavit and allotment options accessible to ASP.NET developers, with adapted accent on those bodies who are alive on bequest ASP.NET applications and attractive to move them assimilate a scalable PaaS (Platform as a Service) foundation like Billow Foundry.
When architecture applications for an intranet, Windows affidavit has historically been the easiest and best broadly acclimated anatomy of armpit authentication. This makes absolute faculty because in a archetypal Microsoft-based enterprise, all your intranet servers (physical or virtual) ran Windows, they were all aing to a domain, were accidentally configured via action and added Microsoft administration accoutrement like SMS, etc. Best importantly, in these enterprises, the users all had accounts in an Alive Directory, and you could generally infer their roles and privileges from their AD groups.
This fabricated absolute sense, and you’d see the abundantly simple agreement in a Web.config book that looked like this:
But what do you do in the cloud? What do you do back your appliance could move amid abstracts centers at a moment’s notice, back the host operating arrangement is created and destroyed frequently, and is not a allotment of your domain?
Whether you end up appliance Basic HTTP Auth or absolute claiming windows authentication, Chip Windows authentiation in the billow is an anti-pattern. I’ll allocution about alternatives a the end of the post.
Probably the additional best accepted anatomy of affidavit on ASP.NET websites is forms authentication. In this model, your website is configured article like this:
Your app is amenable for audition back users are logged in (cookie detection), affidavit and authorization, and presenting the adapted screens. ASP.NET makes a lot of this actual easy, and a lot of implementations like this are backed by databases.
There’s annihilation about this arrangement that makes it automatically “bad” for the cloud, but there are means to accomplish it difficult or awkward, like relying on the actuality of some types of basement that ability not be accessible back alive in the cloud.
With Windows affidavit not actuality a applicable option, and apparent old accolade activity old and stale, what do you do for your action intranet application? What about for your public-facing armpit that you additionally appetite to run in the cloud?
Thankfully there are a cardinal of avant-garde standards accessible to you as an ASP.NET developer that you can use, all of which are based on the abstraction of a agent token. The abstraction is simple — you agent the acceptance of a user’s character to addition abroad and you acquire as affidavit of that character a alive token. Some actual accepted agent badge affidavit schemes include:
Applications that acquire affidavit advice this way can acquiesce users to log in deeply with their Facebook credentials, their Google account, LinkedIn, Github, etc.
For intranet applications, your action can angle up its own character provider. You can still use an alive directory, but instead of communicating anon with it, your IDP is arising tokens based on that directory. For example, an acutely accepted clearing action for intranet ASP.NET sites is to move from chip Windows auth to a SAML-based arrangement area the appliance gets tokens issued by an Alive Agenda Federation Services server.
If you’re appliance ASP.NET Web API, you can actualize an Affidavit Filter that will accord with badge validation, redirection, and enactment of a user ambience based on supplied agent tokens. A quick google chase for ASP.NET affidavit and ADFS should accord you a deluge of examples illustrating how to do this.
If you’re appliance bequest ASP.NET Web applications, you can actualize your own custom affidavit bore (or acquisition one already created). Also, if you aces a third affair Character Provider like Google or Stormpath or Auth0, again those providers broadcast sample cipher that illustrates what you’ll charge to do to anchorage your appliance to the new aegis scheme.
The acceptable account is that aegis and the billow are not mutually exclusive. The bad account is you charge to abstain relying aloft aegis mechanisms that are proprietary or accept specific OS-level requirements placed on the servers hosting your apps.
What I decidedly like about solutions like OAuth2 and OIDC is that analytic this botheration for one appliance generally after-effects in a band-aid that can be reused beyond an absolute alignment and sometimes alike after-effects in a added secure, added able-bodied aegis band-aid overall.
Either way, if you’re an ASP.NET developer attractive to move your appliance to the cloud, you should apperceive that you accept affluence of aegis solutions accessible to you — some provided by PaaS hosts like Azure and Billow Foundry, others by third parties like Stormpath, Google, and Auth0, or you can cycle your own. The key is to put some anticipation and conduct into how you’re activity to defended your apps early.
p.s. I apperceive that a affair already existed alleged Passport affidavit but I’m not activity to acknowledgment it. The memories are artlessly too painful.
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