This article includes a list of references, related reading, or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (March 2023)
The Grid Security Infrastructure (GSI), formerly called the Globus Security Infrastructure, is a specification for secret, tamper-proof, delegatable communication between software in a grid computing environment. Secure, authenticatable communication is enabled using asymmetric encryption.
Authentication is performed using digital signature technology (see digital signatures for an explanation of how this works); secure authentication allows resources to lock data to only those who should have access to it.
Authentication introduces a problem: often a service will have to retrieve data from a resource independent of the user; in order to do this, it must be supplied with the appropriate privileges. GSI allows for the creation of delegated privileges: a new key is created, marked as a delegated and signed by the user; it is then possible for a service to act on behalf of the user to fetch data from the resource.
Communications may be secured using a combination of methods:
- Transport Layer Security (TLS) can be used to protect the communication channel from eavesdropping or man-in-the-middle attacks.
- Message-Level Security can be used (although currently[when?] it is much slower than TLS).
- A Security Infrastructure for Computational Grids by Ian Foster et al.
- A National-Scale Authentication Infrastructure by Randy Butler et al.