Grid Security Infrastructure is a specification for secret, tamper-proof communication between various software in a grid computing environment. It enables secure, authentic communication using asymmetric encryption. Authentication in grid environment is performed using digital signature technology and allows resources to lock data to only those who should have access to it. However, authentication creates a problem: often a service will have to retrieve data from a resource independent of the user and in order for that it must be supplied with the appropriate privileges. It allows 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.
Grid security infrastructure is also necessary to partition resources in virtual servers or the cloud servers. It is needed because cloud is built on the concept of shared hosting, wherein a single set of computing resource is used by various clients. Grid security infrastructure helps make sure only the right person gets access to his data. A dual key encryption is used to achieve this. If key configuration at either ends (client end and cloud server) does not match, data access will be outright denied.
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