Month: January 2021

Security in Microservice-Based Systems: A Multivocal Literature Review

In this study we described the design and results of a systematic multivocal literature mapping of the security solutions that have been proposed for microservice-based systems. The study yielded 370 academic articles and 620 grey literature; duplicates removal and the application of exclusion criteria left 36 from the academic literature and 34 from the grey literature. The security solution(s) proposed in each article were classified into variations of standard security mechanisms (e.g., Access Control) and scopes (Info Management, Threat Modeling, etc), and were associated to security contexts (detect, mitigate/stop, react, recover from attack). Our research questions addressed frequency of publications, research methodologies, security mechanisms, and security contexts. Key findings were that (1) both kinds of literature differ in their preferred empirical research strategies (examples, experiments and case studies); (2) The solutions proposed in the 70 selected articles correspond to 15 classifications of security mechanisms and analyses; (3) the most mentioned security mechanisms are Authentication and Authorization; (4) around 2/3 of solutions focused on Mitigate/Stop attacks, but none on reacting and recovering from them, and (5) the methodologies used are mostly block diagrams and code, with little use of models or analysis. These findings hold for both grey and academic literature. This study is a first step towards providing secure software researchers and practitioners a comprehensive catalog of security solutions and mechanisms, and where the clear identification of the most used security solutions will simplify their reuse to address security problems while designing microservice-based systems.

This study is published in the Computer & Security journal

Involving stakeholders in the design and development of microservice architectures

We know that microservice-based systems promote agility and rapid business development. Some features, such as fast time-to-market, scalability and optimal response times, have encouraged stakeholders to get more involved in the development and implementation of microservices architectures in order to translate their business vision into the implementation of the architecture. We realized some techniques allow the inclusion of the stakeholders’ perspective in the design of microservice architectures, few proposals consider such perspectives in the selection and evaluation of technologies that implement microservice architectures. Indeed, the qualities that characterize microservice-based systems strongly depend on the suitable selection of technologies, such as application frameworks and platforms. We have proposed a collaborative technique that includes stakeholders and software architects to select and evaluate application frameworks and platforms to implement microservice-based systems. We evaluated the technique in an industrial case of design and implementation of an Ambient-Assisted Living (AAL) system, which combines microservice architecture and Internet-of-Medical-Things (IoMT) sensors.

This work has been published in the IEEE Access journal