Volume-Level Security Policy Enforcement Mode

Prior to Core 6.2.0, Data Fabric supported enforcement based on mode and ACEs set directly on data objects. Starting in 6.2.0, security policies provide an additional or alternative way to control access to data. The volume-level enforcement mode specifies which of these methods a volume uses to govern access to data.

Note: If you upgraded to Data Fabric 6.2.x from a pre-6.2.0 version, data objects in volumes behave as they did in the pre-6.2.0 version of Data Fabric if security policies have not been applied to them.

Volume-Level Enforcement Modes

Regardless of the enforcement mode set, the system always enforces the ACEs directly set on a volume. HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric Database tables inherit the enforcement mode setting from the parent volume.

The enforcement mode governs access checks on volumes, as described in the following table:
Enforcement Mode Enforce Security Policies Enforce Data ACEs and POSIX Mode Bits Details
PolicyAceAndDataAce (Default) Yes Yes The system enforces the ACEs set in security policies AND the ACEs and POSIX mode bits set directly on objects. If the volume is tagged with security policies, the ACEs set in the security policies apply to all data objects within that volume, including files and tables. If ACEs set in a security policy conflict with ACEs and POSIX mode bits directly applied to data objects, the system enforces the most restrictive setting.
PolicyAceOnly Yes No
If a data object is associated with one or more security policies, the system enforces the ACEs set in the security policies only; the system ignores the ACEs and POSIX mode bits set directly on the data object. However, if the access check on a data object does not encounter at least one security policy (no security policy tagged at the volume-level or data-object level ), the system will enforce the ACEs and POSIX mode bits set directly on the data object.
  • If the volume is tagged with security policies, the ACEs set in the security policies apply to all data objects within that volume, including files and tables.
  • If multiple security policies are applied to a data object, the system enforces the security policy with the most restrictive setting.
  • The system denies access to a data object if the data object is not associated with a security policy and ACEs or POSIX mode bits do not allow access.
DataAceOnly No Yes The system enforces the ACEs and POSIX mode bits applied directly to data objects only. The system ignores all ACEs set in security policies. This mode is useful when you want to switch off the Policy-Based Security feature on a per-volume basis in an emergency situation.
PolicyAceAuditAndDataAce (Permissive mode) Performs checks, but does not fail; audits instead Yes Evaluates the policies, but does not enforce them. If auditing is enabled, the system only audits operations when a policy fails access. The audit log will contain the issues that would arise if the policy had actually been enforced, for example:
"srcName     ":"mfs._COPYING_","dstName":"mfs","volumeId":98960073,
Permissive mode is useful for testing to ensure security policies work before using them. You can access the logs in the location configured to store the volume's audit logs. Note that the file server logs data access to the node on which the data is being accessed.
Important: To enforce permissive mode across the entire cluster (regardless of the volume-level enforcement mode set), run:
/opt/mapr/bin/maprcli config save -values {"cldb.pbs.audit.only.policy.check":"1"}
Permissive mode at the cluster level overrides volume-level mode. The behaviour is as though the volume has set the SecurityPolicy mode to AuditOnly. When applied at the cluster level, the volume level mode behaves as follows:
  • DataAceOnly > PolicyAceAuditAndDataAce
  • PolicyAceAndDataAce > PolicyAceAuditAndDataAce
  • PolicyAceOnly > PolicyAceAuditOnly
  • PolicyAceAuditAndDataAce > PolicyAceAuditAndDataAce
Attention: This mode does not apply to snapshots. If the mode is PolicyAceAuditAndDataAce when the snapshot is taken, the snapshot performs the access check as if the mode is DataAceOnly and will not evaluate the security policy for audit purposes.

Important Information Related to the Enforcement Mode

The following sections describe some additional requirements, options, and behaviors related to the enforcement mode:
Modifying the enforcement mode
You must have volume-level ACL permission to change the enforcement mode. You can change the enforcement mode when you create or modify a volume through the Control System, CLI, or REST API. See Enforcing Security Policies at the Volume-Level for instructions.
Volume-level enforcement mode override
The only setting that supersedes the volume-level enforcement mode is the cldb.pbs.access.control.enabled cluster-level setting. If you disable cldb.pbs.access.control.enabled, the ACEs set in all security policies are disabled across the cluster. Typically, you would only disable security policies at the cluster-level if the security policies caused a serious issue. See Disabling Policy Access Controls at the Cluster-Level.
Auditing and wire-level encryption
The enforcement mode does not govern auditing and wire-level encryption; auditing and wire-level encryption is always enforced regardless of the enforcement mode set.
  • Wire-level encryption for tables is controlled by the filesystem through hadoop mfs -setnetworkencryption on|off <table_path>.
  • Auditing must be enabled at the volume level for auditing to occur. To enable audit for all data objects in the volume, use the -forceauditenable parameter. If auditing is disabled, permissive mode will not audit operations.
  • You can selectively turn all volume-level audit operations on or off through an optional audit flag. You cannot set this flag on individual objects within a volume. When you set this flag on a volume, it applies to all objects within that volume. See volume create and volume modify.
  • Data Fabric Database JSON tables also have an audit flag that controls the auditing of database operations. See table create and table edit.
  • Although you can tag resources at the volume, table, column family, and column (field) level in the database, the database only performs auditing and wire-level encryption at the volume and table level. The database does not perform auditing and wire-level encryption at the column family and column (field) level.
Snapshot of a volume
The Snapshot of a volume is set to the enforcement mode that was set on the volume when the snapshot was taken. For example, if the enforcement mode on a volume was PolicyAceOnly when the snapshot was taken and later changed to PolicyAceAndDataAceOnly, access to the snapshot is based on PolicyAceOnly. When you restore a volume from a snapshot or promote a snapshot to a read-write volume, the security policies and settings applied to the volume at the time of the snapshot are also restored.