The Biba Model: A comparison between Bell-laPadula

For many civilian companies, integrity must be favored over confidentiality. As a result of this necessity, numerous integrity-focused security approaches were created, such as Biba and Clark-Wilson. In the following blog post, we are going to look at the Biba Model and discuss its unique characteristics for securing the integrity of data and make a comparison with the Bel-LaPadula (BLP) model.

Integrity solutions of Biba

Biba was created to solve three challenges of integrity:

  • Prevent unauthorized subjects from modifying items.
  • Prevent authorized people from modifying items without permission.
  • Keep internal and external object consistency in mind.

Biba Model

Access control models allow complicated policies to be broken down into digestible stages. Over the years, several distinct models have been constructed. Biba is an access control model which uses the same access pattern as the Bell-La Padula model.

Here are some characteristic features of the Biba Model:

  • Reading at a lower level violates the integrity and confidentiality of the material.
  • The Biba model was designed after the BLP to solve the issue of data integrity.
  • The Biba model describes states and transitions, giving priority to data integrity above confidentiality.

Because of its primary purpose of preventing unauthorized people from altering items, the Biba model quickly acquired appeal among businesses.

Biba model access rules

The Biba model assesses access requests like the BLP model, based on two essential features: simple integrity and star integrity.

Biba utilizes the following rule: “no write up, no read down”. Then it enforces the rule on data (objects) and users(subject).

ss property/simple integrity/ no read down

Users can not read, access, or see data one level below.

*property/no write-up/star property

Users can not create, modify, or write data of a higher level.

invocation property

Users can not request a service of higher-level data.

Comparison of Biba and Bell-LaPadula models

Let’s have a look at some of the model’s advantages and disadvantages in the table below:

  • They both demand a classification label for all subjects and objects. It simply means that data integrity relies on data categorization.

  • If you compare Biba to BLP, you will observe that they are similar but in the opposite directions. Their primary focuses are other aspects of security.

  • Bell-LaPadula model ensures confidentiality, however, Biba provides data integrity.

Pros and cons of the Biba model

  • Biba solves only integrity issues and not confidentiality or availability.

  • Biba model does not handle access control management, and it does not allow you to assign or alter the categorization level of an item or subject.

  • Biba has no effect on hidden channels.

  • The Biba model is straightforward and it resolves the BLP model’s weaknesses by handling both secrecy and data integrity.

  • An upper layer user may not be able to understand generated by a user from a one confidentiality level below, Which can cause delays in organizations.

Conclusion

Because it is difficult to reconcile confidentiality and integrity, integrity-focused models are frequently at odds with confidentiality models.

Most business firms are more concerned with data integrity than confidentiality. Because the Biba model concentrates mainly on achieving object integrity, it is a more widespread option for security models than Bell-laPadula model.

Do you want to get practical skills to work in cybersecurity or advance your career? Enrol in MCSI Bootcamps!