Revoking JWTs

Brian Pontarelli

I have been talking with developers about JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) recently and a one question keeps coming up: “How do I revoke a JWT?”

If you poke around online, you’ll find that the most common answers are:

  • Set the duration of the JWT to a short period (a few minutes)
  • Implement complicated blacklisting techniques

There is not a simple solution because JWTs are designed to be portable, decoupled, identities. Once you authenticate against an identity provider (IdP) and get back a JWT, you don’t need to ask the IdP if the JWT is valid. This is particularly powerful when you use RSA public/private key signing. The IdP signs the JWT using the private key and then any service that has the public key can verify the integrity of the JWT.

Here’s a diagram that illustrates this architecture:

architecture-JWTs

The Todo Backend can use the JWT and the public key to verify the JWT and then pull the user’s id (in this case the subject) out of the JWT. The Todo Backend can then use the user’s id to perform operations on that user’s data. However, because the Todo Backend isn’t verifying the JWT with the IdP, it has no idea if an administrator has logged into the IdP and locked or deleted that user’s account. Continue reading

Identity Management: Get Your Head out of the Cloud

Kelly Strain

cloud

Stormpath customers are experiencing first hand the repercussions of using a multi-tenant cloud hosted API. The company was acquired and users have to get data out, fast. By 8/17/2017 to be exact.

A recent article by ProgrammableWeb discusses the dangers of using third-party APIs, however they fail to mention ways to avoid this danger. The answer is not to stop using cloud APIs, nor is it to only select API’s from tech giants like Amazon, Google or Microsoft. Before choosing your identity and user management provider consider the deployment options.

On-Premise

Despite increasing cloud popularity, many companies still prefer (or require) an on-premise solutions.

Regulatory Requirements

Certain organizations face regulatory requirements that demand an on-premise solution. Regulatory controls and legal requirements vary depending on the industry, but many companies fall into this category. A third-party cloud vendor may not fit the compliance requirements for a particular organization within the finance or pharmaceutical sector.

Control

An on-premise solution can insulate you from issues Stormpath customers are now faced with. By installing the software on your servers (real or cloud-based) you gain control over:

  • User data
  • Access
  • Security
  • Upgrades

If the company shuts down or is acquired, you can likely continue using software since it is running on your servers. If this is not the case, the user data is yours and can easily be removed at your discretion.

Cloud

How do you protect your data? How do you ensure that you are the only one seeing your user data?

Multi-Tenant vs. Single-Tenant

Multi-tenant is an architecture where multiple companies store their data within the same instance. With single-tenant, each company has their own individual instance. With a single-tenant solution you receive maximum privacy. The risk of another business accidentally receiving data that doesn’t belong to them is eliminated. Each customer’s user data is separate and secure.

When considering cloud solutions, it is always important to prepare for the worst-case scenario. You should think about how you will get your data out of the cloud, before you ever put it in there.  In the event of an API shutdown, data recovery is much easier when each customer’s data is isolated in a single-tenant cloud.

Flexible Hosting (with a pitch)

Passport offers on-premise or single tenant cloud hosting. With these options, you have the ability to choose which deployment best meets your business or application needs. In addition, you have the flexibility to change your mind down the road.

Start Migrating from Stormpath to Passport today. Or sign up for a free Passport trial.

Stormpath has been acquired by Okta

Kelly Strain

stormpath-passport-fb_720

What we know

Stormpath has been acquired by Okta.

  • The Stormpath APIs will remain in service until August 17, 2017 at noon PST. On that date and time, Stormpath APIs will be shut down.
  • The Stormpath SDKs will be in maintenance mode until August 17, 2017 when they will be decommissioned.
  • Stormpath users will be able to migrate their data into Okta, and may also export their Stormpath data to use as desired.

Current Stormpath users must migrate – whether it be to Okta or a different provider altogether. We understand this is a challenge, a challenge you most likely did not see coming in the near future.

You have 6 months to choose a provider that best meets your business needs, export existing users and be up and running with minimal end user disruption. We are here to help. Continue reading