GridwiseTech to develop federated authentication for health industry

Krakow 14 November 2007GridwiseTech presented a security framework for the health industry at the recent Cracow Grid Workshop '07 on 15-17 October 2007. The developed solution will provide access to distributed assets in a secure manner. The major advantage is that users' authentication will be carried out by their organisation and the resource owners will be responsible for authorisation.


These features are present in the security framework, developed for the international project of ViroLab. The aim of this project is to create a secure Virtual Laboratory for European researchers and medical doctors for HIV treatment.

Virolab is a Grid-based Virtual Laboratory for Decision Support in Viral Disease Treatment that benefits medical knowledge discovery and decision support. GridwiseTech joined this venture together with the following bodies from The Netherlands, Poland and Germany: Universiteit van Amsterdam, Universitair Instituut Medisch Centrum Utrecht, Institute of Computer Science AGH, Academic Computer Centre Cyfronet, Virology Education B.V, and Universität Stuttgart. The official starting date of the project was 1 March, 2006.

According to GridwiseTech, the virtual lab will be a fundamental tool enabling scientists to share and distribute information to help acquire data bringing the medical world a few steps closer to finding cures for diseases such as HIV/Aids. The Virtual Laboratory endorses tools for statistical analysis, visualization, modelling and simulation, to make prognoses about the temporal virological and immunological response of viruses with complex mutation patterns to drug therapy.

Only by means of a Grid-based service, which GridwiseTech has been developing for Virolab, is the integration of biomedical information, patients, and literature made possible on a vast scale. The present undertaking provides an exclusive model which can be adopted in research for many other diseases where genetic information will be significant and highly beneficial in the future.

GridwiseTech provides a web portal as well as a security layer where authorization and federated authentication take place. To implement these capabilities, a new and innovative approach was taken with the utilisation of proven solutions like Shibboleth and SAML, in a novel and modified way. The framework has been developed to protect all the resources that are accessible in the Virtual Laboratory, e.g. Web Services, SVN. More company news is available in the VMW February 2006 article GridwiseTech joins the fight against HIV with EU-funded Virolab project.

Leslie Versweyveld

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