Using IBM DataPower XI50 Appliance to Secure XML-based Web Services

Congratulations!!! Your IT organization, and more importantly your company, now enjoys the benefits of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). These benefits include return on investment, code mobility and maintenance, agility, improved scalability and high availability.  But along with these rewards come some disadvantages.  These include degradation of application server performance and increased security concerns and risks.  The XML-based Web Services in use in your enterprise easily expose back-end systems to customers and partners.  Your Web Services pass through your enterprise network firewall and are based upon SOAP, XML and HTTP.  These all combine to introduce new threats and security exposures within your enterprise infrastructure.  These new type of threats can consist of some of the following below:

  • XML Denial of Service
    • Slowing down or disabling a Web Service so that service requests are hampered or denied
  • Unauthorized Access
    • Gaining unauthorized access to a Web Service or its data
  • Data Integrity and Confidentiality
    • Data integrity attacks of Web Service requests, responses or underlying databases
  • System Compromise
    • Corrupting the Web Service itself or the servers that host its

SOA appliances provide a way to deploy an XML-aware network layer that can protect against these security threats and keep your information secure.  Traditional network architectures have not been designed to handle XML-based traffic.  Software-based SOA Security solutions perform adequate security with XML data, but they are not as fast as a dedicated hardware solution.  Most hardware network devices do not understand XML data. SOA Appliances provide a solution to both of these issues by offering a secure, high-performance and hardware-based XML processing device solution.

The IBM DataPower XI50 SOA Appliance provides a hardware solution to protect your SOA investment against XML Threats.  This XML-aware network device not only complements your existing network infrastructure, but also offloads processor intensive XML processing while providing security against XML threat type attacks for your application infrastructure.  The IBM DataPower Appliance provides both performance and security.  It processes XML data at wire speed and secures XML and SOAP based Web Service traffic.  Additional benefits provided by the IBM DataPower XI50 SOA Appliance include:

  • Securing Web Services
    • Provides secure access of backend systems to business partners and customers
  • Legacy Integration and Hub Mediation
    • Enable mainframe or legacy applications as Web Services
  • Web Services Management
    • Monitor and shape Web Service traffic through Service Level Management (SLA’s)
  • Portal Acceleration
    • Speed up XML-to-HTML rendering for dynamic content generation


There are many benefits to deploying the IBM DataPower XI50 SOA Appliance to your SOA infrastructure. Contact the Professional Security Services at PathMaker Group for more information. We provide security and identity management solutions. Our services include penetration testing, SOA security and identity consulting. Learn more about us on our website or call 817-704-3644.

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