Configuring DSE Graph Security

DSE Graph security is managed by DSE security.


The location of the dse.yaml file depends on the type of installation:

Package installations
Installer-Services installations


Tarball installations
Installer-No Services installations


Graph sandbox and whitelisted/blacklisted code

The DSE Graph sandbox, configured in the dse.yaml file under the gremlin-server: key, is enabled by default. This security feature prevents malicious code execution in the JVM that could harm a DSE instance. Sandbox rules are defined to both blacklist (disallow execution) and whitelist (allow execution) packages, superclasses and types. For Java/Groovy code entered in the Gremlin console, only the specified allowed operations will execute. The default sandbox rules may be overridden in the dse.yaml file. The sandbox rules are applied in the following order:
  1. blacklist_supers, including all classes that implement or extend the listed items
  2. blacklist_packages, including all sub-packages
  3. whitelist_packages, including all sub-packages
  4. whitelist_types, not including sub-classes, but only the specified type
  5. whitelist_supers, including all classes that implement or extend the listed items
Any types not specified in the whitelist are blocked by default. If an item is blacklisted, it cannot be placed in the whitelist unless it is removed from the blacklist; otherwise, an error occurs and the item is blocked.
Important: Two classes are hard-coded as blacklisted and cannot be whitelisted:
  • java.lang.System: All methods other than currentTimeMillis and nanoTime are blocked (blacklisted).
  • java.lang.Thread: currentThread().isInterrupted is an allowed method that can return a wrapped thread with toString, and sleep is another allowed method, and all other methods are disallowed.
An example of possible whitelisted and blacklisted items in the gremlin_server section of the dse.yaml file:
          port: 8182
          threadPoolWorker: 2
          gremlinPool: 0
          #                  sandbox_enabled: false
          - org.apache.tinkerpop.gremlin.process
          - java.nio
          - java.lang.String
          - java.lang.Boolean
          - com.datastax.bdp.graph.spark.SparkSnapshotBuilderImpl
          - com.datastax.dse.graph.api.predicates.Search
          - groovy.lang.Script
          - java.lang.Number
          - java.util.Map
          - org.apache.tinkerpop.gremlin.groovy.jsr223
          - java.nio.channels

The Fluent API restricts the allowable operations to secure execution, but uses the sandbox to enable lambda functions.

Authentication, authorization, and encryption

DSE can authenticate or authorize access by users, secure the stored data with encryption, or secure Gremlin console with SSL, based on Graph vertex labels or graphs, as applicable.

DSE Graph security is managed by DSE security. As noted in this topic, you can modify the Graph Sandbox by customizing the gremlin-server: key of the dse.yaml file.

To configure the DSE Graph Gremlin console connection to the Gremlin Server, customize the remote.yaml file for your environment.

DSE Graph also supports auditing using DSE auditing; for details, refer to Setting up database auditing.

Restrict lambda

Lambda restriction is enabled by default to block arbitrary code execution in Gremlin traversals. Most applications should not require user-defined lambda functions. If lambda functions are required, disable lambda restrictions using the Schema API to change the restrict_lambda (default: true) option.
Tip: See Apache TinkerPop documentation for more information on lambda functions.