Security on z/OS
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What is SAF?

Security on z/OS

System authorization facility or SAF is an interface defined by MVS™ that enables programs to use system authorization services to control access to resources, such as data sets and MVS commands. SAF either processes security authorization requests directly or works with RACF®, or other security product, to process them.

SAF does not require any other product as a prerequisite, but overall system security functions are greatly enhanced and complemented if it is used concurrently with RACF. The key element in SAF is the SAF router. This router is always present, even when RACF is not present.

The SAF router provides a common focal point for all products providing resource control. This focal point encourages the use of common control functions shared across products and across systems. The resource managing components and subsystems call the z/OS® router as part of certain decision-making functions in their processing, such as access-control checking and authorization-related checking. These functions are called control points.

The system authorization facility (SAF) conditionally directs control to RACF (if RACF is present), or to a user-supplied processing routine, or both, when receiving a request from a resource manager.

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