SiDE Paper on Cloud Security wins best paper award at IEEE Cloud Com 2011


SiDE’s Director, Prof Paul Watson, was awarded best paper at the recent IEEE Cloud com event in Athens. The paper entitled “A Multi-Level Security Model for Partitioning Workflows over Federated Clouds” considers the security issues currently surrounding Cloud Computing and a possible solution to overcome these.

A number of SiDE’s research areas are underpinned by cloud computing as it affords the potential for low cost, scalable computing thus allowing for more people to have access to systems and services, however cloud security is a major concern for many.

Many organizations are therefore considering using a combination of a secure internal cloud, along with (what they perceive to be) less secure public clouds. However, this raises the issue of how to partition applications across a set of clouds, while meeting security requirements. Currently, this is usually done on an ad-hoc basis, which is potentially error-prone, or for simplicity the whole application is deployed on a single cloud, so removing the possible performance and availability benefits of exploiting multiple clouds within a single application.

This paper describes an alternative to ad-hoc approaches – a method that determines all ways in which applications structured as workflows can be partitioned over the set of available clouds such that security requirements are met. The approach is based on a Multi-Level Security model that extends Bell-LaPadula to encompass cloud computing. This includes introducing workflow transformations that are needed where data is communicated between clouds. In specific cases these transformations can result in security breaches and the paper describes how these can be detected.

For further information and full details of the paper, please see:

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