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Cloud computing “Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deploymentmodels.”
The cloud computing model NIST defined has three service models and four deployment models. The three service models, also called SPI model, are: Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS), Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The four deployment models are: Private cloud, Community cloud, Public cloud and Hybrid cloud.
cloud computing security concerns remain a major barrier for the adoption of cloud computing. According to a survey from IDCI in 2009, 74% IT managers and CIOs believed that the primary challenge that hinders them from using cloud computing services is cloud computing security issues. Another survey carried out by Garter in 2009, more than 70% CTOs believed that the primary reason not to use cloud computing services is that there are datasecurity and privacy concerns.
ADVANCED ISSUES IN CLOUD COMPUTINGSECURITY 1) Abstraction: Cloud provides an abstract set of service end-points. For a user, it is impossible to pin-point in which physical machine, storage partition (LUN), network port MAC address, switches etc. are actually involved. Thus, in event of security breach, it becomes difficult for a user to isolate a particular physical resource that has a threat or has been compromised.
2)Lack of execution controls: The external cloud user does not have fine-gained control over remote execution environment. Hence the critical issues like memory management, I/O calls, access to external shared utilities and data are outside the purview of the user. The client would want to inspect the execution traces to ensure that illegal operations are not performed.
3) Third-party control of data: In cloud, the storage infrastructure, and therefore, the data possession is also with the provider. So even if the cloud provider vouches for data integrity and confidentiality, the client may require verifiable proofs for the same.
3) Multi-party processing: In multi-cloud scenario, one party may use part of the data which other party provides. In absence of strong encryption (as data is being processed), it becomes necessary for participating cloud computing parties to preserve privacy of respective data.
Three specific areas of security research Trusted computing: Information centric security (ICS) Privacy preserving models
Trusted computing It is a set technology being developed and promoted by Trusted Computing Group (TCG). To tackle the concern of un-trusted execution environment, trusted platform modules enable a strong endorsement key to attest users to a host and host to users. All subsequent execution on an attested host-user pair can then be validated through trusted path mechanism. New techniques such as Provable Data Possession (PDP) in untrusted cloud may be a more efficient mechanism as it generates a probabilistic proof for data integrity based on only a small portion of the file.
Similarly there are research works around Proof of Retrievability (PoR) to give customer some semblance of assurance that once data is stored in a public cloud, it will be eventually retrievable. Proof carrying codes is another mechanism through which the cloud provider host can verify user applications through formal proofs.
Information centric security (ICS) Strong encryption of the entire data may not be useful as the data is often processed in cloud in un-encrypted form which makes it vulnerable. One way of achieving ICS would be to use Policy based or Role based access controls which can be defined in a language like Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML) which governs context-based access rules in policy enforcement point of the data. Any access request to the data can then be verified through an assertion or by checking with central server.
Another way could be to add access control metadata in the form of Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) It is more compact than XML, and is flexible enough to freely add users to the ‘read’ list as long as each user possesses a cryptographic key pair