Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.658365
Title: Systematic support for accountability in the cloud
Author: Wongthai, Winai
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 070X
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2014
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Abstract:
Cloud computing offers computational resources such as processing, networking, and storage to customers. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) consists of a cloud-based infrastructure to offer consumers raw computation resources such as storage and networking. These resources are billed using a pay-per-use cost model. However, IaaS is far from being a secure cloud infrastructure as the seven main security threats defined by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) indicate. Use of logging systems can provide evidence to support accountability for an IaaS cloud. An accountability helps when mitigating known threats. However, previous accountability with logging systems solutions are provided without systematic approaches. These solutions are usually either for the cloud customer side or for the cloud provider side, not for both of them. Moreover, the solutions also lack descriptions of logging systems in the context of a design pattern of the systems' components. This design pattern facilitates analysis of logging systems in terms of their quality. Additionally, there is a number of benefits of this pattern. They could be: to promote the reusability of design and development of logging systems; that designers can access this pattern more easily; to assist a designer adopts design approaches which make a logging system reusable and not to choose approaches which do not concern reusability concepts; and to enhance the documentation and maintenance of existing logging systems. Thus, the aim of this thesis is to provide support for accountability in the cloud with systematic approaches to assist in mitigating the risks associated with real world CSA threats, to benefit both customers and providers. We research the extent to which such logging systems help us to mitigate risks associated with the threats identified by the CSA. The thesis also presents a way of identifying the reference components of logging systems and how they may be arranged to satisfy logging requirements. 'Generic logging components' for logging systems are proposed. These components encompass all possible instantiations of logging solutions for IaaS cloud. The generic logging components can be used to map existing logging systems for the purposes of analysis of the systems' security. Based on the generic components, the thesis identifies design patterns in the context of logging in IaaS cloud. We believe that these identified patterns facilitate analysis of logging systems in terms of their quality. We also argue that: these identified patterns could increase reusability of the design and development of logging systems; designers should access these patterns more easily; the patterns could assist a designer adopts design approaches which make a logging system reusable and not to choose approaches which do not concern reusability concepts; and they can enhance the documentation and maintenance of existing logging systems. We identify a logging solution which is based on the generic logging components to mitigate the risks associated with CSA threat number one. An example of the threat is malicious activities, for example spamming, which are performed in consumers' virtual machines or VMs. We argue that the generic logging components we suggest could be used to perform a systematic analysis of logging systems in terms of security before deploying them in production systems. To assist in mitigating the risks associated with this threat to benefit both customers and providers, we investigate how CSA threat number one can affect the security of both consumers and providers. Then we propose logging solutions based on the generic logging components and the identified patterns. We systematically design and implement a prototype system of the proposed logging solutions in an IaaS to record history of customer's files. This prototype system can be also modified in order to record VMs' process behaviour log files. This system can record the log files while having a smaller trusted computing base, compared to previous work. Additionally, the system can be seen as possible solutions that could tackle the dificult problem of logging file and process activities in the IaaS. Thus, the proposed logging solutions can assist in mitigating the risks associated with the CSA threats to benefit both consumers and providers. This could promote systematic support for accountability in the cloud.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.658365  DOI: Not available
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