Initiative creates more secure environment for cloud computing

June 17, 2010

Scientists at the University of Texas in Dallas, with funding from AFOSR's Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative, are seeking solutions for maintaining privacy in a cloud, or an Internet-based computing environment where all resources are offered on demand.

Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham has put together a team of researchers from the UTD School of Management and its School of Economics, Policy and Political Sciences to investigate information sharing with consideration to confidentiality and privacy in .

"We truly need an interdisciplinary approach for this," she said. "For example, proper need to be combined with secure tools to enable assured information sharing."

Thuraisingham noted that cloud computing is increasingly being used to process large amounts of information. Because of this increase, some of the current technologies are being modified to be useful for that environment as well as to ensure security of a system.

To achieve their goals, the researchers are inserting new security programming directly into software programs to monitor and prevent intrusions. They have provided additional security by encrypting sensitive data that is not retrievable in its original form without accessing encryption keys. They are also using Chinese Wall, which is a set of policies that give access to information based on previously viewed data.

The scientists are using prototype systems that can store semantic web data in an encrypted form and query it securely using a web service that provides reliable capacity in the cloud. They have also introduced secure software and hardware attached to a database system that performs security functions.

Assured information sharing in cloud computing is daunting, but Thuraisingham and her team are creating both a framework and incentives that will be beneficial to the Air Force, other branches of the military and the private sector.

The next step for Thuraisingham and her fellow researchers is examining how their framework operates in practice.

"We plan to run some experiments using online social network applications to see how various security and incentive measures affect information sharing," she said.

Thuraisingham is especially glad that AFOSR had the vision to fund such an initiative that is now becoming international in its scope.

"We are now organizing a collaborative, international dimension to this project by involving researchers from Kings College, University of London, University of Insubria in Italy and UTD related to secure query processing strategies," said AFOSR program manager, Dr. Robert Herklotz.

Explore further: New software protects confidentiality of data while enabling access and sharing

Related Stories

Microsoft raises cloud computing concerns

November 5, 2009

Packaged software powerhouse Microsoft on Thursday released a paper outlining privacy concerns businesses should consider prior to leaping into the computing "cloud."

Study on the Security of Cloud Computing

February 26, 2010

Not only does cloud computing help to save money, it also helps to increase IT security: Small and medium sized companies especially can profit from special cloud security solutions and the knowledge advantage of experienced ...

Recommended for you

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bob_B
not rated yet Jun 17, 2010
Secure? Leaving personal data in the cloud? Why can't the "cloud" be called what it is: someones / companies storage device. Why is this safe? If our government can not stop hackers, why would these devices be safer?

The "Cloud" is just a marketing ploy to make you give up your data.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.