Secure Service Provisioning in a Public Cloud

University dissertation from Mälardalen Univsersity

Abstract: The evolution of cloud technologies which allows the provisioning of IT resources over the Internet promises many benefits for the individuals and enterprises alike. However, this new resource provisioning model comes with the security challenges which did not exist in the traditional resource procurement mechanisms. We focus on the possible security concerns of a cloud user (e.g. an organization, government department, etc.) to lease cloud services such as resources in the form of Virtual Machines (VM) from a public Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider. There are many security critical areas in the cloud systems, such as data confidentiality, resource integrity, service compliance, security audits etc. In this thesis, we focus on the security aspects which result in the trust deficit among the cloud stakeholders and hence hinder a security sensitive user to benefit from the opportunities offered by the cloud computing. Based upon our findings from the security requirements analysis,we propose solutions that enable user trust in the public IaaS clouds. Our solutions mainly deal with the secure life cycle management of the user VM which include mechanisms for VM launch and migration. The VM launch and migration solutions ensure that the user VM is always protected in the cloud by only allowing it to run on the user trusted platforms. This is done by using trusted computing techniques that allow the users to remotely attest and hence rate the cloud platforms trusted or untrusted. We also provide a prototype implementation to prove the implementation feasibility of the proposed trust enabling principles used in the VM launch and migration solutions.