Trustworthy Interactions in the Cloud

As one of the most promising emerging concepts in Information Technology, cloud computing is transforming our perception of how IT is consumed and managed. Cloud computing reduces IT resources and services to commodities acquired and paid-for on-demand through a fast-growing set of infrastructure, platform, and service providers. Despite the relatively fast growth of clouds, our understanding ofaspects related to their security, privacy, and economic value proposition is lacking. This project addresses this challenge by (a) extending cloud service-level agreements to govern aspects such as integrity of outsourced services, information leakage control, and fair market pricing; (b) developing mechanisms that enable the delivery and verification of requirements along, and tradeoffs acrossthese dimensions, and (c) exposing these requirements and tradeoffs to cloud customers and system integrators in ways that are both practical and usable.

The research work pursued in this project is timely as it addresses the issues of cloud trustworthiness early enough to avoid having the conflicts among its various stakeholders develop unchecked. Doing so has the potential of improving the utility and hardness of our cyber-infrastructure, with significant benefit to our economy and society. The project will ultimately lead to a better marketplace for computing resources, in which users are assured that the services they acquire satisfy their performance, security, and privacy expectations.