Visible to the public CAREER: Secure and Trustworthy Provenance for Accountable CloudsConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details

Lead PI

Performance Period

Jul 01, 2014 - Jun 30, 2019


University of Alabama at Birmingham

Award Number

Cloud computing has emerged as one of the most successful computing models in recent years. However, lack of accountability and non-compliance with data protection regulations have prevented major users such as business, healthcare, and defense organizations from utilizing clouds for sensitive data and applications. Due to the lack of information about cloud internals and the inability to perform trustworthy audits, today's clouds are often not used in regulated industries, preventing their widespread adoption.

The main focus of this project is to make clouds more accountable by leveraging provenance or the history of data, applications, and cloud state as a first-class property of clouds. The cloud provenance architecture provides mechanisms for collecting, storing, and securing provenance, and creating a secure access mechanism for provenance. We implement our architecture using OpenStack - a popular cloud platform - and use standard benchmarks to evaluate performance.

A secure provenance based cloud advances the state-of-the-art in several ways: (i) it makes clouds more accountable, trustworthy, and secure; (ii) which leads to increased adoption of clouds by large organizations; (iii) this ultimately lowers the cost; (iv) it also provides law-enforcement with support for digital forensics investigations in clouds; and finally (v) it allows innovations such as novel authentication and access-control schemes.

This research is accompanied by an integrated educational component, including development of new curricula, textbook, and an online course. The project also includes mentoring of K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers, summer camps, and active involvement of women and minorities in order to increase the diversity of our nation's workforce.