Programming Tutorials

Security and Privacy Management in the Cloud

By: Emiley J in Cloud Tutorials on 2012-10-20  

Any application in the SaaS model hast to be designed from the ground up with Security and Privacy in mind. The development strategy starts by understanding the cloud application stack as shown in figure below and identifying the malicious attacker. The attacker can be of two types namely Insider and Outsider.

The Insider, can be malicious employees at client, malicious employees at cloud provider or the cloud provider itself whereas the outsider, can be intruders and network attackers.

Malicious insiders could affect Security and privacy by either of these two ways. At client side, the malicious attacker could learn passwords/authentication information or gain control of the VMs by accessing the hosted instances directly. At the cloud side, the operator could log client communications by inside employees.

Malicious insiders at the cloud provider side could read unencrypted data, can possibly peek into VMs, or make copies of VMs or even monitor network communication and application patters.

The motivation of these inside attackers could be to gain information about client data, gain information on client behaviour and then use these information for itself or sell the information.

The outside attacker on the other hand could listen to network traffic or insert malicious traffic, or probe cloud structure or launch a Denial of Service attack. These activities could directly affect the Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability of the services provided.

With this background information you can combat all the identified security and privacy threats by taking the following mitigation techniques.


Common Security and Privacy Threat

Mitigation technique

How iConnect4M implements mitigation technique


Spoofing identity

· Authentication

· Protect secrets

· Do not store secrets

Strong authentication technique to be used for the portal and for VMs Key files are used instead of simple username/login.


Tampering with data

· Authorization

· Hashes

· Message authentication codes

· Digital signatures

· Tamper-resistant protocols

All database related transactions and connections are to be restricted with tamper proof authentication and Security groups are to be utilized to restrict access based on roles



· Digital signatures

· Timestamps

· Audit trails

Audit trails to be captured at every user transaction including admin and super admin activities with timestamps


Information disclosure

· Authorization

· Privacy-enhanced protocols

· Encryption

· Protect secrets

· Do not store secrets

All important data should be transmitted over HTTPS and SSL. Passwords are to be encoded and cleartext is should not be used or saved.


Denial of service

· Authentication

· Authorization

· Filtering

· Throttling

· Quality of service

Strong authentication should be imposed for accessing any of the client side applications which prevents unauthorized simulation which should be coupled with monitoring service to alert inadvertent spikes.


Elevation of privilege

· Run with least privilege

All root privileges are to be removed from external and role based access and privileges to be imposed at all levels.

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