Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cloud technology: Dynamic certificates make cloud service providers more secure

15.01.2018

The volume of digital data produced and stored by companies is growing. Cloud technology offers a convenient solution: IT service providers offer storage space or software which enables data to be saved remotely. But how can companies be sure that their data is protected against unauthorized access or deletion? Researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have studied this issue and developed a model which allows service providers to be checked and certified reliably.

Particularly for SMEs, it is often difficult to find a secure and reliable option among the many smaller cloud service providers on the market. On the back of discussions with around 100 IT specialists from these types of companies, TUM scientists led by Prof. Helmut Krcmar, Chair Person of the Chair for Information Systems, have developed a solution for this problem. Together with six additional partners, they have developed a new dynamic certification system for cloud services as part of the “Next Generation Certification” (NGCert) consortium.


The scientists of the NGCert consortium want to make cloud service providers more secure with new dynamic certificates.

Image: H. Krcmar, C. Eckert, A. Roßnagel, A. Sunyaev, M. Wiesche

Cloud certificates have to be flexible

Quality certification already exists in the form of so-called certificates, which are intended to guarantee the security of saved data. These are issued by TÜV and other authorities, and are designed to check specific requirements, such as legal regulations which the provider is required to fulfill for its customers. However, these quality certificates are often provided for one to three years – following just a one-off examination.

These types of static certificates are the main problem according to Helmut Krcmar. “Certificates lose their relevance to the current situation much quicker than in one to three years and therefore also their security. We need dynamic systems which can constantly check the validity of certification over a period of time. We have now developed a model which makes this possible for the first time from an organizational and technical standpoint.” The discussions held with companies showed that the introduction of this type of dynamic quality certification could substantially increase companies’ trust in cloud services and allow them to use the technology more easily.

Secure storage in Germany

In collaboration with companies and cloud service providers, the scientists developed important criteria which new dynamic certificates have to fulfill. For three fourths of the consulted companies involved in the project, data security and data protection were most important. Confidential personal data is often saved in the cloud. From a legal standpoint, the responsibility for this data remains with the companies and not the cloud service provider. It is therefore vital that the data is reliably saved within Germany, where strict data protection laws apply.

That is why NGCert project partners developed programs as part of the certificates which constantly check the location of the cloud service provider’s computers – something referred to as geolocation. The software tests all the paths taken by data packages sent from a company to the cloud service provider. These paths are as characteristic as fingerprints. If they change, it can indicate that the data processing is taking place in a different region, possibly using foreign computers.

Legal and independent

Another criterion is the so-called legal certainty of the cloud services. Laws on data protection and data security can frequently change, such as the retention period for access data. A certificate issued as a one-off is unable to react to these changes within the legal framework. “Our concept of dynamic certificates can also solve this problem. There are many individual software components which can change independently of one another and after a certificate is initially issued – these are referred to as modules,” says Krcmar.

In addition, the companies involved expressed their desire that the checking system should operate independently from the respective cloud service providers and be offered as an autonomous, objective system. This curbs the misuse of invalid or expired quality certificates. Prof. Krcmar’s team has also already developed initial ideas for business models involving this type of independent certification service.

The scientists have released a summary of their results in the “Management sicherer Cloud-Services” final volume which was published in December 2017. In future, the researchers are aiming to extend their results to include the consumer market in an effort to boost trust in cloud services and similar areas, such as e-commerce and location-based services.

Members of the NGCert consortium are: Technical University of Munich (Prof. Krcmar), Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC (Prof. Eckert), University of Kassel (Prof. Sunyaev), University of Kassel (Prof. Roßnagel), University of Passau (Prof. de Meer) and the industry partners EuroCloud Deutschland_eco e.V. and Fujitsu Technology Solutions.
The project was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and was successfully completed on December 31, 2017.

Contact:
Prof. Helmut Krcmar
Chair for Information Systems
Technical University of Munich
Tel.: +49 89 289 19 532
E-mail: krcmar@in.tum.de

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.tum.de/nc/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/detail/article/34401/ - Press Release online
http://www.professoren.tum.de/en/krcmar-helmut/ - Prof. Helmut Krcmar profile
https://ngcert.de/?page_id=599 - Consortium “Next Generation Certification” (NGCert)
https://www.springer.com/de/book/9783658195786 - Book “Management sicherer Cloud-Services” final volume (Springer, in German only)

Dr. Ulrich Marsch | Technische Universität München

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers
20.07.2018 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

nachricht Study suggests buried Internet infrastructure at risk as sea levels rise
18.07.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>