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.
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.
Prof. Helmut Krcmar
Chair for Information Systems
Technical University of Munich
Tel.: +49 89 289 19 532
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
Multifunctional e-glasses monitor health, protect eyes, control video game
28.05.2020 | American Chemical Society
Researchers incorporate computer vision and uncertainty into AI for robotic prosthetics
28.05.2020 | North Carolina State University
In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".
Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...
Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...
Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.
When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...
Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.
Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...
Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.
A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...
19.05.2020 | Event News
07.04.2020 | Event News
06.04.2020 | Event News
28.05.2020 | Transportation and Logistics
28.05.2020 | Physics and Astronomy
28.05.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering