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A Simulation Framework to Model Accountability Controls for Cloud Computing

In this paper, we present an implemented system to model and visually represent the functioning of accountability mechanisms for cloud computing (such as policy enforcement, monitoring, intrusion detection, logging, redress and remediation mechanisms) over provider boundaries along the supply chain of service providers. Service providers can use these mechanisms, among others, in a variety of combinations to address data protection problems in the cloud, such as compliance failures, losses of governance, lock-in hazards, isolation failures, and incomplete data deletion. The focus here is on technical mechanisms for the purposes of simulation (the currently implemented tool demonstrates policy enforcement, monitoring and logging); in general, an accountability approach requires a combination of technical measures and legal and regulatory support, of course. We survey existing work on accountability in the cloud and discuss ongoing research in the context of the Cloud Accountability project. We discuss modelling considerations that apply in this context – namely, how accountability may be modelled statically and dynamically. Details of the current implementation of the Accountability Simulation Engine (ASE), and the first version of a graphical animation of data flows in the cloud, are described.

Read more in A4CLOUD Publications.

Nick Papanikolaou, Thomas Rübsamen, Christoph Reich