OpenStack Summit Fall 2012

There is a growing demand from cloud service providers and consumers alike to have better transparency into the system infrastructure and hardware platform used for the services. This impacts the audit and the resultant trustworthiness of the compute environment. Methods purely based on the trusted computing (TC) based solutions have proven to be difficult to implement and scale in the last decade. However there has been continued extensive research in this area to address the challenges because of the increasing unmet need. While the original intentions of TC - to ensure trustworthiness of a platform - still hold, there is an opportunity today to simplify the implementation. The key idea is to include platform attributes in an Attribute-Based Identity Management system (IdM) to have better visibility into the platform and use it to deduce the security state of the system. Incorporating the platform attributes will enable service providers to predict the behavior of the platform and enforce policies to protect digital content. Such a trust model may also reduce the burden on the user and may allow cases for platform credentials to be sufficient avoiding the need for user credentials if they are not needed for the service. This would preserve privacy of the user, provide higher security assurance, audit based risk assessment and help in better usability of the overall cloud system. In this presentation we will provide an architecture considerations of Platform Attribute based IdM for Cloud Identity Platform. We will show how the access control policies can leverage platform attributes for security decision making as well as a fine granular audit. We will demonstrate how this maps to key real world security, identity management and auditing process from prevalent Standards Initiatives including Cloud Security Alliance, OASIS and Open Data Center Alliance. We would also show how this model opens doors for extended research in (1) privacy preserving cryptographic primitives that can enforce platform attribute based IdM policies; (2) real world examples of security policies based on Platform Capabilities (with or without user credentials); and (3) Scalable and seamless mutual attestation model in a cloud provider and cloud consumer environment. A better view and understanding of the hardware platform capabilities (beyond just the TPM registers) and how they integrate with an Attribute-based IdM is key to leveraging the transparency and trustworthiness advantages of the proposed model.

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