Accountability in the Cloud

One of the main projects I’m currently involved in is researching and developing accountability mechanisms in modern infrastructures.

TILT is one of the partners in the EU funded A4Cloud project. We currently have 5 people working on this project. The project blurb is below.

Cloud and IT service providers should act as responsible stewards for the data of their customers and users. However the current absence of accountability frameworks for distributed IT services makes it difficult for users to understand, influence and determine how their service providers honour their obligations. A4Cloud will create solutions to support users in deciding and tracking how their data is used by cloud service providers. By combining methods of risk analysis, policy enforcement, monitoring and compliance auditing with tailored IT mechanisms for security, assurance and redress, A4Cloud aims to extend accountability across entire cloud service value chains, covering personal and business sensitive information in the cloud.

A4Cloud will combine socio-economic, legal, regulatory and technical approaches and bring these together into a coherent and interoperable system of tools and services, enabling a shift to ‘Accountability-based approaches for trust and security’ in the cloud. A4Cloud solutions will support service providers in preventing breaches of trust by using audited policy enforcement techniques, assessing the potential impact of policy violations, detecting violations, managing incidents and obtaining redress. It will develop techniques for improved trustworthiness of cloud ecosystems as prerequisite for accountability. Therefore it will create policies and tools that enforce responsibilities while striking a balance between transparency and privacy, and determine issues and constraints for regulators, corporate and institutional service providers, users, and their end-users. A4Cloud will have a lasting impact on the competitiveness of the European ICT sector by addressing major perceived barriers to trustworthy cloud-based services.

TILT will carry out the analysis of the legal issues that will be raised in the project (together with Queen Mary University London) and will be involved in the socio-economic analysis with respect to user an service provider attitudes and expectations, conceptual modelling, risk modelling, and HCI issues.

See for more general information.

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