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Assured Information Sharing in Clouds


TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems

OBJECTIVE:  The United States Air Force is looking for technological innovations to provide assured information sharing capabilities using flexible cloud computing based architectures.

DESCRIPTION:  Assured information sharing (AIS) frameworks should provide the ability to dynamically and securely share information at multiple classification levels among U.S., allied and coalition forces. As stated in the DoD Information Sharing Strategy, the vision for AIS is to "deliver the power of information to ensure mission success through an agile enterprise with freedom of maneuverability across the information environment" [1]. Current approaches are investigating ways to share data while at the same time enforcing various confidentiality, privacy and trust policies [2]. Furthermore, incentive based approaches to sharing data are also being explored [3]. However, due to the need for sharing large amounts of complex data, organizations are increasingly examining flexible cloud computing platforms for storing, sharing, querying and analyzing such data. For example, the CIO of NSA has recently stated that the agency is “focusing on a cloud-centric approach to information sharing with other agencies” [4]. Managing and sharing data in a cloud results in unique confidentiality, privacy, integrity, trust and availability challenges. For example, secret splitting for confidentiality enforcement must be harmonized with data locality for efficient query processing in clouds. Some recent efforts have examined security for cloud computing environments [5]. However these efforts are yet to address the security challenges for assured information sharing. Therefore novel approaches are needed for the development of a secure framework for policy based information sharing in a cloud with access control, identity management, secure data storage and query processing.

PHASE I:  Perform preliminary investigations of advanced AIS solutions that can be combined with cloud based architectures to provide flexible and efficient secure data storage, policy based sharing and secure query techniques.

PHASE II:  Develop proof-of-concept demonstrations of the technology.


Military Application:  Results of the research will have tremendous applications in assured information sharing across the services (Air Force, Navy, and Army), agencies (CIA, FBI, DHS) as well as coalition organizations (US, UK, Australia).

Commercial Application:  Results of the research will have applications to commercial information sharing and data analytics needs (e.g., information exchange between financial and healthcare organization).

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