29 Feb 2012

MIT trying to craft a self-healing cloud

Internet security could see a big advancement if researchers at MIT have anything to say about it. The university and the federal government are looking into ways to enable cloud computing technology to recognize a cyber attack, eliminate the threat and not stop until the threat is gone.

"Much like the human body has a monitoring system that can detect when everything is running normally, our hypothesis is that a successful attack appears as an anomaly in the normal operating activity of the system," said principal investigator Martin Rinard. "By observing the execution of a 'normal' cloud system we're going to the heart of what we want to preserve about the system, which should hopefully keep the cloud safe from attack."

The study, called Cloud Intrusion Detection and Repair, hopes to map how cloud networks are created and operated. After accumulating this data, experts can establish a set of guidelines cloud networks can use to monitor for violations. This should help increase data security in the cloud.

Until this cloud is developed, people should protect information, whether in the cloud or on their desktops, with antivirus software, firewalls and other internet security measures.