MIT Takes Aim at Secure, Self-Healing Cloud

 Network World (02/27/12) Brandon Butler

 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers are studying how to build a cloud computing infrastructure that recognizes and eliminates a cyberattack under normal operating procedures.  The goal is to continue cloud operations even while under attack, which is a different approach from other security measures that disable a system and create outages.  “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,” says MIT’s 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 researchers will try to map how cloud networks are created and operate, and then create a set of guidelines for a cloud network to constantly assess whether it is working under those parameters and return to normal operating procedures if it is not.

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