Assessing Data Breach Risk in Cloud Systems


The emerging cloud market introduces a multitude of cloud service providers, making it difficult for consumers to select providers who are likely to be a low risk from a security perspective. Recently, significant emphasis has arisen on the need to specify Service Level Agreements that address security concerns of consumers (referred to as SecSLAs) - these are intended to clarify security support in addition to Quality of Service characteristics associated with services. It has been found that such SecSLAs are not consistent among providers, even though they offer services with similar functionality. However, measuring security service levels and the associated risk plays an important role when choosing a cloud provider. Data breaches have been identified as a high priority threat influencing the adoption of cloud computing. This paper proposes a general analysis framework which can compute risk associated with data breaches based on pre-agreed SecSLAs for different cloud providers. The framework exploits a tree based structure to identify possible attack scenarios that can lead to data breaches in the cloud and a means of assessing the use of potential mitigation strategies to reduce such breaches.

Meeting Name

IEEE 7th International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science, CloudCom 2015 (2015: Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Vancouver, Canada)


Computer Science

Keywords and Phrases

Cloud computing; Quality of service; Trees (mathematics); Analysis frameworks; Attack scenarios; Cloud service providers; Mitigation strategy; Security services; Security support; Service Level Agreements; Tree-based structures; Risk assessment

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2015 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2015