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Charting a security landscape in the clouds: data protection and collaboration in cloud storage

Summary

This report surveys different approaches to securely storing and sharing data in the cloud based on traditional notions of security: confidentiality, integrity, and availability, with the main focus on confidentiality. An appendix discusses the related notion of how users can securely authenticate to cloud providers. We propose a metric for comparing secure storage approaches based on their residual vulnerabilities: attack surfaces against which an approach cannot protect. Our categorization therefore ranks approaches from the weakest (the most residual vulnerabilities) to the strongest (the fewest residual vulnerabilities). In addition to the security provided by each approach, we also consider their inherent costs and limitations. This report can therefore help an organization select a cloud data protection approach that satisfies their enterprise infrastructure, security specifications, and functionality requirements.
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Summary

This report surveys different approaches to securely storing and sharing data in the cloud based on traditional notions of security: confidentiality, integrity, and availability, with the main focus on confidentiality. An appendix discusses the related notion of how users can securely authenticate to cloud providers. We propose a metric for...

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Iris biometric security challenges and possible solutions: for your eyes only? Using the iris as a key

Summary

Biometrics were originally developed for identification, such as for criminal investigations. More recently, biometrics have been also utilized for authentication. Most biometric authentication systems today match a user's biometric reading against a stored reference template generated during enrollment. If the reading and the template are sufficiently close, the authentication is considered successful and the user is authorized to access protected resources. This binary matching approach has major inherent vulnerabilities. An alternative approach to biometric authentication proposes to use fuzzy extractors (also known as biometric cryptosystems), which derive cryptographic keys from noisy sources, such as biometrics. In theory, this approach is much more robust and can enable cryptographic authorization. Unfortunately, for many biometrics that provide high-quality identification, fuzzy extractors provide no security guarantees. This gap arises in part because of an objective mismatch. The quality of a biometric identification is typically measured using false match rate (FMR) versus false nonmatch rate (FNMR). As a result, biometrics have been extensively optimized for this metric. However, this metric says little about the suitability of a biometric for key derivation. In this article, we illustrate a metric that can be used to optimize biometrics for authentication. Using iris biometrics as an example, we explore possible directions for improving processing and representation according to this metric. Finally, we discuss why strong biometric authentication remains a challenging problem and propose some possible future directions for addressing these challenges.
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Summary

Biometrics were originally developed for identification, such as for criminal investigations. More recently, biometrics have been also utilized for authentication. Most biometric authentication systems today match a user's biometric reading against a stored reference template generated during enrollment. If the reading and the template are sufficiently close, the authentication is...

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