Imperial College London is partnering with the Institute for Technological Innovation (TII) in Abu Dhabi to develop a new operating system (OS) designed with cloud security.
According to Professor Peter Pietzuch of The Royal College of Computing, devices and operating systems commonly used to store cloud services in data centers today have outdated security features.
“Security hasn’t changed much from traditional operating systems that predate the age of the internet and the era of cloud services.
Such restrictions have contributed to data theft, cyber-attacks, and ransomware attacks more and more frequently. As critical infrastructure such as the National Health Service increasingly relies on digital services, there are concerns about the scale on which such threats could pose.
So the British university and the UAE’s research agency are embarking on a three-year program that will end up with the creation of a “reliable” cloud operating system. It will be designed based on arm and RISC-V architectures for use in heterogeneous peripheral environments.
The collaboration will begin with redesigning the hardware and software that the cloud runs from scratch.
Professor Pietzuch said: “The project aims to review what the hardware and software stacks in the cloud will look like when you design them with security.”
Dr. Shreekant Thakkar, the lead researcher at TII’s Center for Safety Systems Research, said efforts would be focused on ARM and RISC-V architectures because they allow for effective sharing and division.
“The research project with Imperial aims to find solutions based on AArch64 and it is very suitable for other research and use cases as the SSRC is doing a lot of work on ARM and RISC-V-based platforms as well as on the operating system on phones and drones.
“Easily applicable to today’s mobile devices, the project’s solutions will simplify the consolidation of cloud security and edge security approaches.”