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Implementing secure applications in smart city clouds using microservices

Krämer, Michel and Frese, Sven and Kuijper, Arjan (2019):
Implementing secure applications in smart city clouds using microservices.
99, In: Future Generation Computer Systems, pp. 308-320, ISSN 0167739X, DOI: 10.1016/j.future.2019.04.042,
[Online-Edition: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.future.2019.04.042],
[Article]

Abstract

Smart Cities make use of ICT technology to address the challenges of modern urban management. The cloud provides an efficient and cost-effective platform on which they can manage, store and process data, as well as build applications performing complex computations and analyses. The quickly changing requirements in a Smart City require flexible software architectures that let these applications scale in a distributed environment such as the cloud. Smart Cities have to deal with huge amounts of data including sensitive information about infrastructure and citizens. In order to leverage the benefits of the cloud, in particular in terms of scalability and cost-effectiveness, this data should be stored in a public cloud. However, in such an environment, sensitive data needs to be encrypted to prevent unauthorized access. In this paper, we present a software architecture design that can be used as a template for the implementation of Smart City applications. The design is based on the microservice architectural style, which provides properties that help make Smart City applications scalable and flexible. In addition, we present a hybrid approach to securing sensitive data in the cloud. Our architecture design combines a public cloud with a trusted private environment. To store data in a cost-effective manner in the public cloud, we encrypt metadata items with CP-ABE (Ciphertext-Policy Attribute-Based Encryption) and actual Smart City data with symmetric encryption. This approach allows data to be shared across multiple administrations and makes efficient use of cloud resources. We show the applicability of our design by implementing a web-based application for urban risk management. We evaluate our architecture based on qualitative criteria, benchmark the performance of our security approach, and discuss it regarding honest-but-curious cloud providers as well as attackers trying to access user data through eavesdropping. Our findings indicate that the microservice architectural style fits the requirements of scalable Smart City applications while the proposed security approach helps prevent unauthorized access.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2019
Creators: Krämer, Michel and Frese, Sven and Kuijper, Arjan
Title: Implementing secure applications in smart city clouds using microservices
Language: English
Abstract:

Smart Cities make use of ICT technology to address the challenges of modern urban management. The cloud provides an efficient and cost-effective platform on which they can manage, store and process data, as well as build applications performing complex computations and analyses. The quickly changing requirements in a Smart City require flexible software architectures that let these applications scale in a distributed environment such as the cloud. Smart Cities have to deal with huge amounts of data including sensitive information about infrastructure and citizens. In order to leverage the benefits of the cloud, in particular in terms of scalability and cost-effectiveness, this data should be stored in a public cloud. However, in such an environment, sensitive data needs to be encrypted to prevent unauthorized access. In this paper, we present a software architecture design that can be used as a template for the implementation of Smart City applications. The design is based on the microservice architectural style, which provides properties that help make Smart City applications scalable and flexible. In addition, we present a hybrid approach to securing sensitive data in the cloud. Our architecture design combines a public cloud with a trusted private environment. To store data in a cost-effective manner in the public cloud, we encrypt metadata items with CP-ABE (Ciphertext-Policy Attribute-Based Encryption) and actual Smart City data with symmetric encryption. This approach allows data to be shared across multiple administrations and makes efficient use of cloud resources. We show the applicability of our design by implementing a web-based application for urban risk management. We evaluate our architecture based on qualitative criteria, benchmark the performance of our security approach, and discuss it regarding honest-but-curious cloud providers as well as attackers trying to access user data through eavesdropping. Our findings indicate that the microservice architectural style fits the requirements of scalable Smart City applications while the proposed security approach helps prevent unauthorized access.

Journal or Publication Title: Future Generation Computer Systems
Volume: 99
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cloud computing, Software architectures, Urban management, Information security, Geospatial information systems
Divisions: 20 Department of Computer Science
20 Department of Computer Science > Mathematical and Applied Visual Computing
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2019 08:36
DOI: 10.1016/j.future.2019.04.042
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.future.2019.04.042
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