Addressing Mobile Cloud Computing Security Issues

Addressing Mobile Cloud Computing Security Issues: A Survey

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Ahstract-The cloud heralds a new era of computing where
application services are provided through the Internet. Cloud
Computing is a flexible, cost-effective, and proven delivery
platform for providing business or consumer IT services over the
Internet. The computing capability of mobile systems is
enhanced by Cloud computing. Mobile devices can rely on cloud
computing and information storage resource, to perform
computationally intensive operations such as searching, data
mining, and multimedia processing. Along with traditional
computation services it provides, mobile cloud also enhances the
operation of traditional ad hoc network by treating mobile
devices as service nodes, e.g., sensing services. The sensed
information, such as location coordinates, health related
information, should be processed and stored in a secure fashion
to protect user’s privacy in the cloud.
While the economic ease for cloud computing is compelling,
the security challenges it poses are equally striking. The security
threats have become obstacles in the rapid adaptability of the
mobile cloud computing paradigm. Significant efforts have been
devoted in research organizations and academia to build secure
mobile cloud computing environments and infrastructures. In
spite of the efforts, there are a number of loopholes and
challenges that still exist in the security policies of mobile cloud
computing. We discuss these issues here, identifying the main
vulnerabilities in this kind of systems and the most important
threats found in the literature related to Cloud Computing and
its environment as well as to identify and relate vulnerabilities
and threats with possible solutions.
Index Terms – Mobile Computing (MC), Mobile Cloud
Computing (MCC), Mobile Cloud Security.

Mobile devices are increasingly becoming an essential part
of human life as the most effective and convenient
communication tools not bounded by time and place [1] – [2].
The rapid progress of mobile computing (MC) becomes a
powerful trend in the development of IT technology as well as
commerce and industry fields. However, the mobile devices
are facing many challenges in their resources (e.g., battery life,
storage, and bandwidth) and communications (e.g., mobility and security). The limited resources significantly impede the
improvement of service qualities [3] – [4].
Furthermore, consider applications that require extensive
processing – image processing for video games, speech
synthesis, natural language processing, augmented reality,
wearable computing-all these demand high computational
capacities thus restricting the developers in implementing
applications for mobile phones. Considering the trends in
mobile phone architecture and battery, it is unlikely that these
problems will be solved in the future. This is, in fact, not
merely a temporary technological deficiency but intrinsic to
mobility [5] and a barrier that needs to be overcome in order
to realize the full potential of mobile computing.
In recent years, researchers addressed this problem through
cloud computing. Cloud computing can be defined as the
aggregation of computing as a utility and software as a service
[6]where the applications are delivered as services over the
Internet and the hardware and systems software in data centers
provide those services [7]. Also called ‘on demand
computing’, ‘utility computing’ or ‘pay as you go computing’,
the concept behind cloud computing is to offload computation
to remote resource providers.
The concept of offloading data and computation in cloud
computing is used to address the inherent problems in mobile
computing by using resource providers other than the mobile
device itself to host the execution of mobile applications. Such
an infrastructure where data storage and processing could
happen outside the mobile device could be termed a ‘mobile
cloud’. By exploiting the computing and storage capabilities
of the mobile cloud, computer intensive applications can be
executed on low resource mobile devices [8] – [10].
It is important to ensure secure and reliable datal
multimedia data transmissions between mobile users and the
media cloud. Since the data can be transferred and stored in a
cloud system through wireless, it becomes vulnerable to
unauthorized disclosures, modifications, and replay attacks. A
critical question must be answered when the mobile clients
upload their data or multimedia to the cloud: Can users trust
the cloud?
The remainder of this paper is organized as follows: Section
II describes the mobile cloud computing architecture. Section
III explains the technical challenges posed by MCC. Section
IV briefs about the approaches used. Section V provides
survey of existing security frameworks for MCC. Finally
future work and conclusion are identified in section VI and