A conceptual model for federated authentication in the cloud
Edith Cowan University
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
ECU Security Research Institute
Authentication is a key security control for any computing system, whether that is a PC, server, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. However, authentication is traditionally poorly served, with existing implementations falling foul of a variety of weaknesses. Passwords are poorly selected, reused and shared (to name but a few). Research has suggested novel approaches to authentication such as transparent authentication and cooperative and distributed authentication. However, these technologies merely focus upon individual platforms rather than providing a universal and federated authentication approach that can be used across technologies and services. The advent of cloud computing, its universal connectivity, scalability and flexibility, offers a new opportunity of achieving usable and convenient authentication seamlessly in a technology and service independent fashion. The approach introduces a new dedicated authentication provider - the Managed Authentication Service Provider - that is able to provide state-of-the-art centralised verification of authenticity. However, relying upon such an environment also introduces a range of technology, privacy and trust-related issues that must be overcome.