Protecting the Cloud
At the heart of cloud computing is the hypervisor, software that allows multiple users to run programs concurrently on a host computer. But if a malicious program gains access to the hypervisor, the data held by all those users could be changed or stolen.
Drs. Ahmed Azab (pictured at right) and Peng Ning have devised a solution. They've developed a new security mechanism called HyperSentry that is isolated and protected from the hypervisor but retains enough privileges to search the hypervisor code and data for viruses and other malware. The researchers hope their tool can be adopted on large servers, PCs and mobile phones to help keep these devices secure.
Through Chancellor's Innovation Fund (CIF) funding, Azab, a senior research associate in theDepartment of Computer Science, and Ning, a professor of computer science, are teaming with a company called Innovalyst that is helping to commercialize HyperSentry. Innovalyst has linked the researchers to key personnel in software and hardware companies who could be future customers.
In addition, the university's Office of Technology Transfer helped the researchers connect with venture capitalists and investors who have evaluated HyperSentry's commercialization potential. These connections kept the researchers updated on what the industry actually needs.
“The CIF is not just about the money,” Azab said. “It is also about the support that the inventors get to commercialize products.”
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