The case for cloud service trustmarks and assurance-as-a-service
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Cloud computing represents a significant economic opportunity for Europe. However, this growth is threatened by adoption barriers largely related to trust. This position paper examines trust and confidence issues in cloud computing and advances a case for addressing them through the implementation of a novel trustmark scheme for cloud service providers. The proposed trustmark would be both active and dynamic featuring multi-modal information about the performance of the underlying cloud service. The trustmarks would be informed by live performance data from the cloud service provider, or ideally an independent third-party accountability and assurance service that would communicate up-to-date information relating to service performance and dependability. By combining assurance measures with a remediation scheme, cloud service providers could both signal dependability to customers and the wider marketplace and provide customers, auditors and regulators with a mechanism for determining accountability in the event of failure or non-compliance. As a result, the trustmarks would convey to consumers of cloud services and other stakeholders that strong assurance and accountability measures are in place for the service in question and thereby address trust and confidence issues in cloud computing.
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