An Analysis of open security issues of Android interfaces to cloud computing platforms

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Title: An Analysis of open security issues of Android interfaces to cloud computing platforms
Author: Beres, Corey
Abstract: Smartphone usage is on the rise and some may argue that these devices are ubiquitous in today's society, even among non-technical users. To remain competitive, mobile devices and applications need to quickly perform tasks with as minimal as possible impact on battery life. The emergence of cloud computing, open-source cloud platforms, and cloud-supported ventures such as Apple iCloud and Amazon Silk provide new and promising methods to improve device and application performance. However, little work has been done to examine the security of offloading processing from mobile devices to cloud services and the performance effects of implementing security features. This work aims to answer the questions that arise in securing mobile applications that communicate with the cloud. Via a proof-of-concept application that offloaded resource-intensive computations to an open-source cloud computing platform, the security of cloud computing and Android was studied. It was found that, by following recommended coding practices, the cloud-smartphone security landscape could be significantly improved. Further security enhancements were also recommended and summarized. Additionally, performance was analyzed, and it was found that mobile device applications benefit heavily from cloud support and that features such as secure authentication and encryption do not noticeably impact application performance.
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Date: 2011-11

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