The last few years have witnessed an explosive growth in the number of personal mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This growth has been followed by an even more exceptional increase in the download of mobile applications, as well as in the related security threats. In this context, the cloud computing paradigm can be leveraged to improve mobile application security. The fundamental idea is to install the mobile application on a remote server in the cloud infrastructure rather than on the device. Then the application can be accessed with techniques similar to remote desktop computing. This approach is referred to as remote sandboxing.
The major advantage of this scheme is that it is very suitable to efficiently offer advanced security features. To this end, remote sandboxing is complemented with a framework for cloud-based security services tailored to mobile applications. The framework supports heterogeneous mobile devices and platforms, and provides methods to improve the resource utilization of the cloud infrastructure. Furthermore, it provides energy-efficient and reliable support for remote networking of mobile devices.
The remote sandboxing framework will enable a new cloud delivery model, where security services specific to mobile applications are offered to the users. It will also benefit cloud computing by improving efficiency in resource allocation and management, as well as by fostering research on security. Finally, the research will promote the awareness of security threats and privacy issues affecting personal devices, and include activities targeted to undergraduate and K-12 students.