The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper

Degree Name

Information Assurance: M.S.


Information Assurance and Information Systems


Herberger School of Business

First Advisor

Abdullah Abu Hussein

Second Advisor

Jim Q Chen

Third Advisor

Lynn A Collen

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The transfer of confidential data and software to the cloud environment from the on-site data center raises the cyber risk for users, mainly because a third party operates and maintains the cloud environment. In particular, the sensitive data and application pose multiple issues linked to a lack of accountability in protection. Transparency includes providing cloud service providers with information on security measures being introduced to protect and meet customers' standards. It builds confidence in the relationship between service providers and consumers. Transparency is influenced by trust and confidence and without showing accountability it would likely hamper the use of cloud services. While technological aspects to ensure safety and privacy have been discussed, the emphasis on security transparency is still neglected. Few works of literature mainly discuss the question of transparency from the perspective of cloud providers. At the same time, the other works have provided viable techniques to compare and select the cloud service providers using criteria such as transparency and reputation. Despite the importance, there is still a lack of research to improve transparency between cloud consumers and vendors.

This study proposes an important service level agreement (SLA) negotiation tool to ensure higher transparency.


It is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who helped me throughout the course of this project. I am profoundly grateful to my supervisor Dr. Abdullah Abu Hussein for his expert guidance, continuous encouragement and ever willingness to spare time from his otherwise busy schedule for the project’s progress reviews. His continuous inspiration has made it possible to complete this paper.

I'd also like to thank my committee members, Dr. Lynn A Collen, and Dr. Jim Q Chen for their invaluable advice throughout my studies. You gave me the feedbacks I needed to make the right decision and finish my dissertation successfully.