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

Dennis Guster

Second Advisor

Susantha Herath

Third Advisor

Sneh Kalia

Creative Commons License

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

Keywords and Subject Headings

Cloud Computing, Decentralized Access Control, Anonymous authentication


In the last few years, Cloud computing has gained a lot of popularity and technology analysts believe it will be the future, but only if the security problems are solved from time-to-time. For those who are unfamiliar with cloud computing, it is a practice wherein users can access the data from the servers that are located in remote places. Users can do so through the Internet to manage, process and store the relevant data, instead of depending on the personal computer or a local server. Many firms and organizations are using cloud computing, which eventually is faster, cheaper and easy to maintain. Even the regular Internet users are also relying on cloud computing services to access their files whenever and wherever they wish. There are also numerous challenges associated with cloud computing like abuse of cloud services, data security and cyber-attacks. When clients outsource sensitive data through cloud servers, access control is one of the fundamental requirements among all security requirements which ensures that no unauthorized access to secured data will be avoided. Hence, cloud computing has to build a feature that provides privacy, access control challenges and security to the user data. A suitable and reliable encryption technique with enhanced key management should be developed and applied to the user data before loading into the cloud with the goal to achieve secured storage. It also has to support file access control and all other files related functions in a policy-based manner for any file stored in a cloud environment. This research paper proposes a decentralized access control mechanism for the data storage security in clouds which also provides anonymous authentication. This mechanism allows the decryption of the stored information only by the valid users, which is an additional feature of access control. Access control mechanism are decentralized which makes it robust when compared to centralized access control schemes meant for clouds.