Security-Aware Virtual Machine Allocation in the Cloud: A Game Theoretic Approach

Luke Kwiat, Charles A. Kamhoua, Kevin A. Kwiat, Jian Tang, Andrew Martin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations


With the growth of cloud computing, many businesses, both small and large, are opting to use cloud services compelled by a great cost savings potential. This is especially true of public cloud computing which allows for quick, dynamic scalability without many overhead or long-term commitments. However, one of the largest dissuasions from using cloud services comes from the inherent and unknown danger of a shared platform such as the hyper visor. An attacker can attack a virtual machine (VM) and then go on to compromise the hyper visor. If successful, then all virtual machines on that hyper visor can become compromised. This is the problem of negative externalities, where the security of one player affects the security of another. This work shows that there are multiple Nash equilibria for the public cloud security game. It also demonstrates that we can allow the players' Nash equilibrium profile to not be dependent on the probability that the hyper visor is compromised, reducing the factor externality plays in calculating the equilibrium. Finally, by using our allocation method, the negative externality imposed onto other players can be brought to a minimum compared to other common VM allocation methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2015 IEEE 8th International Conference on Cloud Computing, CLOUD 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781467372879
StatePublished - Aug 19 2015
Event8th IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing, CLOUD 2015 - New York, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2015Jul 2 2015


Other8th IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing, CLOUD 2015
CountryUnited States
CityNew York


  • Cloud Computing
  • Cyber security
  • Externality
  • Game theory
  • Virtual machine allocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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