What the tool offers
The assertion tool (AT) enables the validation of tool chains that enforce accountability properties through runtime verification. It enables tool developers and cloud providers to validate the correct working of tool combinations by the execution of validation scenarios that include as-sertions of accountability properties. The AT may actively exert control over the accountability tools in order to verify validation scenarios or may passively observe the tools’ executions and check their conformance to the validation scenarios.
The tool innovation
Existing approaches for the testing and monitoring of accountability properties are limited to individual tools and fixed sets of typically small numbers of properties. In contrast, the assertion tool allows the definition of validation scenarios verifying properties involving an arbitrary number of tools. It also supports a rich set of policy-based or ad-hoc properties expressed in terms of general or tool-specific accountability assertions. The AT supports the validation process by automatic strategies for the collection of evidence (such as logs and notifications) as well as the implementation of high-level accountability process in terms of tool-specific ones.
Currently, no tools (commercial or otherwise) exist for the validation of tool chains for accountability. Furthermore, the AT is unique in providing a flexible assertion language that allows the definition of a wide range of accountability properties, including transparency, responsiveness and responsibility properties. It can be used by several actors in Cloud ecosystems, tool developers and cloud providers principally. The AT tool can be adapted for use with other tools than the A4Cloud tools through a dedicated tool configuration interface.