The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has launched Galahad, an open source revolutionary user computer environment (UCE) for the Amazon Cloud. The technology, which is named after the Arthurian knight that ultimately secured the Holy Grail, will fight to protect people using desktop applications running on digital platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). Galahad will leverage nested virtualization, layered sensing and logging to mitigate cloud threats. These layers will allow individual users to host their applications seamlessly and securely within the cloud avoiding both known and unknown threats.
Galahad takes a holistic approach to creating a secure, interactive UCE. The software leverages role-based isolation, attack surface minimization practices, operating system (OS) and application hardening techniques, real-time sensing, and maneuver / deception approaches to reduce the risk associated with cloud deployments. Galahad makes no attempt to establish trust, nor does it require specialized, more costly services provided by AWS, e.g., dedicated servers. Instead, the software impedes the ability of adversaries to operate within the AWS by making it more difficult to co-locate (either through the use of insiders, compromised hypervisors, witting or unwitting peers, or remote access) with targets, while also requiring adversaries consume more resources. Such an increase in complexity and cost means Galahad also increases the accuracy, rate, and speed with which threats are detected