A framework for enhancing mobile workflow execution through injection of flexible security controls

  • Borja Bordel
  • Ramón Alcarria
  • Augusto MoralesEmail author
  • Ignacio Castillo


Mobile workflow execution is gaining importance as traditional process execution systems are employed in many new scenarios such as mobile networks or the Internet of Things. Unfortunately, in these solutions, security is still based on control loops or computer science techniques which have not evolved as fast as current mobile systems and applications. In this context, in order to improve the security level of these systems, it is necessary to create a security framework tightly coupled with the mobile workflow execution platforms. To contribute filling this gap, we propose a framework to inject security controls in workflows, which supports mobile execution and allows a flexible decision making. This solution models security as control points where some relevant previously defined indicators are evaluated. Depending on the obtained values, the framework takes corrective, preventive or adaptive actions, considering also the execution system capabilities and the workflow being executed. In order to evaluate the effectiveness and performance of the proposed solution we include experimental validation.


Mobile workflow execution Security modeling Security controls Security injection 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through SEMOLA project (TEC2015-68284-R) and from the Autonomous Region of Madrid through MOSI-AGIL-CM project (Grant P2013/ICE-3019, co-funded by EU Structural Funds FSE and FEDER). Borja Bordel has received funding from the Ministry of Education through the FPU program (Grant Number FPU15/03977).


  1. 1.
    Sánchez, B. B., Alcarria, R., de Rivera, D. S., & Sánchez-Picot, Á. (2016). Enhancing process control in industry 4.0 scenarios using cyber-physical systems. JoWUA, 7(4), 41–64.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bordel, B., Alcarria, R., Robles, T., & Martín, D. (2017). Cyber–physical systems: Extending pervasive sensing from control theory to the Internet of Things. Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 40, 156–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    La Polla, M., Martinelli, F., & Sgandurra, D. (2013). A survey on security for mobile devices. IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, 15(1), 446–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alcarria, R., Robles, T., Morales, A., & Cedeño, E. (2014). Resolving coordination challenges in distributed mobile service executions. International Journal of Web and Grid Services, 10(2–3), 168–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bordel, B., Sánchez de Rivera, D., Sánchez-Picot, Á., & Robles, T. (2016). Physical processes control in industry 4.0-based systems: A focus on cyber-physical systems. In C. García, P. Caballero-Gil, M. Burmester, & A. Quesada-Arencibia (Eds.), Ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence. UCAm I 2016, IWAAL 2016, AmIHEALTH 2016. Lecture notes in computer science (Vol. 10070). Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bordel, B., Alcarria, R., Sánchez-de-Rivera, D., & Robles, T. (2017). Protecting industry 4.0 systems against the malicious effects of cyber-physical attacks. In International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence (pp. 161–171). Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Parker, F., Ophoff, J., Van Belle, J. P., & Karia, R. (2015). Security awareness and adoption of security controls by smartphone users. In 2015 Second international conference on information security and cyber forensics (InfoSec) (pp. 99–104). Cape Town.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wen, Z., Cala, J., & Watson, P. (2014). A scalable method for partitioning workflows with security requirements over federated clouds. In 2014 IEEE 6th international conference on cloud computing technology and science, Singapore, 2014 (pp. 122–129).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wen, Z., & Watson, P. (2013). Dynamic exception handling for partitioned workflow on federated clouds. In 2013 IEEE 5th international conference on cloud computing technology and science (CloudCom) (vol. 1, pp. 198–205).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chang, V., Kuo, Y. H., & Ramachandran, M. (2016). Cloud computing adoption framework: A security framework for business clouds. Future Generation Computer Systems, 57, 24–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Marcon, D. S., et al. (2013). Workflow specification and scheduling with security constraints in hybrid clouds. In 2nd IEEE latin american conference on cloud computing and communications, Maceio (pp. 29–34).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chen, H., Zhu, H., Qiu, D., Liu, L., & Du, Z. (2015). Scheduling for workflows with security-sensitive intermediate data by selective tasks duplication in clouds. IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, 28(9), 2674–2688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hussain, S, Sinnott, R. O., & Poet, R. (2016). A security-oriented workflow framework for collaborative environments. In 2016 IEEE Trustcom/BigDataSE/ISPA, Tianjin (pp. 707–714).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hussain, S., Sinnott, R. O., & Poet, R. (2016). Security-enabled enactment of decentralized workflows. In 2016 Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Security of Information and Networks (SIN ‘16) (pp. 49–56). New York, NY, USA: ACM.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Peng, T., Chi, C. -H., Chiasera, A., Armellin, G., Ronchetti, M., Matteotti, C., Parra, C., Kashytsa, A. O., & Varalta, A. (2014). Business process assignment and execution in mobile environments. In 2014 International conference on collaboration technologies and systems (CTS), Minneapolis, MN (pp. 267–274).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Younis, Y. A., Kifayat, K., & Merabti, M. (2014). An access control model for cloud computing. Journal of Information Security and Applications, 19(1), 45–60. (ISSN 2214-2126).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gao, B., He, L., Lu, X., Chang, C., Li, K., & Li, K. (2015). Developing energy-aware task allocation schemes in cloud-assisted mobile workflows. In 2015 IEEE international conference on computer and information technology; ubiquitous computing and communications; dependable, autonomic and secure computing; pervasive intelligence and computing, Liverpool, 2015 (pp. 1266–1273).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Deng, S., Huang, L., Taheri, J., & Zomaya, A. Y. (2015). Computation offloading for service workflow in mobile cloud computing. IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, 26(12), 3317–3329. Scholar
  19. 19.
    Abrishami, S., Naghibzadeh, M., & Epema, D. H. J. (2012). Cost-driven scheduling of grid workflows using partial critical paths. IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, 23(8), 1400–1414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Zeng, L. F., Veeravalli, B., & Li, X. R. (2015). SABA: A security-aware and budget-aware workflow scheduling strategy in clouds. Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, 75, 141–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Li, Z., Ge, J., Yang, H., Huang, L., Hu, H., Hu, H., et al. (2016). A security and cost aware scheduling algorithm for heterogeneous tasks of scientific workflow in clouds. Future Generation Computer Systems, 65, 140–152. (ISSN 0167-739X).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Tang, X., Li, K., Zeng, Z., & Veeravalli, B. (2011). A novel security-driven scheduling algorithm for precedence constrained tasks in heterogeneous distributed systems. IEEE Transactions on Computers, 60(7), 1017–1029.MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Alcarria, R., Robles, T., Morales, A., & Gonzalez-Miranda, S. (2012). Flexible service composition based on bundle communication in OSGi. KSII Transactions on Internet and Information Systems, 6(1), 116–130. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technical University of MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Check Point Software TechnologiesMexico CityMexico
  3. 3.Autonomous University of MexicoMexico CityMexico

Personalised recommendations