Cloud computing has been widely adopted by application service providers (ASPs) and enterprises to reduce both capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operational expenditures (OPEX). Applications and services previously running on private data centers are now being migrated to private or public clouds. Since most of the ASPs and enterprises have globally distributed user bases, their services need to be distributed across multiple clouds, spread across the globe which can achieve better performance in terms of latency, scalability and load balancing. The shift has eventually led the research community to study multi-cloud environments. However, the widespread acceptance of such environments has been hampered by major security concerns. Firewalls and traditional rule-based security protection techniques are not sufficient to protect user-data in multi-cloud scenarios. Recently, advances in machine learning techniques have attracted the attention of the research community to build intrusion detection systems (IDS) that can detect anomalies in the network traffic. Most of the research works, however, do not differentiate among different types of attacks. This is, in fact, necessary for appropriate countermeasures and defense against attacks. In this paper, we investigate both detecting and categorizing anomalies rather than just detecting, which is a common trend in the contemporary research works. We have used a popular publicly available dataset to build and test learning models for both detection and categorization of different attacks. To be precise, we have used two supervised machine learning techniques, namely linear regression (LR) and random forest (RF). We show that even if detection is perfect, categorization can be less accurate due to similarities between attacks. Our results demonstrate more than 99% detection accuracy and categorization accuracy of 93.6%, with the inability to categorize some attacks. Further, we argue that such categorization can be applied to multi-cloud environments using the same machine learning techniques.
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