Valve: Securing Function Workflows on Serverless Computing Platforms

Pubali Datta, Prabuddha Kumar, Tristan Morris, Michael Grace, Amir Rahmati, Adam Bates

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


Serverless Computing has quickly emerged as a dominant cloud computing paradigm, allowing developers to rapidly prototype event-driven applications using a composition of small functions that each perform a single logical task. However, many such application workflows are based in part on publicly-available functions developed by third-parties, creating the potential for functions to behave in unexpected, or even malicious, ways. At present, developers are not in total control of where and how their data is flowing, creating significant security and privacy risks in growth markets that have embraced serverless (e.g., IoT). As a practical means of addressing this problem, we present Valve, a serverless platform that enables developers to exert complete fine-grained control of information flows in their applications. Valve enables workflow developers to reason about function behaviors, and specify restrictions, through auditing of network-layer information flows. By proxying network requests and propagating taint labels across network flows, Valve is able to restrict function behavior without code modification. We demonstrate that Valve is able defend against known serverless attack behaviors including container reuse-based persistence and data exfiltration over cloud platform APIs with less than 2.8% runtime overhead, 6.25% deployment overhead and 2.35% teardown overhead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Web Conference 2020 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2020
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450370233
StatePublished - Apr 20 2020
Event29th International World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2020 - Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: Apr 20 2020Apr 24 2020

Publication series

NameThe Web Conference 2020 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2020


Conference29th International World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2020
Country/TerritoryTaiwan, Province of China


  • Information Flow
  • Security
  • Serverless Computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software


Dive into the research topics of 'Valve: Securing Function Workflows on Serverless Computing Platforms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this