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System and network security are vital parts of any autonomic computing solution. The ability of a system to react consistently and correctly to situations ranging from benign but unusual events to outright attacks is key to the achievement of the goals of self-protection, self-healing, and self-optimization. Because they are often built around the interconnection of elements from different administrative domains, autonomic systems raise additional security challenges, including the establishment of a trustworthy system identity, automatically handling changes in system configuration and interconnections, and greatly increased configuration complexity. On the other hand, the techniques of autonomic computing offer the promise of making systems more secure, by effectively and automatically enforcing high-level security policies. In this paper, we discuss these and other security and privacy challenges posed by autonomic systems and provide some recommendations for how these challenges may be met.
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