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A probabilistic relational model for security risk analysis
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Industrial Information and Control Systems.
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Industrial Information and Control Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3922-9606
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Industrial Information and Control Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3293-1681
2010 (English)In: Computers & security (Print), ISSN 0167-4048, E-ISSN 1872-6208, Vol. 29, no 6, 659-679 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Information system security risk, defined as the product of the monetary losses associated with security incidents and the probability that they occur, is a suitable decision criterion when considering different information system architectures. This paper describes how probabilistic relational models can be used to specify architecture metamodels so that security risk can be inferred from metamodel instantiations. A probabilistic relational model contains classes, attributes, and class-relationships. It can be used to specify architectural metamodels similar to class diagrams in the Unified Modeling Language. In addition, a probabilistic relational model makes it possible to associate a probabilistic dependency model to the attributes of classes in the architectural metamodel. This paper proposes a set of abstract classes that can be used to create probabilistic relational models so that they enable inference of security risk from instantiated architecture models. If an architecture metamodel is created by specializing the abstract classes proposed in this paper, the instantiations of the metamodel will generate a probabilistic dependency model that can be used to calculate the security risk associated with these instantiations. The abstract classes make it possible to derive the dependency model and calculate security risk from an instance model that only specifies assets and their relationships to each other. Hence, the person instantiating the architecture metamodel is not required to assess complex security attributes to quantify security risk using the instance model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 29, no 6, 659-679 p.
Keyword [en]
Security risk, Risk assessment, Architecture metamodel, Probabilistic relational model, Architecture analysis
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-29429DOI: 10.1016/j.cose.2010.02.002ISI: 000280625700003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-77955417822OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-29429DiVA: diva2:397584
Note
QC 20110215Available from: 2011-02-15 Created: 2011-02-02 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A framework and theory for cyber security assessments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A framework and theory for cyber security assessments
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Information technology (IT) is critical and valuable to our society. An important type of IT system is Supervisor Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. These systems are used to control and monitor physical industrial processes like electrical power supply, water supply and railroad transport. Since our society is heavily dependent on these industrial processes we are also dependent on the behavior of our SCADA systems. SCADA systems have become (and continue to be) integrated with other IT systems they are thereby becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats. Decision makers need to assess the security that a SCADA system’s architecture offers in order to make informed decisions concerning its appropriateness. However, data collection costs often restrict how much information that can be collected about the SCADA system’s architecture and it is difficult for a decision maker to know how important different variables are or what their value mean for the SCADA system’s security.

The contribution of this thesis is a modeling framework and a theory to support cyber security vulnerability assessments. It has a particular focus on SCADA systems. The thesis is a composite of six papers. Paper A describes a template stating how probabilistic relational models can be used to connect architecture models with cyber security theory. Papers B through E contribute with theory on operational security. More precisely, they contribute with theory on: discovery of software vulnerabilities (paper B), remote arbitrary code exploits (paper C), intrusion detection (paper D) and denial-of-service attacks (paper E). Paper F describes how the contribution of paper A is combined with the contributions of papers B through E and other operationalized cyber security theory. The result is a decision support tool called the Cyber Security Modeling Language (CySeMoL). This tool produces a vulnerability assessment for a system based on an architecture model of it.

Abstract [sv]

Informationsteknik (IT) är kritiskt och värdefullt för vårt samhälle. En viktig typ av IT-system är de styrsystem som ofta kallas SCADA-system (från engelskans "Supervisor Control And Data Acquisition"). Dessa system styr och övervakar fysiska industriella processer så som kraftförsörjning, vattenförsörjning och järnvägstransport. Eftersom vårt samhälle är beroende av dessa industriella processer så är vi också beroende av våra SCADA-systems beteende. SCADA-system har blivit (och fortsätter bli) integrerade med andra IT system och blir därmed mer sårbara för cyberhot. Beslutsfattare behöver utvärdera säkerheten som en systemarkitektur erbjuder för att kunna fatta informerade beslut rörande dess lämplighet. Men datainsamlingskostnader begränsar ofta hur mycket information som kan samlas in om ett SCADA-systems arkitektur och det är svårt för en beslutsfattare att veta hur viktiga olika variabler är eller vad deras värden betyder för SCADA-systemets säkerhet.

Bidraget i denna avhandling är ett modelleringsramverk och en teori för att stödja cybersäkerhetsutvärderingar. Det har ett särskilt focus på SCADA-system. Avhandlingen är av sammanläggningstyp och består av sex artiklar. Artikel A beskriver en mall för hur probabilistiska relationsmodeller kan användas för att koppla samman cybersäkerhetsteori med arkitekturmodeller. Artikel B till E bidrar med teori inom operationell säkerhet. Mer exakt, de bidrar med teori angående: upptäckt av mjukvarusårbarheter (artikel B), fjärrexekvering av godtycklig kod (artikel C), intrångsdetektering (artikel D) och attacker mot tillgänglighet (artikel E). Artikel F beskriver hur bidraget i artikel A kombineras med bidragen i artikel B till E och annan operationell cybersäkerhetsteori. Resultatet är ett beslutsstödsverktyg kallat Cyber Security Modeling Language (CySeMoL). Beslutsstödsverktyget producerar sårbarhetsutvärdering för ett system baserat på en arkitekturmodell av det.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. 42 p.
Series
TRITA-EE, ISSN 1653-5146 ; 2012:43
Keyword
cyber security, security assessment, vulnerability assessment, architecture modeling, enterprise architecture
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-103690 (URN)978-91-7501-511-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-11-15, F3, Lindstedtvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20121018

Available from: 2012-10-18 Created: 2012-10-17 Last updated: 2014-02-11Bibliographically approved

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Ekstedt, MathiasJohnson, Pontus

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