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The Cyber Security Modeling Language: A Tool for Assessing the Vulnerability of Enterprise System Architectures
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.
2013 (English)In: IEEE Systems Journal, ISSN 1932-8184, Vol. 7, no 3, 363-373 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The cyber security modeling language (CySeMoL) is a modeling language for enterprise-level system architectures coupled to a probabilistic inference engine. If the computer systems of an enterprise are modeled with CySeMoL, this inference engine can assess the probability that attacks on the systems will succeed. The theory used for the attack-probability calculations in CySeMoL is a compilation of research results on a number of security domains and covers a range of attacks and countermeasures. The theory has previously been validated on a component level. In this paper, the theory is also validated on a system level. A test indicates that the reasonableness and correctness of CySeMoL assessments compare with the reasonableness and correctness of the assessments of a security professional. CySeMoL's utility has been tested in case studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Press, 2013. Vol. 7, no 3, 363-373 p.
Keyword [en]
Computer security, expert systems, risk analysis, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems
National Category
Computer Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-103689DOI: 10.1109/JSYST.2012.2221853ISI: 000321641800003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84880572592OAI: diva2:561243

QC 20130320

Available from: 2013-03-20 Created: 2012-10-17 Last updated: 2013-08-15Bibliographically 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.
TRITA-EE, ISSN 1653-5146 ; 2012:43
cyber security, security assessment, vulnerability assessment, architecture modeling, enterprise architecture
National Category
Computer Systems
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)

QC 20121018

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

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