A Method for Assessment of System Security

With the increasing use of extensive IT systems for sensitive or safety-critical applications, the matter of IT security is becoming more important. In order to be able to make sensible decisions about security there is a need for measures and metrics for computer security. There currently exist no established methods to assess the security of information systems.This thesis presents a method for assessing the security of computer systems. The basis of the method is that security relevant characteristics of components are modelled by a set of security features and connections between components are modelled by special functions that capture the relations between the security features of the components. These modelled components and relations are used to assess the security of each component in the context of the system and the resulting system dependent security values are used to assess the overall security of the system as a whole.A software tool that implements the method has been developed and used to demonstrate the method. The examples studied show that the method delivers reasonable results, but the exact interpretation of the results is not clear, due to the lack of security metrics.

Author: Andersson, Rikard

Source: Linköping University

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