Sustainable Adaptive Security

by   Liliana Pasquale, et al.

With software systems permeating our lives, we are entitled to expect that such systems are secure by design, and that such security endures throughout the use of these systems and their subsequent evolution. Although adaptive security systems have been proposed to continuously protect assets from harm, they can only mitigate threats arising from changes foreseen at design time. In this paper, we propose the notion of Sustainable Adaptive Security (SAS) which reflects such enduring protection by augmenting adaptive security systems with the capability of mitigating newly discovered threats. To achieve this objective, a SAS system should be designed by combining automation (e.g., to discover and mitigate security threats) and human intervention (e.g., to resolve uncertainties during threat discovery and mitigation). In this paper, we use a smart home example to showcase how we can engineer the activities of the MAPE (Monitor, Analysis, Planning, and Execution) loop of systems satisfying sustainable adaptive security. We suggest that using anomaly detection together with abductive reasoning can help discover new threats and guide the evolution of security requirements and controls. We also exemplify situations when humans can be involved in the execution of the activities of the MAPE loop and discuss the requirements to engineer human interventions.


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