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Security in Embedded Systems: A Model-Based Approach with Risk Metrics
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. (Real-time Systems Laboratory)
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The increasing prevalence of embedded devices and a boost in sophisticated attacks against them make embedded system security an intricate and pressing issue. New approaches to support the development of security-enhanced systems need to be explored. We realise that efficient transfer of knowledge from security experts to embedded system engineers is vitally important, but hardly achievable in current practice. This thesis proposes a Security-Enhanced Embedded system Design (SEED) approach, which is a set of concepts, methods, and processes that together aim at addressing this challenge of bridging the gap between the two areas of expertise. 

We introduce the concept of a Domain-Specific Security Model (DSSM) as a suitable abstraction to capture the knowledge of security experts in a way that this knowledge can be later reused by embedded system engineers. Each DSSM characterises common security issues of a specific application domain in a form of security properties linked to a range of solutions. Next, we complement a DSSM with the concept of a Performance Evaluation Record (PER) to account for the resource-constrained nature of embedded systems. Each PER characterises the resource overhead created by a security solution, a provided level of security, and other relevant information. 

We define a process that assists an embedded system engineer in selecting a suitable set of security solutions. The process couples together (i) the use of the security knowledge accumulated in DSSMs and PERs, (ii) the identification of security issues in a system design, (iii) the analysis of resource constraints of a system and available security solutions, and (iv) model-based quantification of security risks to data assets associated with a design model. The approach is supported by a set of tools that automate certain steps.

We use scenarios from a smart metering domain to demonstrate how the SEED approach can be applied. We show that our artefacts are rich enough to support security experts in description of knowledge about security solutions, and to support embedded system engineers in integration of an appropriate set of security solutions based on that knowledge. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method for quantification of security risks by applying it to a metering device. This shows its usage for visualising of and reasoning about security risks inherent in a system design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. , 207 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1715
National Category
Computer and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122149DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-122149ISBN: 978-91-7685-917-9 (print)OAI: diva2:865385
Public defence
2015-12-17, Visionen, Hus B, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
CUGS (National Graduate School in Computer Science)

In the electronic version are grammatical and spelling errors corrected.

Available from: 2015-11-03 Created: 2015-10-20 Last updated: 2015-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Vasilevskaya, Maria
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Department of Computer and Information ScienceFaculty of Science & Engineering
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