Visible to the public Automated Synthesis of Resilient Network Access Controls: A Formal Framework with RefinementConflict Detection Enabled

TitleAutomated Synthesis of Resilient Network Access Controls: A Formal Framework with Refinement
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationSubmitted
AuthorsAshiq Rahman, Ehab Al-Shaer
Journal IEEE Transactions of Parallel and Distributed Computing (TPDC),
KeywordsAutomated Synthesis of Resilient Architectures, policy synthesis, Resilient configuration, security automation

Due to the extensive use of network services and emerging security threats, enterprise networks deploy varieties of security devices for controlling resource access based on organizational security requirements. These requirements need fine-grained access control rules based on heterogeneous isolation patterns like access denial, trusted communication, and payload inspection. Organizations are also seeking for usable and optimal security configurations that can harden the network security within enterprise budget constraints. In order to design a security architecture, i.e., the distribution of security devices along with their security policies, that satisfies the organizational security requirements as well as the business constraints, it is required to analyze various alternative security architectures considering placements of network security devices in the network and the corresponding access controls. In this paper, we present an automated formal framework for synthesizing network security configurations. The main design alternatives include different kinds of isolation patterns for network traffic flows. The framework takes security requirements and business constraints along with the network topology as inputs. Then, it synthesizes cost-effective security configurations satisfying the constraints and provides placements of different security devices, optimally distributed in the network, according to the given network topology. In addition, we provide a hypothesis testing-based security architecture refinement mechanism that explores various security design alternatives using ConfigSynth and improves the security architecture by systematically increasing the security requirements. We demonstrate the execution of ConfigSynth and the refinement mechanism using case studies. Finally, we evaluate their scalability using simulated experiments.

Citation Keynode-24110