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Mukherjee, Preetam, Mazumdar, Chandan.  2018.  Attack Difficulty Metric for Assessment of Network Security. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security. :44:1-44:10.
In recent days, organizational networks are becoming target of sophisticated multi-hop attacks. Attack Graph has been proposed as a useful modeling tool for complex attack scenarios by combining multiple vulnerabilities in causal chains. Analysis of attack scenarios enables security administrators to calculate quantitative security measurements. These measurements justify security investments in the organization. Different security metrics based on attack graph have been introduced for evaluation of comparable security measurements. Studies show that difficulty of exploiting the same vulnerability changes with change of its position in the causal chains of attack graph. In this paper, a new security metric based on attack graph, namely Attack Difficulty has been proposed to include this position factor. The security metrics are classified in two major categories viz. counting metrics and difficulty-based metrics. The proposed Attack Difficulty Metric employs both categories of metrics as the basis for its measurement. Case studies have been presented for demonstrating applicability of the proposed metric. Comparison of this new metric with other attack graph based security metrics has also been included to validate its acceptance in real life situations.