Visible to the public Quantifying & minimizing attack surfaces containing moving target defensesConflict Detection Enabled

TitleQuantifying & minimizing attack surfaces containing moving target defenses
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsN. Soule, B. Simidchieva, F. Yaman, R. Watro, J. Loyall, M. Atighetchi, M. Carvalho, D. Last, D. Myers, B. Flatley
Conference Name2015 Resilience Week (RWS)
Date PublishedAug
KeywordsAnalytical models, attack surface minimization, C3E 2019, Computational modeling, cyber friendly fire, cyber security analysis, cyber security exposure, dynamic proactive defenses, Human Machine Teaming, IP networks, Measurement, Minimization, Modeling, moving target defenses, quantification, Resilient Systems, security, security of data, Surface treatment, Threat Assessment, timeliness violations

The cyber security exposure of resilient systems is frequently described as an attack surface. A larger surface area indicates increased exposure to threats and a higher risk of compromise. Ad-hoc addition of dynamic proactive defenses to distributed systems may inadvertently increase the attack surface. This can lead to cyber friendly fire, a condition in which adding superfluous or incorrectly configured cyber defenses unintentionally reduces security and harms mission effectiveness. Examples of cyber friendly fire include defenses which themselves expose vulnerabilities (e.g., through an unsecured admin tool), unknown interaction effects between existing and new defenses causing brittleness or unavailability, and new defenses which may provide security benefits, but cause a significant performance impact leading to mission failure through timeliness violations. This paper describes a prototype service capability for creating semantic models of attack surfaces and using those models to (1) automatically quantify and compare cost and security metrics across multiple surfaces, covering both system and defense aspects, and (2) automatically identify opportunities for minimizing attack surfaces, e.g., by removing interactions that are not required for successful mission execution.

Citation Key7287449