Wolter Pieters, Trajce Dimkov and Dusko Pavlovic


Security policy alignment concerns the matching of security policies specified at different levels in socio-technical systems, and delegated to different agents, technical as well as human. For example, the policy that sales data should not leave an organisation is refined into policies on door locks, firewalls and employee behaviour, and this refinement should be correct with respect to the original policy. Although alignment of security policies in socio-technical systems has been discussed in literature, especially in relation to business goals, there has been no formal treatment of this topic so far in terms of consistency and completeness of policies. Where formal approaches are used in policy alignment, these are applied to well-defined technical access control scenarios instead. We therefore aim at formalising security policy alignment for complex socio-technical systems in this paper, and our formalisation is based on predicates over sequences of actions. We discuss how this formalisation provides the foundations for existing and future methods for finding security weaknesses induced by misalignment of policies in socio-technical systems.

Source: IEEE Systems Journal 7/2 Date: June 2013 Pages: 275-287 Full Text: http://isg.rhul.ac.uk/dusko/papers/1208-IEEE.pdf