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Validating, Verifying and

Explaining Security in a 

Smarter World
Arosha K. Bandara
9 April 2015; Bra, Italy
Variable 

Assets
Risks
Zero-day 

Threat
Security 

Control Failure
Security in a Smarter World
2
Threat
Asset
Adaptive Security:
Systems that continue to
satisfy their security
requirements when threats
and assets are uncertain /
changing.
Attack
Vulnerability
Validation, Verification & Explanation
● Validation: 

Will the system protect the assets
from security threats? 

(Have we built the right system?)
● Verification:

Has the system been correctly
configured to protect the assets from
security threats?

(Have we built the system right?)
● Explanation:

Can we understand the behaviour of
the adaptive security system?
Assurances for Adaptive Security
3
Nicholas Morant. National Film Board of Canada. 

Photothèque. Library and Archives Canada, PA-112911
Adaptive Security Architecture
4
Security
Metrics
Security
Decision
Making
Security
Controls
Adaptive Security – VV&E
● Validation: Is the system measuring
the right things to determine if a
security adaptation is needed and
deciding on the right security controls
to be deployed?

● Verification: Is the system
measuring things and making
decisions in the right way?
● Explanation: Can we understand
why we are measuring things and the
reasons for doing this in particular
way?
Security Metrics, Decision Making and Controls
5
Traceability for VV&E
6
Security
Metrics
Security
Decision
Making
Security
Controls
Security
Requirements
Model Causal 

Relationships
Identify value
of different metrics
Runtime
Models
Traceability for VV&E
7
Security
Metrics
Security
Decision
Making
Security
Controls
Security
Requirements
Model Causal 

Relationships
Identify value
of different metrics
Runtime
Models
Traceability for VV&E
8
Security
Metrics
Security
Decision
Making
Security
Controls
Security
Requirements
Model Causal 

Relationships
Identify value
of different metrics
Runtime
Models
Variable 

Assets
Risks
Zero-day 

Threat
Security 

Control Failure
Security in a Smarter World
9
Threat
Asset
Adaptive Security:
Systems that continue to
satisfy their security
requirements when threats
and assets are uncertain /
changing.
Attack
Vulnerability
Final Thoughts
● Are there are specific issues for
validating, verifying and explaining
adaptive security systems?
●  e.g., Assets, Threats, Attackers, Vulnerabilities
● Can we use decision analysis
techniques to determine the best
metrics and measurement methods
to drive adaptation?
● How do the runtime models need to
extended to support validation,
verification and explanation for
adaptive security?
Comments and Questions
10

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Validation, Verification and Explanation in a Smarter World