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Measuring quality attributes of object-oriented designs (e.g. maintainability and performance) has been covered by a number of studies. However, these studies have not considered security as much as other quality attributes. Also, most security studies focus at the level of individual program statements. This approach makes it hard and expensive to discover and fix vulnerabilities caused by design errors. In this work, we focus on the security design of an object-oriented application and define a number of security metrics. These metrics allow designers to discover and fix security vulnerabilities at an early stage, and help compare the security of various alternative designs. In particular, we propose seven security metrics to measure data encapsulation (accessibility) and Cohesion (interactions) of a given object-oriented class from the point of view of potential information flow.
Date of Conference: 24-25 Aug. 2009