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Towards a multiscale approach to cybersecurity modeling

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6 Author(s)
Hogan, E. ; Pacific Northwest Nat. Lab. Richland, Richland, WA, USA ; Hui, P. ; Choudhury, S. ; Halappanavar, M.
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We propose a multiscale approach to modeling cyber networks, with the goal of capturing a view of the network and overall situational awareness with respect to a few key properties - connectivity, distance, and centrality - for a system under an active attack. We focus on theoretical and algorithmic foundations of multiscale graphs, coming from an algorithmic perspective, with the goal of modeling cyber system defense as a specific use case scenario. We first define a notion of multiscale graphs, in contrast with their well-studied single-scale counterparts. We develop multiscale analogs of paths and distance metrics. As a simple, motivating example of a common metric, we present a multiscale analog of the all-pairs shortest-path problem, along with a multiscale analog of a well-known algorithm which solves it. From a cyber defense perspective, this metric might be used to model the distance from an attacker's position in the network to a sensitive machine. In addition, we investigate probabilistic models of connectivity. These models exploit the hierarchy to quantify the likelihood that sensitive targets might be reachable from compromised nodes. We believe that our novel multiscale approach to modeling cyber-physical systems will advance several aspects of cyber defense, specifically allowing for a more efficient and agile approach to defending these systems.

Published in:

Technologies for Homeland Security (HST), 2013 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

12-14 Nov. 2013