Dependability And Security By Enhanced Reconfigurability

Timeframe : January 2006 - April 2009

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DESEREC is an Integrated Project of the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Union under the "Information Society Technologies" priority, strategic objective "Towards a global dependability and security framework"

The fast growth of highly interconnected Communications and Information Systems (CIS), and the use of them to carry out critical activities, has opened an important issue regarding the resilience, reliability and security of these CISs. This strong interdependence increases the consequences of accidents, failures, attacks and implies high vulnerabilities, and only a multi-disciplinary approach is able to leverage dependability of CISs by an alliance of the following three approaches, currently scattered into separated scientific fields.

  • Modelling and simulation: DESEREC devises and develops innovative approaches and tools to design, model, simulate, and plan critical infrastructures to dramatically improve their resilience.
  • Detection: DESEREC integrates various detection mechanisms to ensure fast detection of severe incidents but also to detect complex ones, based on a combination of seemingly unrelated events, or on an abnormal behaviour.
  • Response: DESEREC provides a framework for computer-aided counter-measures initiatives to respond in a quick and appropriate way to a large range of incidents to mitigate the threats to the dependability and rapidly thwart the problem. CIS Re-configuration is the utmost mechanism for their survivability.

This multi-disciplinary approach allows DESEREC to respond efficiently to the three families of incidents which can occur on a critical system: Attacks from the outside, Intrinsic failures and Misbehaviour or malicious internal use.

As incidents act with different time scales and impact levels, DESEREC includes three response loops working on three different answering times to provide a suited answer:
  • A few seconds to locally respond to a severe and well-characterized incident and to launch emergency curative procedure to avoid escalation process or dramatic damage.
  • Some minutes to detect very complex problem and to readjust the system (i.e. through computer aided reactions)
  • Some hours to build a new configuration optimised to resist to a new situation and validated through modelling and simulation

Keywords: security, dependability, reconfigurability, security analysis tools

Financial support by: European Union

Coordinator of the IEIIT unit in the project: Luca Durante