Section: New Results
Most companies information systems are composed by heterogeneous components responsible of hosting, creating or manipulating critical information for the day-to-day operation of the company. Securing this information is therefore one of their main concerns, more particularly specifying Access Control (AC) policies. However, the task of implementing an AC security policy (sometimes relying on several mechanisms) remains complex and error prone as it requires knowing low level and vendor-specific facilities. In this context, discovering and understanding which security policies are actually being enforced by the Information System (IS) becomes critical. Thus, the main challenge consists in bridging the gap between the vendor-dependent security features and a higher-level representation. This representation has to express the policies by abstracting from the specificities of the system components, allowing security experts to better understand the policy and to implement all related evolution, refactoring and manipulation operations in a reusable way.
In 2014, we have presented a Ph.D. thesis tackling the aforementioned problems. It proposes a model-driven automatic reverse engineering mechanism capable of analyzing deployed security aspects of components (e.g. concrete firewall configurations) to derive the abstract model (e.g. network security global policy) that is actually enforced. Once the model is obtained, it can be reconciled with the expected security directives, to check its compliance, can be queried to test consistency or used in a process of forward engineering to generate validated security configurations. This work also provides the first steps towards the integration of the diverse security policies extracted from the subsystems composing a complex Information System in a global security representation.