k-Zero Day Safety: Evaluating the Resilience of Networks Against Unknown Attacks

  • Lingyu WangEmail author
  • Sushil Jajodia
  • Anoop Singhal
  • Pengsu Cheng
  • Steven Noel


By enabling a direct comparison of different security solutions with respect to their relative effectiveness, a network security metric may provide quantifiable evidences to assist security practitioners in securing computer networks. However, the security risk of unknown vulnerabilities is usually considered as something unmeasurable due to the less predictable nature of software flaws. This leads to a challenge for security metrics, because a more secure configuration would be of little value if it were equally susceptible to zero day attacks. In this chapter, we describe a novel security metric, k-zero day safety, to address this issue. Instead of attempting to rank unknown vulnerabilities, the metric counts how many such vulnerabilities would be required for compromising network assets; a larger count implies more security since the likelihood of having more unknown vulnerabilities available, applicable, and exploitable all at the same time will be significantly lower.



Authors with Concordia University were partially supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada under Discovery Grant N01035. Sushil Jajodia was partially supported by the by Army Research Office grants W911NF-13-1-0421 and W911NF-15-1-0576, by the Office of Naval Research grant N00014-15-1-2007, National Institutes of Standard and Technology grant 60NANB16D287, and by the National Science Foundation grant IIP-1266147.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lingyu Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sushil Jajodia
    • 2
  • Anoop Singhal
    • 3
  • Pengsu Cheng
    • 1
  • Steven Noel
    • 4
  1. 1.Concordia Institute for Information Systems EngineeringConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Center for Secure Information SystemsGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  3. 3.Computer Security DivisionNISTGaithersburgUSA
  4. 4.The MITRE CorporationMcLeanUSA

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