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A Novel Metric for Measuring Operational Effectiveness of a Cybersecurity Operations Center

  • Rajesh GanesanEmail author
  • Ankit Shah
  • Sushil Jajodia
  • Hasan Cam
Chapter

Abstract

Cybersecurity threats are on the rise with evermore digitization of the information that many day-to-day systems depend upon. The demand for cybersecurity analysts outpaces supply, which calls for optimal management of the analyst resource. In this chapter, a new notion of cybersecurity risk is defined, which arises when alerts from intrusion detection systems remain unanalyzed at the end of a work-shift. The above risk poses a security threat to the organization, which in turn impacts the operational effectiveness of the cybersecurity operations center (CSOC). The chapter considers four primary analyst resource parameters that influence risk. For a given risk threshold, the parameters include (1) number of analysts in a work-shift, and in turn within the organization, (2) expertise mix of analysts in a work-shift to investigate a wide range of alerts, (3) optimal sensor to analyst allocation, and (4) optimal scheduling of analysts that guarantees both number and expertise mix of analysts in every work-shift. The chapter presents a thorough treatment of risk and the role it plays in analyst resource management within a CSOC under varying alert generation rates from sensors. A simulation framework to measure risk under various model parameter settings is developed, which can also be used in conjunction with an optimization model to empirically validate the optimal settings of the above model parameters. The empirical results, sensitivity study, and validation study confirms the viability of the framework for determining the optimal management of the analyst resource that minimizes risk under the uncertainty of alert generation and model constraints.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Dr. Cliff Wang of the Army Research Laboratory for suggesting this problem to us. Ganesan, Jajodia, and Shah were partially supported by the Army Research Office under grants W911NF-13-1-0421 and W911NF-15-1-0576 and by the Office of Naval Research grant N00014-15-1-2007.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajesh Ganesan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ankit Shah
    • 1
  • Sushil Jajodia
    • 1
  • Hasan Cam
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Secure Information SystemsGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Army Research LaboratoryAdelphiUSA

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