MacAulay-Brown, Inc. (MacB) has published a white paper on groundbreaking cybersecurity research conducted by the company’s researchers, according to a MacB announcement released Monday.
The paper, titled Index of Cyber Integrity (ICI), was modeled after the Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) and provides a holistic measure of the health of a system under test in a cyber-environment.
“It is not feasible to model all aspects of complex cyber systems by traditional means,” said white paper author Gustave Anderson, a senior researcher at MacB. “The ICI provides a broad base measure that integrates application and system specific metrics that gives an indication of health of a system under test in a cyber-environment.”
Anderson presented the paper in May at the SPIE Defense Sensing and Security (DSS) 2014 conference.
The findings’ value surfaces in the fact that no metric currently exists to capture application and attack specific details. Without it, according to MacB, government and industry must use static, ad-hoc methods for generating evaluations of the security of critical systems. Situations where security professionals are able to simulate an attack — through penetration testing and cyber evaluation tests — are effective because they allow the potential for discovering vulnerabilities. The evaluations are “valuable, providing indications of improper system configuration, hardware and software flaws or operational weaknesses,” according to the company.
“Unfortunately, these evaluations are unable to provide a holistic view of application and system performance while under attack and there is no definable and repeatable security performance metrics,” MacB wrote in its press statement. “The MacB ICI provides an index of cyber health through a collection of application and system specific metrics to completely measure system integrity.”
Led by President and Chief Executive Officer Sid Fuchs, MacB is a national security company that delivers advanced engineering services and product solutions to defense, intelligence, special operations forces, homeland security and federal agencies. MacB operates a corporate headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, and a national capital headquarters in Vienna, Va.
The white paper is available for download on MacB’s website.