A Systematic Approach to Assist Designers in Security Pattern Integration




The last decade has witnessed significant contributions in software engineering to design more secure systems and applications. Software designers can now leverage specific patterns, called security patterns as reusable solutions to model more secure applications. But, despite the advantages offered by security patterns, these are rarely used in practice, because choosing and employing them for devising less vulnerable applications, is still a difficult and error-prone task. In this work, we propose an original approach to guide designers for checking whether a set of security patterns is correctly integrated into models and if vulnerabilities are yet exposed despite their use. This approach relies upon the analysis of the structural and behavioral properties of security patterns and on formal methods to check if these properties hold in the application model completed with patterns. We also provide a metric computation to assess the integration quality of patterns. Afterwards, we check whether the vulnerabilities, which should be removed by the use of patterns, are not exposed in the model. We illustrate this approach on an example of Web application, the Moodle education platform.

Using Data Integration for Security Testing

A classification methodology for security patterns to help fix software weaknesses



Security patterns are generic solutions that can be applied since early stages of software life to overcome recurrent security weaknesses. Their generic nature and growing number make their choice difficult, even for experts in system design. To help them on the pattern choice, this paper proposes a semiautomatic methodology of classification and the classification itself, which exposes relationships among software weaknesses, security principles and security patterns. It expresses which patterns remove a given weakness with respect to the security principles that have to be addressed to fix the weakness. The methodology is based on seven steps, which anatomize patterns and weaknesses into set of more precise sub-properties that are associated through a hierarchical organization of security principles. These steps provide the detailed justifications of the resulting classification and allow its upgrade. Without loss of generality, this classification has been established for Web applications and covers 185 software weaknesses, 26 security patterns and 66 security principles.