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A Knowledge Base for Justified Information Security Decision-Making

Lookup NU author(s): Daria Stepanova, Dr Simon Parkin, Professor Aad van Moorsel



The majority of modern-day companies store commercially sensitive and valuable information assets in digital form. It is essential for the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) within an organisation to ensure that such information is adequately protected. External standards exist to advise CISOs on how to secure information, but these are essentially “one-size-fits-all”. Furthermore they do not consider the human-behavioural aspects that determine the impact of security controls upon employees, or how security controls can be best deployed to manage insecure employee behaviour. CISOs require more information than they are currently provided with to justify their information security management decisions. Here we present a knowledge base and accompanying user interface. The knowledge base represents key structural components of the ISO27002 security standard, formally relating them to one another. This empowers CISOs to understand how different security measures impact upon each other. It also considers how human-behavioural factors can be associated with these concepts. The accompanying user interface provides a means to present formalised information security concepts to CISOs. This paper describes the development of the knowledge base and user interface, highlighting and discussing key challenges and how they were resolved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stepanova D, Parkin SE, van Moorsel A

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2009

Pages: 11

Print publication date: 01/02/2009

Source Publication Date: February 2009

Report Number: 1137

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne