Techniques for supporting prediction of security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures using Bayesian network and Markov decision process
Emerging trends in cyber system security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures show that attackers have abundant resources (human and computing power), expertise and support of large organizations and possible foreign governments. In order to greatly improve the protection of critical cloud infrastructures, incorporation of human behavior is needed to predict potential security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures. To achieve such prediction, it is envisioned to develop a probabilistic modeling approach with the capability of accurately capturing system-wide causal relationship among the observed operational behaviors in the critical cloud infrastructure and accurately capturing probabilistic human (users’) behaviors on subsystems as the subsystems are directly interacting with humans. In our conceptual approach, the system-wide causal relationship can be captured by the Bayesian network, and the probabilistic human behavior in the subsystems can be captured by the Markov Decision Processes. The interactions between the dynamically changing state graphs of Markov Decision Processes and the dynamic causal relationships in Bayesian network are key components in such probabilistic modelling applications. In this thesis, two techniques are presented for supporting the above vision to prediction of potential security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures. The first technique is for evaluation of the conformance of the Bayesian network with the multiple MDPs. The second technique is to evaluate the dynamically changing Bayesian network structure for conformance with the rules of the Bayesian network using a graph checker algorithm. A case study and its simulation are presented to show how the two techniques support the specific parts in our conceptual approach to predicting system-wide security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures.