Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New tool aims to ensure software security policies reflect user needs

Date:
October 30, 2012
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a new natural language processing tool that businesses or other customers can use to ensure that software developers have a clear idea of the security policies to be incorporated into new software products.

Researchers from North Carolina State University and IBM Research have developed a new natural language processing tool that businesses or other customers can use to ensure that software developers have a clear idea of the security policies to be incorporated into new software products.

Related Articles


Specifically, the research focuses on access control policies (ACPs), which are the security requirements that software developers need to bear in mind when developing new software. For example, an ACP for a university grading program needs to allow professors to give grades to students, but should not allow students to change the grades.

"These ACPs are important, but are often buried amidst a lengthy list of other requirements that customers give to developers," says Dr. Tao Xie, an associate professor of computer science at NC State and co-author of a paper on the research. These requirements are written in "natural language," which is the conversational language that people use when talking or corresponding via the written word.

Incomplete or inaccurate ACP requirements can crop up, for example, if the customer writing the ACP requirements makes a mistake or doesn't have enough technical know-how to accurately describe a program's security needs.

A second problem is that programmers may misinterpret some ACP requirements, or overlook them entirely.

In collaboration with IBM Research, Xie's research team has developed a solution that uses a natural language processing program to extract the ACP requirements from a customer's overall list of requirements and translate it into machine-readable language that computers can understand and enforce.

After the ACPs are extracted, they can be run through Access Control Policy Tool (ACPT) -- also developed in Xie's research team in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) -- which verifies and tests the ACPs and determines whether the ACP requirements are adequate to meet the security needs of the program.

Once the ACP requirements have been translated into machine-readable language, they can also be incorporated into a policy-enforcement "engine" in the final software product -- which ensures that ACPs cannot be overlooked by programmers.

"In general, developing a program that understands natural language text is very challenging," Xie says. "However, ACP requirements in software documents usually follow a certain style, using terms such as 'cannot be edited' or 'does not have the ability to edit.' Because ACPs tend to use such a limited number of phrases, it is much easier to develop a program that effectively translates natural language texts in this context."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "New tool aims to ensure software security policies reflect user needs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121030210353.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2012, October 30). New tool aims to ensure software security policies reflect user needs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121030210353.htm
North Carolina State University. "New tool aims to ensure software security policies reflect user needs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121030210353.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazon Complains U.S. Is Too Slow To Regulate Drones

Amazon Complains U.S. Is Too Slow To Regulate Drones

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) Days after getting approval to test certain commercial drones, Amazon says the Federal Aviation Administration is dragging its feet on the matter. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Ups Its Messenger Game

Facebook Ups Its Messenger Game

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) Facebook is taking another step towards making its users into consumers for its growing base of advertisers, by expanding its messenger service features. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins