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.

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 April 16, 2014 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 April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google Patents Contact Lens Cameras; Internet Is Wary

Google Patents Contact Lens Cameras; Internet Is Wary

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — Google has filed for a patent to develop contact lenses capable of taking photos. The company describes possible benefits to blind people. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 15, 2014) — Pennsylvania-based Schramm is incorporating modern technology in its next generation oil-drigging rigs, making them smaller, safer and smarter. Ernest Scheyder reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NSA Leaks Net Pulitzer For Guardian, Washington Post

NSA Leaks Net Pulitzer For Guardian, Washington Post

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) — The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded to The Washington Post and The Guardian for their work covering the NSA's surveillance programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Buys Drone Maker, Hopes to Connect Rural World

Google Buys Drone Maker, Hopes to Connect Rural World

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) — Formerly courted by Facebook, Titan Aerospace will become a part of Google's quest to blanket the world in Internet connectivity. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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