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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Security, volume 11, numbers 3 and 4, 2018 // View article sec_v11_n34_2018_1


Applying Soft Systems Methodology to Complex Problem Situations in Critical Infrastructures: The CS-AWARE Case Study

Authors:
Veronika Kupfersberger
Thomas Schaberreiter
Chris Wills
Gerald Quirchmayr
Juha Röning

Keywords: Critical Infrastructures; System Analysis; Soft Systems Methodology; Socio-technological Analysis; Cyber Situational Awareness; Information Sharing

Abstract:
Modern technology, in addition to all its benefits, creates new threats and attack vectors to individuals and organisations. In the past years, the number of cyber attacks has increased drastically as has the extent of their effects. These circumstances clearly show that a different approach to cybersecurity is required: a holistic, collaborative strategy to improve the security situation for society and the economy as a whole. In the European Union, the legal framework that is currently developing (like the network and information security (NIS) directive), recognises the increasing need for cooperation and collaboration among individual actors to improve cybersecurity. Information sharing is therefore one of the key elements of the NIS directive. In this paper, we present and demonstrate a system and dependency analysis based on soft systems thinking. This approach is able to capture the relations between assets and their internal and external dependencies in the complex systems of organisations. It is applicable to critical infrastructures or other organisations that base their operations on complex systems and interactions. The analysis approach introduced is done in a socio-technological manner; the human aspect of the systems is considered as important as the technical or organisational aspects. The case study presented in this paper, covering the first steps towards the development of a holistic cybersecurity awareness solution, is based on three focus points: an initial threat assessment for local public administrations (LPAs), an analysis of external information sources and an analysis of the piloting scenarios based on the first round of soft systems analysis workshops. The results of which are essential to the development of the solutions implementation framework and further software development.

Pages: 191 to 200

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2018. Used with permission.

Publication date: December 30, 2018

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2636

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