Dynamic counter-measures for risk-based access control systems: An evolutive approach

Daniel Díaz-López, Ginés Dólera-Tormo, Félix Gómez-Mármol, Gregorio Martínez-Pérez

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Risk-based access control systems are a new element in access control categories, incorporating risk analysis as part of the inputs to consider when taking an authorization decision. A risk analysis over a resource leads generally to temporal allocation of the resource in a risk level (e.g. high, medium, low). Ideally, for each risk level and kind of resource, the access control system should take an authorization decision (expressed like a permit or deny) and the system administrator should also trigger specific counter-measures to protect resources according to their risk level. In a small access control system with few resources it is possible for an administrator to follow the risk level changes and react promptly with counter-measures; but in medium/large access control systems it is almost unfeasible to react in a customized way to thousands of risk level emergencies asking for attention. In this paper we propose the adoption of dynamic counter-measures (which can be integrated within access control policies) changing along time to face variations in the risk level of every resource, bringing two main benefits, namely: (i) a suitable resource protection according to the risk level (not under or over estimated) and (ii) an access control system granting/denying access depending on the fulfillment of a set of security controls applicable in an authorization access request. To define the most appropriate set of counter-measures applicable for a specific situation we define a method based on genetic algorithms, which allows to find a solution in a reasonable time frame satisfying different required conditions. Finally, the conducted experiments show the applicability of our proposal in a real scenario.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-335
Number of pages15
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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