In most organizations, IT (information technology) infrastructure exists to support the organization's mission.
The threat of cyber attacks poses risks to this mission. Current network security research focuses on the threat of
cyber attacks to the organization's IT infrastructure; however, the risks to the overall mission are rarely analyzed
or formalized. This connection of IT infrastructure to the organization's mission is often neglected or carried
out ad-hoc. Our work bridges this gap and introduces analyses and formalisms to help organizations understand
the mission risks they face from cyber attacks.
Modeling an organization's mission vulnerability to cyber attacks requires a description of the IT infrastructure
(network model), the organization mission (business model), and how the mission relies on IT resources (correlation
model). With this information, proper analysis can show which cyber resources are of tactical importance
in a cyber attack, i.e., controlling them enables a large range of cyber attacks. Such analysis also reveals which
IT resources contribute most to the organization's mission, i.e., lack of control over them gravely affects the mission.
These results can then be used to formulate IT security strategies and explore their trade-offs, which leads
to better incident response. This paper presents our methodology for encoding IT infrastructure, organization
mission and correlations, our analysis framework, as well as initial experimental results and conclusions.