Managing Security Requirements Patterns Using Feature Diagram Hierarchies




Slavin, Rocky
Lehker, Jean-Michel
Niu, Jianwei
Breaux, Travis D.

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UTSA Department of Computer Science


Security requirements patterns represent reusable security practices that software engineers can apply to improve security in their system. Reusing best practices that others have employed could have a number of benefits, such as decreasing the time spent in the requirements elicitation process or improving the quality of the product by reducing product failure risk. Pattern selection can be difficult due to the diversity of applicable patterns from which an analyst has to choose. The challenge is that identifying the most appropriate pattern for a situation can be cumbersome and time-consuming. We propose a new method that combines an inquiry-cycle based approach with the feature diagram notation to review only relevant patterns and quickly select the most appropriate patterns for the situation. Similar to patterns themselves, our approach captures expert knowledge to relate patterns based on decisions made by the pattern user. The resulting pattern hierarchies allow users to be guided through these decisions by questions, which elicit and refine requirements as well as introduce related patterns. Furthermore, our approach is unique in the way that pattern forces are interpreted as quality attributes to balance trade-offs in the resulting requirements. We evaluate our approach using access control patterns in a pattern user study.



security, requirements, patterns, feature diagram



Computer Science