Doctoral defence: Mubashar Iqbal “Reference framework for managing security risks using blockchain”

On 30 September at 12:15 Mubashar Iqbal will defend his doctoral thesis “Reference framework for managing security risks using blockchain” for obtaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (in Computer Science).

Supervisor:
Prof. Raimundas Matulevičius, University of Tartu

Opponents:
Assoc. Prof. Hans Weigand, Tilburg University (The Netherlands)
Prof. Agnes Koschmider, Kiel University (Germany)

Summary
Various programs (e.g., OWASP), threat models (e.g., STRIDE), security risk management models (e.g., ISSRM), and regulations (e.g., GDPR) exist to communicate and reduce the security threats to build secure software. However, the security threats continuously evolve because the traditional technology infrastructure does not implement security measures by design. Blockchain is appearing to mitigate traditional applications’ security threats. Although blockchain-based applications are considered less vulnerable, they did not become the silver bullet for securing against different security threats. Moreover, the blockchain domain is constantly evolving, providing new techniques and often interchangeable design concepts, resulting in conceptual ambiguity and confusion in treating the security threats effectively. Overall, we address the problem of traditional applications’ SRM using blockchain as a countermeasure and the SRM of blockchain-based applications. We start by surveying how blockchain mitigates the security threats of traditional applications, and the outcome is a blockchain-based reference model (BbRM) that adheres to the SRM domain model. Next, we present an upper-level reference ontology (ULRO) as a foundation ontology by conceptualizing the BbRM. We provide two instantiations of the ULRO. The first instantiation includes Corda as a permissioned blockchain and the financial case. The second instantiation includes the permissionless blockchains components and the healthcare case. Both ontology representations help in the SRM of traditional and blockchain-based applications. Furthermore, we built a web-based ontology parsing tool, OwlParser. Contributions resulted in an ontology-based security reference framework for managing the security risks using blockchain. The framework is dynamic, supports the iterative process of SRM, and potentially lessens the security threats of traditional and blockchain-based applications.

The defence will be held in Zoom (Meeting ID: 915 4869 9127, Passcode: ati).

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