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Morali, A. and Wieringa, R.J. (2010) Towards Validating Risk Indicators Based on Measurement Theory (Extended version). Technical Report TR-CTIT-10-31, Centre for Telematics and Information Technology University of Twente, Enschede. ISSN 1381-3625
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Due to the lack of quantitative information and for cost-efficiency, most risk assessment methods use partially ordered values (e.g. high, medium, low) as risk indicators. In practice it is common to validate risk indicators by asking stakeholders whether they make sense. This way of validation is subjective, thus error prone. If the metrics are wrong (not meaningful), then they may lead system owners to distribute security investments inefficiently. For instance, in an extended enterprise this may mean over investing in service level agreements or obtaining a contract that provides a lower security level than the system requires. Therefore, when validating risk assessment methods it is important to validate the meaningfulness of the risk indicators that they use. In this paper we investigate how to validate the meaningfulness of risk indicators based on measurement theory. Furthermore, to analyze the applicability of the measurement theory to risk indicators, we analyze the indicators used by a risk assessment method specially developed for assessing confidentiality risks in networks of organizations.
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