A Cloud-based Platform for the Emulation of Complex Cybersecurity Scenarios

TitleA Cloud-based Platform for the Emulation of Complex Cybersecurity Scenarios
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsFurfaro, A, Piccolo, A, Parise, A, Argento, L, Saccà, D
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems

In the last few years, cybersecurity has become a hot topic because of the ever-increasing availability of Internet accessible services driven by the diffusion of connected devices. The consequent exposition to cyber threats demands for suitable methodologies, techniques and tools allowing to adequately handle issues arising in such a complex domain. This paper describes the architecture of SmallWorld, a scalable software platform designed to reproduce realistic scenarios achieved by the immersion of real systems into a software defined virtual environment. SmallWorld enables the assessment, teaching and learning of cybersecurity related aspects in different areas and for various purposes. It exploits innovative and state-of-the-art virtualization and simulation techniques for reproducing in a realistic setting a dynamic environment where large distributed computer systems can be deployed and from where they can interact with real life entities. One of the main features of SmallWorld is the support for designing and building complex scenarios which are dynamic and reactive and where a number of autonomous software agents can be deployed. Agents are able to reproduce the behaviors of human users and/or malicious applications into a SmallWorld scenario making it a more realistic testing environment. The practical use of SmallWorld is shown by means of two realistic case studies.