STPA-SafeSec: Safety and Security Analysis for Cyber-Physical Systems

Ivo Friedberg, Kieran McLaughlin, Paul Smith, David Laverty, Sakir Sezer

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)
632 Downloads (Pure)


Cyber-physical systems tightly integrate physical processes and information and communication technologies. As today’s critical infrastructures, e.g., the power grid or water distribution networks, are complex cyber-physical systems, ensuring their safety and security becomes of paramount importance. Traditional safety analysis methods, such as HAZOP, are ill-suited to assess these systems. Furthermore, cybersecurity vulnerabilities are often not considered critical, because their effects on the physical processes are not fully understood. In this work, we present STPA-SafeSec, a novel analysis methodology for both safety and security. Its results show the dependencies between cybersecurity vulnerabilities and system safety. Using this information, the most effective mitigation strategies to ensure safety and security of the system can be readily identified. We apply STPA-SafeSec to a use case in the power grid domain, and highlight its benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Information Security and Applications
Early online date30 Jun 2016
Publication statusEarly online date - 30 Jun 2016


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