Journal article Open Access
Today, the digital economy is pushing new business models, based on the creation of value chains for data processing, through the interconnection of processes, products, services, software, and things across different domains and organizations. Despite the growing availability of communication infrastructures, computing paradigms, and software architectures that already effectively support the implementation of distributed multi-domain value chains, a comprehensive architecture is still missing that effectively fulfills all related security issues: mutual trustworthiness of entities in partially unknown topologies, identification and mitigation of advanced multi-vector threats, identity management and access control, management and propagation of sensitive data. In order to fill this gap, this work proposes a new methodological approach to design and implement heterogeneous security services for distributed systems that combine together digital resources and components from multiple domains. The framework is designed to support both existing and new security services, and focuses on three novel aspects: (i) full automation of the processes that manage the whole system, i.e., threat detection, collection of information and reaction to attacks and system anomalies; (ii) dynamic adaptation of operations and security tasks to newest attack patterns, and (iii) real-time adjustment of the level of detail of inspection and monitoring processes. The overall architecture as well as the functions and relationships of its logical components are described in detail, presenting also a concrete use case as an example of application of the proposed framework.