Date of Award

Fall 2022

Access Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Committee Chair

Omar Ochoa

First Committee Member

Salamah Salamah

Second Committee Member

Massood Towhidnejad

Third Committee Member

Laxima Niure Kandel

Fourth Committee Member

Kenji Yoshigoe

College Dean

James W. Gregory


The focus of this research is to develop an approach that enhances the elicitation and specification of reusable cybersecurity requirements. Cybersecurity has become a global concern as cyber-attacks are projected to cost damages totaling more than $10.5 trillion dollars by 2025. Cybersecurity requirements are more challenging to elicit than other requirements because they are nonfunctional requirements that requires cybersecurity expertise and knowledge of the proposed system. The goal of this research is to generate cybersecurity requirements based on knowledge acquired from requirements elicitation and analysis activities, to provide cybersecurity specifications without requiring the specialized knowledge of a cybersecurity expert, and to generate reusable cybersecurity requirements. The proposed approach can be an effective way to implement cybersecurity requirements at the earliest stages of the system development life cycle because the approach facilitates the identification of cybersecurity requirements throughout the requirements gathering stage. This is accomplished through the development of the Secure Development Ontology that maps cybersecurity features and the functional features descriptions in order to train a classification machine-learning model to return the suggested security requirements. The SD-SRE requirements engineering portal was created to support the application of this research by providing a platform to submit use case scenarios and requirements and suggest security requirements for the given system. The efficacy of this approach was tested with students in a graduate requirements engineering course. The students were presented with a system description and tasked with creating use case scenarios using the SD-SRE portal. The entered models were automatically analyzed by the SD-SRE system to suggest the security requirements. The results showed that the approach can be an effective approach to assist in the identification of security requirements.