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What do we know about software security evaluation? A preliminary study



Séverine Sentilles, Efi Papatheocharous , Federico Ciccozzi

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


6th International Workshop on Quantitative Approaches to Software Quality


In software development, software quality is nowa- days acknowledged to be as important as software functionality and there exists an extensive body-of-knowledge on the topic. Yet, software quality is still marginalized in practice: there is no con- sensus on what software quality exactly is, how it is achieved and evaluated. This work investigates the state-of-the-art of software quality by focusing on the description of evaluation methods for a subset of software qualities, namely those related to software security. The main finding of this paper is the lack of information regarding fundamental aspects that ought to be specified in an evaluation method description. This work follows up the authors’ previous work on the Property Model Ontology by carrying out a systematic investigation of the state-of-the-art on evaluation methods for software security. Results show that only 25% of the papers studied provide enough information on the security evaluation methods they use in their validation processes, whereas the rest of the papers lack important information about various aspects of the methods (e.g., benchmarking and comparison to other properties, parameters, applicability criteria, assumptions and available implementations). This is a major hinder to their further use.


author = {S{\'e}verine Sentilles and Efi Papatheocharous and Federico Ciccozzi},
title = {What do we know about software security evaluation? A preliminary study},
month = {December},
year = {2018},
booktitle = {6th International Workshop on Quantitative Approaches to Software Quality},
url = {}