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Security Ontologies:A Systematic Literature Review


Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


26th The Enterprise Computing Conference 2022




Security ontologies have been developed to facilitate the organization and management of security knowledge. A comparison and evaluation of how these ontologies relate to one another is challenging due to their structure, size, complexity, and level of expressiveness. Differences between ontologies can be found on both the ontological and linguistic levels, resulting in errors and inconsistencies (i.e., different concept hierarchies, types of concepts, definitions) when comparing and aligning them. Moreover, many concepts related to security ontologies have not been thoroughly explored and do not fully meet security standards. By using standards, we can ensure that concepts and definitions are unified and coherent. In this study, we address these deficiencies by reviewing existing security ontologies to identify core concepts and relationships. The primary objective of the systematic literature review is to identify core concepts and relationships that are used to describe security issues. We further analyse and map these core concepts and relationships to five security standards (i.e., NIST SP 800-160, NIST SP 800-30 rev.1, NIST SP 800-27 rev.A, ISO/IEC 27001 and NISTIR 8053). As a contribution, this paper provides a set of core concepts and relationships that comply with the standards mentioned above and allow for a new security ontology to be developed.


author = {Malina Adach and Kaj H{\"a}nninen and Kristina Lundqvist},
title = {Security Ontologies:A Systematic Literature Review},
month = {October},
year = {2022},
booktitle = {26th The Enterprise Computing Conference 2022},
publisher = {Springer},
url = {}