A risk index model for security incident prioritisation

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


School of Computer & Security Science, Edith Cowan University


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Computer and Security Science / Security Research Centre (secAU)




This article was originally published as: Anuar, N., Furnell, S. , Papadakil, M., & Clarke, N. (2011). A risk index model for security incident prioritisation . Paper presented at the 9th Australian Information Security management Conference. Perth, WA. Original article available here


With thousands of incidents identified by security appliances every day, the process of distinguishing which incidents are important and which are trivial is complicated. This paper proposes an incident prioritisation model, the Risk Index Model (RIM), which is based on risk assessment and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). The model uses indicators, such as criticality, maintainability, replaceability, and dependability as decision factors to calculate incidents’ risk index. The RIM was validated using the MIT DARPA LLDOS 1.0 dataset, and the results were compared against the combined priorities of the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) v2 and Snort Priority. The experimental results have shown that 100% of incidents could be rated with RIM, compared to only 17.23% with CVSS. In addition, this study also improves the limitation of group priority in the Snort Priority (e.g. high, medium and low priority) by quantitatively ranking, sorting and listing incidents according to their risk index. The proposed study has also investigated the effect of applying weighted indicators at the calculation of the risk index, as well as the effect of calculating them dynamically. The experiments have shown significant changes in the resultant risk index as well as some of the top priority rankings.