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MBSE Cybersecurity Challenges

MBSE Cybersecurity Challenges

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What is Cybersecurity in MBSE?

In Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE), cybersecurity refers to the measures taken to ensure that a system is secure against cyber threats. Cyber threats can come in various forms, such as cyber attacks, cyber espionage, and cybercrime. Cybersecurity in MBSE aims to protect systems from these threats by incorporating security measures into the system’s design, development, and operation.

Cybersecurity in MBSE is critical because modern systems are increasingly connected and vulnerable to cyber threats. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies, systems are becoming more complex and interconnected, making them more vulnerable to cyber threats. Additionally, many systems are used to handle sensitive information, making them prime targets for cybercriminals.

To ensure cybersecurity in MBSE, systems engineers must consider security throughout the system’s life cycle, from design to retirement. This includes identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities, assessing risks, implementing appropriate security controls, and regularly monitoring and testing the system for vulnerabilities and threats. In this article, we will explore the cybersecurity challenges that MBSE presents, and discuss best practices for addressing them.

MBSE Cybersecurity Challenges

MBSE For Aerospace

As systems become more complex and interconnected, they become more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. MBSE systems are no exception. The following are some of the cybersecurity challenges that MBSE presents:

  1. Complexity: MBSE systems are inherently complex, with many interconnected components that must work together seamlessly. This complexity makes it difficult to identify and address potential vulnerabilities, and also makes it more difficult to implement effective cybersecurity measures.
  2. Interoperability: MBSE systems often rely on the interoperability of different components, which means that vulnerabilities in one component can affect the security of the entire system. This can be especially challenging when components come from different vendors or have different security requirements.
  3. Connectivity: MBSE systems often rely on network connectivity, which can increase the risk of cyber attacks. This is particularly true for systems that use wireless connectivity, which can be more vulnerable to attacks than wired networks.
  4. Legacy Systems: Many MBSE systems are built on top of legacy systems that were not designed with cybersecurity in mind. This can make it difficult to identify and address vulnerabilities in these systems, and can also make it more difficult to implement effective cybersecurity measures.
  5. Human Error: Finally, cybersecurity is often compromised by human error. This can include errors in system design, errors in system configuration, and errors in user behavior. Human error is particularly challenging in MBSE systems, which require a high degree of expertise to design and configure.

MBSE Cybersecurity Best Practices

While MBSE systems present unique cybersecurity challenges, there are also best practices that organizations can follow to mitigate these challenges. The following are some best practices for ensuring cybersecurity in MBSE systems:

  1. Threat Modeling: Threat modeling is the process of identifying potential cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities in a system. By conducting a thorough threat modeling exercise, organizations can identify potential vulnerabilities in their MBSE systems and take steps to address them.
  2. Access Control: Access control is the process of limiting access to sensitive information and resources to only those who need it. By implementing access control measures, organizations can limit the risk of unauthorized access to their MBSE systems.
  3. Stay Current with Security Standards: Keep up to date with the latest security standards and best practices, such as those set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and ISO/IEC 27001.
  4. Secure Configuration: MBSE systems should be configured securely, with default passwords changed and unnecessary services and ports disabled. By implementing secure configurations, organizations can reduce the risk of cyber attacks.
  5. Network Segmentation: MBSE systems should be segmented into separate networks, with access controls in place to limit communication between networks. By implementing network segmentation, organizations can reduce the risk of a single vulnerability compromising the entire system.
  6. Continuous Monitoring: MBSE systems should be continuously monitored for potential cybersecurity threats. This can include the use of intrusion detection and prevention systems, as well as regular vulnerability scans and penetration tests.
  7. User Education: Finally, user education is an important component of MBSE cybersecurity. All users should be trained on best practices for cybersecurity, including how to identify and respond to potential threats.


MBSE systems present unique cybersecurity challenges, but by following best practices and implementing effective cybersecurity measures, organizations can reduce the risk of cyber attacks and ensure the security of their systems. By conducting thorough threat modeling exercises, implementing access controls and secure configurations, segmenting networks, continuously monitoring for potential threats, and providing user education, organizations can stay ahead of potential cyber threats and protect their MBSE systems.

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Louis Arduin

Louis Arduin

Senior Consultant, Visure Solutions

Thomas Dirsch

Senior Software Quality Consultant, Razorcat Development GmbH

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