CLOSED – Software Safety and Security Risk Mitigation in Cyber-physical Systems — Call for Papers


Submission deadline: CLOSED
Publication: Jan./Feb. 2018

The design of modern cyber-physical systems (CPSs) comprises systems of systems that have many heterogeneous components. These systems’ manufacturers must address several networking, dynamic, and uncertain environmental constraints. CPSs are often safety-critical; that is, any system malfunction might seriously harm its users. However, the involved communicating peripherals also necessitate consideration of security issues so that cybersecurity threats don’t affect CPSs’ proper functioning.

Contemporary systems and software engineering methods and approaches often are inadequate for the high-confidence design and manufacturing of CPSs. The current approach for engineering safety- and security-critical systems is to address these issues in separate subsystems. However, owing to technological advancements in modern CPSs toward openness, increased communication, and the use of multicore architectures, this separation approach is no longer feasible. We now need approaches that simultaneously deal with functional safety and cybersecurity.

However, how do we model and analyze this interplay? For example, how do we ensure that software features on the same module don’t interfere with each other? How do we guarantee that, owing to a security breach, other system functions won’t be at risk? How do we develop guidelines that provide concrete technical advice for designing and deploying safe, secure systems instead of focusing on safety- and security-critical features in isolation? How do we maintain assurance and compliance in safety-critical systems when we address cybersecurity challenges?

This theme issue aims to address a range of topics related to CPS functional safety and cybersecurity, including, but not limited to,

  • modeling the interplay between functional-safety and cybersecurity concerns;
  • interdependencies between functional safety and cybersecurity;
  • cybersecurity in safety-critical systems;
  • integrated approaches for CPS functional safety and cybersecurity;
  • overlaps, conflicts, synergies, and tradeoffs between functional safety and cybersecurity;
  • system architecture designs and decisions related to functional safety, cybersecurity, and their integration;
  • human, societal, and environmental aspects in coordination of CPS functional safety and cybersecurity;
  • methods, tools, and techniques for modeling and designing safe, secure CPSs;
  • CPS specification and verification and validation;
  • CPS regulation and certification;
  • case studies, experience reports, benchmarking, and best practices; and
  • CPSs in healthcare, transportation, aerospace, energy, and so on.

Theme Issue Guest Editors

  • Miklos Biro
  • Atif Mashkoor
  • Johannes Sametinger
  • Remzi Seker

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts must not exceed 3,000 words including figures and tables, which count for 250 words each. Submissions exceeding these limits might be rejected without refereeing. Articles deemed within the theme and scope will be peer reviewed and are subject to editing for magazine style, clarity, organization, and space. We reserve the right to edit the title of all submissions. Be sure to include the name of the theme issue for which you’re submitting.

Articles should have a practical orientation and be written in a style accessible to practitioners. Overly complex, purely research-oriented or theoretical treatments aren’t appropriate. Articles should be novel. IEEE Software doesn’t republish material published previously in other venues, including other periodicals and formal conference or workshop proceedings, whether previous publication was in print or electronic form. For more information, contact the guest editors at

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