Information technology equipment (ITE) processing sensitive information can have its security compromised by unintentional electromagnetic radiation. Appropriately assessing likelihood of a potential compromise relies on radio frequency (RF) engineering expertise—specifically, requiring knowledge of the associated causal factors and their interrelationships. Several factors that can cause unintentional electromagnetic emanations that can lead to the compromise of ITE have been found in the literature. This paper confirms the list of causal factors reported in previous work, categorizes the factors as belonging to threat, vulnerability, or impact, and develops an interpretive structural model of the vulnerability factors. A participatory modelling approach was used consisting of focus groups of RF engineers. The resulting hierarchical structural model shows the relationships between factors and illustrates their relative significance. The paper concludes that the resulting model can motivate a deeper understanding of the structural relationship of the factors that can be incorporated in the RF engineers’ assessment process. Areas of future work are suggested.
- compromising emanations
- vulnerability likelihood
- causal factors
- interpretive structural modelling
- fishbone diagram