Self-healing and self-protecting software. Scanning the research frontier


  • Ioana Rodhe
  • Erik Westring
  • Henrik Karlzén

Publish date: 2014-03-10

Report number: FOI-R--3836--SE

Pages: 39

Written in: English


  • Self-healing
  • self-protection
  • literature review
  • autonomic computing
  • scanning
  • frontier


It is getting more and more difficult to protect increasingly complex IT systems by only using proactive security mechanisms that deal with known threats and faults. The concepts of self-healing and self-protecting software (SHASP) have emerged from the need for security and safety solutions that can be applied to running systems in order to identify new and unknown threats and failures and to try to fix these threats dynamically. Furthermore, SHASP lets system availability take precedence over fixing less important problems. This is of particular interest for mission-critical systems and may find applications in systems that require high autonomy, such as space probes and unmanned vehicles. In this report we study the concepts of self-healing and self-protection as a part of the autonomic computing vision. We give an introduction and a background for the two concepts and establish appropriate definitions and discuss adjacent concepts in the general research area. We also present interesting research and approaches to self-healing and self-protection with suitable categorisations.