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Info Sec: Chapter 1

Information security
a “well-informed sense of assurance that the information risks and controls are in balance.” — Jim Anderson, Inovant (2002)?
The History of Information Security
Began immediately after the first mainframes were developed
Groups developing code-breaking computations during World War II created the first modern computers
Physical controls to limit access to sensitive military locations to authorized personnel
Rudimentary in defending against physical theft, espionage, and sabotage
The 1960s
Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) began to examine feasibility of redundant networked communications
Larry Roberts developed ARPANET from its inception
The 1970s and 80s
ARPANET grew in popularity as did its potential for misuse
Fundamental problems with ARPANET security were identified
No safety procedures for dial-up connections to ARPANET
Nonexistent user identification and authorization to system
Late 1970s: microprocessor expanded computing capabilities and security threats
The 1970s and 80s (continued)?
Information security began with Rand Report R-609 (paper that started the study of computer security)?
Scope of computer security grew from physical security to include:
Safety of data
Limiting unauthorized access to data
Involvement of personnel from multiple levels of an organization
Early focus of computer security research was a system called Multiplexed Information and Computing Service (MULTICS)?
First operating system created with security as its primary goal
Mainframe, time-sharing OS developed in mid-1960s by General Electric (GE), Bell Labs, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)?
Several MULTICS key players created UNIX
Primary purpose of UNIX was text processing
The 1990s
Networks of computers became more common; so too did the need to interconnect networks
Internet became first manifestation of a global network of networks
In early Internet deployments, security was treated as a low priority
The Present
The Internet brings millions of computer networks into communication with each other—many of them unsecured
Ability to secure a computer’s data influenced by the security of every computer to which it is connected
What is Security?
“The quality or state of being secure—to be free from danger”
A successful organization should have multiple layers of security in place:
Physical security
Personal security
Operations security
Communications security
Network security
Information security
The protection of information and its critical elements, including systems and hardware that use, store, and transmit that information
Necessary Tools in Security
Necessary tools: policy, awareness, training, education, technology
The value of information comes from the characteristics it possesses:
Components of an Information System
Information system (IS) is entire set of software, hardware, data, people, procedures, and networks necessary to use information as a resource in the organization
Securing Components
Computer can be subject of an attack and/or the object of an attack
When the subject of an attack, computer is used as an active tool to conduct attack
When the object of an attack, computer is the entity being attacked
Balancing Information Security and Access
Impossible to obtain perfect security—it is a process, not an absolute
Security should be considered balance between protection and availability
To achieve balance, level of security must allow reasonable access, yet protect against threats
Approaches to Information Security Implementation: Bottom-Up Approach
Grassroots effort: systems administrators attempt to improve security of their systems
Key advantage: technical expertise of individual administrators
Seldom works, as it lacks a number of critical features:
Participant support
Organizational staying power
Approaches to Information Security Implementation: Top-Down Approach
Initiated by upper management
Issue policy, procedures, and processes
Dictate goals and expected outcomes of project
Determine accountability for each required action
The most successful also involve formal development strategy referred to as systems development life cycle
The Systems Development Life Cycle
Cycle (SDLC) is methodology for design and implementation of information system within an organization
is formal approach to problem solving based on structured sequence of procedures
Using a methodology:
Ensures a rigorous process
Avoids missing steps
Traditional SDLC consists of six general phases
Logical Design
Physical Design
Maintenance and Change
What problem is the system being developed to solve?
Objectives, constraints, and scope of project are specified
Preliminary cost-benefit analysis is developed
At the end, feasibility analysis is performed to assess economic, technical, and behavioral feasibilities of the process
Consists of assessments of the organization, status of current systems, and capability to support proposed systems
Analysts determine what new system is expected to do and how it will interact with existing systems
Ends with documentation of findings and update of feasibility analysis
Logical Design
Main factor is business need; applications capable of providing needed services are selected
Data support and structures capable of providing the needed inputs are identified
Technologies to implement physical solution are determined
Feasibility analysis performed at the end
Physical Design
Technologies to support the alternatives identified and evaluated in the logical design are selected
Components evaluated on make-or-buy decision
Feasibility analysis performed; entire solution presented to end-user representatives for approval
Needed software created; components ordered, received, assembled, and tested
Users trained and documentation created
Feasibility analysis prepared; users presented with system for performance review and acceptance test
Maintenance and Change
Consists of tasks necessary to support and modify system for remainder of its useful life
Life cycle continues until the process begins again from the investigation phase
When current system can no longer support the organization’s mission, a new project is implemented
The Security Systems Development Life Cycle
The same phases used in traditional SDLC may be adapted to support specialized implementation of an IS project
Identification of specific threats and creating controls to counter them
SecSDLC is a coherent program rather than a series of random, seemingly unconnected actions
Investigation (SecSDLC)
Identifies process, outcomes, goals, and constraints of the project
Begins with Enterprise Information Security Policy (EISP)?
Organizational feasibility analysis is performed
Analysis (SecSDLC)
Documents from investigation phase are studied
Analysis of existing security policies or programs, along with documented current threats and associated controls
Includes analysis of relevant legal issues that could impact design of the security solution
Risk management task begins
Logical Design (SecSDLC)
Creates and develops blueprints for information security
Incident response actions planned:
Continuity planning
Incident response
Disaster recovery
Feasibility analysis to determine whether project should be continued or outsourced
Physical Design (SecSDLC)
Needed security technology is evaluated, alternatives are generated, and final design is selected
At end of phase, feasibility study determines readiness of organization for project
Implementation (SecSDLC)
Security solutions are acquired, tested, implemented, and tested again
Personnel issues evaluated; specific training and education programs conducted
Entire tested package is presented to management for final approval
Maintenance and Change (SecSDLC)
Perhaps the most important phase, given the ever-changing threat environment
Often, reparation and restoration of information is a constant duel with an unseen adversary
Information security profile of an organization requires constant adaptation as new threats emerge and old threats evolve
Data owner:
responsible for the security and use of a particular set of information
Data custodian:
responsible for storage, maintenance, and protection of information
Data users:
end users who work with information to perform their daily jobs supporting the mission of the organization
Information Security: Is it an Art or a Science?
Implementation of information security often described as combination of art and science..
“Security artesan” idea: based on the way individuals perceive systems technologists since computers became commonplace.
Security as Art
No hard and fast rules nor many universally accepted complete solutions
No manual for implementing security through entire system
Security as Science
Dealing with technology designed to operate at high levels of performance
Specific conditions cause virtually all actions that occur in computer systems
Nearly every fault, security hole, and systems malfunction are a result of interaction of specific hardware and software
If developers had sufficient time, they could resolve and eliminate faults
Security as a Social Science
Social science examines the behavior of individuals interacting with systems
Security begins and ends with the people that interact with the system
Security administrators can greatly reduce levels of risk caused by end users, and create more acceptable and supportable security profiles

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