Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
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Gary Audin | January 31, 2013 |


Three Free Security Resources

Three Free Security Resources An Army field manual is among the public resources that could help you strengthen your network security.

An Army field manual is among the public resources that could help you strengthen your network security.

It is hard to keep abreast of all things security. You buy textbooks, listen to webinars, attend college classes, take certification seminars, and/or hire experts. Locating free and useful information is another alternative.

I have discovered three free security information sources. The first is Georgia Tech's Cyber report. The second is a manual from the U.S. Army on their take on electronic warfare which has insights for the enterprise. The third resource is from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Emerging Threats
There are stakeholders in matters of security--enterprises, government, and academia. All three must work in concert to ensure that security developments in one area are passed to the other two. Towards this end, Georgia Tech's Information Security Center has published the "Emerging Cyber Threats Report 2013". The report divides their views into the following threats:

* Information Manipulation
* Insecurity in the Supply Chain
* Mobile Security Reanalyzed
* Cloud Security Enters Its Teenage Years
* Malware Counteroffensive
* Healthcare Security

This document partially sets the stage for the second document from the U.S. Army

Coping with Business Electronic Warfare
Enterprises are typically not engaging in Electronic Warfare (EW). However, enterprises do operate in many foreign countries which may not be trustworthy about surveillance, interference, and disruption of enterprise communications. This is another security issue for the enterprise in addition to the security problems faced when using IP networks and the Internet. See my blogs, "Carrying the Data to the Competition" and "Finding the Cell Bug in the Boardroom".

We are on the verge of the Internet-of-Things. Many if not most of these Things will be wireless. How will they operate without interference, disruption, or surveillance? A good way to look at the subject is to consider what military agencies are doing to anticipate and respond to similar problems.

The Department of the Army released their free Field Manual (FM) 3-36 in November 2012. It provides the US Army's doctrine for electronic warfare planning, preparation, execution, and assessment.

The principal audience for Field Manual 3-36 is Army commanders and staffs at all echelons. You are not likely to be a military commander, but you may be a CIO or CSO that is concerned with the security and availability of wireless communications. This Field Manual can serve as a reference for personnel who:

* Develop policies and procedures (fundamental principles, tactics, and techniques), that can fit into the enterprise's business structure.

* Develop IT and user training.

* Develop standard operating procedures for business operations.

* Plan, prepare for, execute on, and assess vulnerabilities.

The enterprise is not actually going to war, even if competition with other enterprises can sometimes feel like a form of combat. This manual goes into depth about what can happen in the wireless world, especially as the military uses more commercially available devices such as smartphones and tablets. Enterprise uses of these same devices can produce the same vulnerabilities that the military expects to encounter. How the military works to combat the security problems can influence the enterprise's plans to secure the same smartphones and tablets.

Security Glossary
The final free reference is the "Glossary of Key Information Security Terms (Draft)", published in December 2012 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This is a 222-page document that is a work in progress. It defines the responsibilities of the CIO. It also presents the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) and its specifications and languages. It is worth having a copy available for both CIO and CSO (chief security officer) staff members to use as a reference when writing about and discussing security issues, to ensure that the correct interpretation of the terms is delivered.

It is NIST's intention to keep the glossary current by providing online updates. New definitions will be added to the glossary as required. Updated versions will be posted on the Computer Security Resource Center (CSRC) Web site.


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