Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Preventing an E-9/11 - Expert on Preventing Cyber Attacks Against America’s Infrastructure Offers Ten Principles of Cyber Security

Preventing an E-9/11 - Expert on Preventing Cyber Attacks Against America’s Infrastructure Offers Ten Principles of Cyber Security

In his new book, Cyber Attacks: Protecting National Infrastructure, Edward G. Amoroso, security expert and Chief Security Officer for AT&T, initiates a comprehensive dialogue around proper methods for reducing national risk.

Burlington, MA (Vocus) December 1, 2010

In late 2009, acknowledging the growing threat of cyber attacks, the White House appointed a new Cybersecurity Coordinator to orchestrate cybersecurity activities across government. Despite this high-level appointment and the rising threat, no nation–especially the United States–has a coherent technical and architectural strategy for preventing cyber attack – an e-9/11 – from crippling essential critical infrastructure services.
In his new book, Cyber Attacks: Protecting National Infrastructure, Edward G. Amoroso, security expert and Chief Security Officer for AT&T, initiates a comprehensive dialogue around proper methods for reducing national risk. Following on the heels of Richard Clarke’s bestselling Cyber War, Amoroso offers a high-level set of solutions rather than a detail of the threat. Cyber Attacks is a starting point for debate (among policy-makers, business leaders, and security specialists) with a set of provocative proposals that go against the conventional wisdom on cyber security and will be sure to spark intense debate.

Using language and examples that non-specialists can easily understand, Amoroso proposes controversial methods such as the deliberate use of deception (or “honeypots”) to trap intruders. Cyber Attacks serves as a framework for a new national strategy for cyber security, something that several Presidential administrations have failed to create.

Cyber Attacks contains technical, architectural, and management solutions to the problem of protecting national infrastructure. This includes practical and empirically-based guidance for security engineers, network operators, software designers, technology managers, application developers, and even those who simply use computing technology in their work or home. Amoroso’s ten principles provide a comprehensive approach to cyber security:
 Deception: Law enforcement agencies have been using deception effectively for many years, often catching cyber stalkers and criminals by spoofing the reported identity of an end point. Even in the presence of such obvious success, however, the cyber security community has yet to embrace deception as a mainstream protection measures  Separation: The current state of the practice in infrastructure protection rarely includes a disciplined approach to separating internal assets. This is unfortunate, because it allows an intruder in one domain to have access to a more expansive view of the organizational infrastructure.  Diversity: This defense involves deliberately creating a measure of non-interoperability so that an attack cannot easily cascade from one component to another through exploitation of some common vulnerability. The concept is somewhat controversial because so much of computer science theory and information technology practices in the past couple of decades focused on maximizing interoperability of technologies.  Consistency: Today, organizations charged with protecting national infrastructure are subjected to several types of security audits. Streamlining these standards would certainly be a good idea, but some additional items for consideration include improving the types of common training provided to security administrators, as well as including past practice in infrastructure protection in common audit standards.  Depth: The principle of depth involves the use of multiple security layers of protection for national infrastructure assets. These layers protect assets from both internal and external attacks via the familiar “defense in depth” approach; that is, multiple layers reduce the risk of an attack by increasing the chances that at least one layer will be effective.  Discretion: Obscuring details around technology used, software deployed, systems purchased, and configurations managed will help to avoid or at least slow down certain types of attacks.  Collection: Because national infrastructure is so complex, determining what information should be collected turns out to be a difficult exercise. In particular, the potential arises with large-scale collection to intrude on privacy of individuals and groups within a nation. As such, any initiative must include at least some measure of privacy policy determination.  Correlation: If some national computing asset begins operating in a sluggish manner, then other factors would be examined for a possible correlative relationship. One could imagine the local and wide area networks being analyzed for traffic that might be of an attack nature.  Awareness: The principle of awareness involves an organization understanding the differences, in real time and at all times, between observed and normal status in national infrastructure.  Response: Relevant indicators often arise long before any harmful effects are seen. This suggests that infrastructure protecting must have accurate situational awareness that considers much more than just visible impacts such as users having trouble, networks being down, or services being unavailable.

Each principle is presented as a separate security strategy, along with pages of compelling examples that demonstrate use of the principle. A specific set of criteria requirements allows any organization, such as a government agency, to integrate the principles into their local environment.

Edward Amoroso is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer of AT&T, where he has worked in cyber security for the past twenty-five years. He has also held the adjunct professor position in the computer science department at the Stevens Institute of Technology for the past twenty years. Edward has written four previous books on computer security, and his writings and commentary have appeared in major national newspapers, television shows, and books. He is a popular commentator on cyber security. He holds a BS degree in physics from Dickinson College, and the MS/PhD degrees in computer science from Stevens Institute of Technology. He is also a graduate of the Columbia Business School.

Cyber Attacks: Protecting National Infrastructure by Edward G. Amoroso
Publication Date: December 1st, 2010 • Hardcover •233 pages
Print ISBN: 9780123849175 • Print list price: $59.95/€42.95/£.36.99
E-ISBN: 9780123849182
Additional information, including sample content: http://www. elsevierdirect. com/cyberattacks

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