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SecurityNotes

Our research group uses computing services for publishing. Clients are employed for local storage, analysis, archive of research data. Clients are the primary location for preparation of research for external consumption (reports, papers, articles, presentations, books, etc).

All planning is a form of risk management. Risk relates to future events, but also, relates closely to feeling/emotional responses. This raises a problem, how can risk be measured, in particular, how can risk accommodate intangible factors such as 'feelings,' 'fear,' etc. In information security there is no assessment of 'upside' for an organisation.

For the individual, the challenge of managing security in the organisation is how to act as a responsible member? Knowledge and practices of systems administration, of maintaining a system, when the domain becomes crowded with specialist knowledge, archaic knowledge, private knowledge. However all this knowledge is very 'context bound,' it needs people like 'us' to make use of it, but more importantly it needs people we 'want to be like' to be around, available, generous with their time, so that the novice can become professional.

Attack surface concept is a helpful way of conceptualising the potential vulnerability

How do you know that code is 'good enough?' It compiles, it satisfies 'use cases', it has been 'signed off' by an authority. A 'use map' is a useful way to conceptualise the functional areas of software. Software as service, in deployment, exposes software as services at the host, operating system, operating environment, wider network environment. Software attack surface (local environment), network attack surface, user attack surface. Another way of characterising these layers is the 'defence in depth' model (network security architecture): Data, application, host, internal network, perimeter (ref:http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc767969.aspx).

When considering design and risk, it is not sufficient that a designer simply translate requirements into an implementation. Indeed, simply translating requirements into an implementation may be problematic in cases where requirements are incompatible, infeasible, unimplementable, or should not even be considered for ethical or other difficult reasons (c.f. the explosive charge on radio example). Designers have approaches/tools at hand as aids in overcoming such design challenges, i.e. accommodating environmental factors, the risks associated the systems in use, the volumes in use. The designer's toolkit includes the idea of use cases or use scenarios as a way of ensuring that 'stupid' designs get killed off. These lines of argument involve approaches to 'designing security into a system' (see http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/)

ISO

Useful tools:

  • ipconfig (windows) & ifconfig (linux)
  • wireshark
  • snort

Notes:

Windows:Firewall Allow incoming echo request - enables 'ping' on a workstation.

Suggestions:

A security users group or research administrator group

SAGE guild - university orientated.

Group for IT services join but not run (John Curran, Gerry Dunnion, others).