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Wayne Patterson SYCS 654 Spring 2010. Lecture 14: Information Sharing. An Emerging Issue.

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Wayne patterson sycs 654 spring 2010

Wayne Patterson

SYCS 654

Spring 2010

Lecture14:Information Sharing

An emerging issue
An Emerging Issue

  • Governments, the private sector, and academic institutions are beginning to focus on the importance of developing policies for international information sharing as a mechanism for combatting international cybersecurity threats

  • To indicate Howard University’s role and interest in this process, we have entered into various partnerships regarding the field of cybersecurity domestically with such diverse institutions as George Mason University, Stevens Institute of Technology, the College of Charleston, the University of Texas at El Paso, and several others.

  • But cyberspace does not respect international boundaries, and so it is equally important to develop such partnerships internationally.

  • CM for information assurance, sometimes referred to as Secure Configuration Management, relies upon performance, functional, and physical attributes of IT platforms and products and their environments to determine the appropriate security features and assurances that are used to measure a system configuration state. For example, configuration requirements may be different for a network firewall that functions as part of an organization's Internet boundary versus one that functions as an internal local network firewall.

Lecture 14 information sharing

  • The traditional software configuration management (SCM) process is looked upon by practitioners as the best solution to handling changes in software projects. It identifies the functional and physical attributes of software at various points in time, and performs systematic control of changes to the identified attributes for the purpose of maintaining software integrity and traceability throughout the software development life cycle.

  • The SCM process further defines the need to trace changes, and the ability to verify that the final delivered software has all of the planned enhancements that are supposed to be included in the release. It identifies four procedures that must be defined for each software project to ensure that a sound SCM process is implemented. They are:

  • Configuration identification

  • Configuration control

  • Configuration status accounting

  • Configuration audits

  • Computer hardware configuration goes beyond the recording of computer hardware for the purpose of asset management, although it can be used to maintain asset information. The extra value provided is the rich source of support information that it provides to all interested parties. This information is typically stored together in a configuration management database (CMDB). This concept was introduced by ITIL.

Configuration management
Configuration Management

  • Configuration management is used to maintain an understanding of the status of complex assets with a view to maintaining the highest level of serviceability for the lowest cost. Specifically, it aims to ensure that operations are not disrupted due to the asset (or parts of the asset) overrunning limits of planned lifespan or below quality levels.

  • In the military, this type of activity is often classed as "mission readiness", and seeks to define which assets are available and for which type of mission; a classic example is whether aircraft on-board an aircraft carrier are equipped with bombs for ground support or missiles for defense.

  • A theory of configuration maintenance was worked out by Mark Burgess[4][5][6], with a practical implementation on present day computer systems in the software Cfengine able to perform real time repair as well as preventive maintenance.


  • ANSI/EIA-649-1998 National Consensus Standard for Configuration Management

  • EIA-649-A 2004 National Consensus Standard for Configuration Management

  • ISO 10007:2003 Quality management systems - Guidelines for configuration management

  • Federal Standard 1037C

  • GEIA Standard 836-2002 Configuration Management Data Exchange and Interoperability

  • IEEE Std. 828-1998 IEEE Standard for Software Configuration Management Plans

  • MIL-STD-973 Configuration Management (cancelled on September 20, 2000)

  • STANAG 4159 NATO Material Configuration Management Policy and Procedures for Multinational Joint Projects

  • STANAG 4427 Introduction of Allied Configuration Management Publications (ACMPs)

  • CMMI CMMI for Development, Version 1.2 CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT

  • IEEE Std. 1042-1987 IEEE Guide to Software Configuration Management


  • ISO 10007 Quality management - Guidelines for configuration management

  • GEIA-HB-649 - Implementation Guide for Configuration Management

  • ANSI/EIA-649-1998 National Consensus Standard for Configuration Management

  • EIA-836 Consensus Standard for Configuration Management Data Exchange and Interoperability

  • ANSI/EIA-632-1998 Processes for Engineering a System

Separation of duties
Separation of Duties

  • In order to develop a separation of duties, a mechanism such as the creation of compartments is necessary.

  • Such a separation allows for the implementation of need to know policies.

Need to know
Need to Know

  • The term "need to know", when used by government and other organizations (particularly those related to the military or espionage), describes the restriction of data which is considered very sensitive.

  • Under need-to-know restrictions, even if one has all the necessary official approvals (such as a security clearance) to access certain information, one would not be given access to such information, or read into a clandestine operation, unless one has a specific need to know; that is, access to the information must be necessary for the conduct of one's official duties.

  • As with most security mechanisms, the aim is to make it difficult for unauthorized access to occur, without inconveniencing legitimate access. Need-to-know also aims to discourage "browsing" of sensitive material by limiting access to the smallest possible number of people.

  • The implementation of Mandatory Access Controls through a model such as the Bell-Lapadula rules are one way of enforcing need-to-know.