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Trusted Computing in Government Networks May 16, 2007. Richard C. (Dick) Schaeffer, Jr. Information Assurance Director National Security Agency. Information Assurance at NSA. Information Assurance Directorate (IAD)

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Trusted Computing in Government Networks

May 16, 2007

Richard C. (Dick) Schaeffer, Jr.

Information Assurance Director

National Security Agency

information assurance at nsa
Information Assurance at NSA
  • Information Assurance Directorate (IAD)
    • Provides products and services critical to protecting U.S. National Security information and Information systems
  • National Information Assurance Research Laboratory (NIARL)
    • Carries out research and design of technologies needed to enable IA solutions for the National Security Community
      • Where SELinux was created and is currently maintained
ia mission drivers
IA Mission Drivers
  • Rapid introduction of new technology & services
    • IA solutions must be available at the speed of the IT business and customer cycles
  • Commercial IT dominates most systems; commercial IA growing
    • Leveraging/influencing commercial activity is vital
  • Global communications and connectivity expanding
  • National IA needs are growing while resources remain fairly constant
government industry partnerships
Government/Industry Partnerships
  • To meet national IA needs requires cooperative partnerships
  • Multi-layered approach
    • Define System-level Solutions
      • Operational Capability Needs
      • Appropriate IA for Operational Environment
    • Determine that System Components (COTS & GOTS) provide necessary capabilities and assurance
      • Technology Guidance
      • Evaluation
    • Develop and Provide User Guidance
      • Configuration Guides
      • Systems Security Engineering
timing ia integration
Timing IA Integration
  • IA Activities provide benefit all along the product/system life-cycle
  • Early in the Development (maximum affect)
    • Microsoft Security Design Lifecycle (SDL)
    • Solution and Technology IA Design Guidance
  • Near Product/System Completion
    • Vulnerability Analysis
    • Evaluation
  • During Operation
    • Appropriate Usage Guidance
    • Configuration Guidance (e.g., Microsoft Windows)
balanced ia
Balanced IA
  • Not all systems require equal security functionality and assurance
  • Operational factors dictate necessary security functions
    • Data sensitivity and perishability
    • System connectivity
    • Criticality of operation
    • Operational environment
the right security functionality
The Right Security Functionality
  • Lessons learned from Multi-Level Security (MLS) systems
  • SELinux embodies a sound architecture for flexible Mandatory Access Control
  • Open Source Community has helped to shape the end result
  • Continuing to work toward further advances
achieving higher assurance
Achieving Higher Assurance
  • Crucial to NSA and its clients and customers
  • Getting the right functionality with medium assurance through current efforts
  • EAL4 is not the end of the road, just a start
    • Higher levels of assurance (EAL4+ and beyond) critical to meeting the needs of the National Security Community
high assurance platform hap
High Assurance Platform (HAP)
  • NSA program fusing advanced commercial initiatives with NSA certified trusted applications into a customizable platform security architecture
  • Leverage COTS to maximum extent possible
    • Hardware assisted virtualization and security
  • Enable solution integrators to compose a high assurance platform instance from available components that can:
    • Isolate and separate security domains
    • Provide assured information sharing across security domains
ia tools
IA Tools
  • Automated tools needed to counter immense product and system complexity, particularly for high assurance
  • Tools applied across the life-cycle
    • Development
      • Risk and design analysis tools
      • Threat modeling tools
    • Analysis
      • Source and binary code analysis tools
    • Operation
      • Patch management tools
      • Configuration checking and consistency tools
gaining commercial acceptance
Gaining Commercial Acceptance
  • The technical challenges facing the National Security Community are the same, the stakes are quite different
  • Unique perspective on threats and countermeasures to share with industry
  • Our role is to not just “tell” industry what to do; we must also contribute to the “solution” space
reaching the goal
Reaching the Goal
  • Significant progress to date!
  • Need to keep advancing in all areas:
    • Enhanced Security Functionality
    • Increased Assurance
      • More Robust Tools
    • Improved Commercial Acceptance
    • Expanded Partnerships