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Brian Bradley. Data Security. Definitions. Data is any type of stored digital information. Security is about the protection of assets. Prevention: measures taken to protect your assets from being damaged.

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Brian Bradley

Data Security


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Definitions

  • Data is any type of stored digital information.

  • Security is about the protection of assets.

  • Prevention: measures taken to protect your assets from being damaged.

  • Detection: measures taken to allow you to detect when an asset has been damaged, how it was damaged and who damaged it.

  • Reaction: measures that allow you to recover your assets.


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Definitions

  • Confidentiality ensures that that data is only read by the intended recipients.

  • Integrity ensures that all of the data has not been corrupted from its original source.

  • Availability guarantees that the data is usable upon demand.

  • Accountability is audit information that is kept and protected so that security actions can be traced to the responsible party.


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Audit Standards

  • Data Security is subject to several types of audit standards and verification.

  • The most common are ISO 17799, ISO 27001-02, PCI, ITIL, SAS-70, HIPPA, SOX

  • Security Administrators are responsible for creating and enforcing a policy that forms to the standards that apply to their organizations business.


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Audit Standards

  • IT certification audits are generally carried out by 3rd party accounting firms.

  • They generally can be done in a week or two, depending on the size of the organization.

  • Clients can also carry out audits before they begin doing business with the company to ensure that their data is secured to their standards.


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Security Policy

  • A security policy is a comprehensive document that defines a companies’ methods for prevention, detection, reaction, classification, accountability of data security practices and enforcement methods.

  • It generally follows industry best practices as defined by ISO 17799,27001-02, PCI, ITIL, SAS-70, HIPPA , SOX or a mix of them.


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Security Policy

  • The security policy is the key document in effective security practices.

  • Once it has been defined it must be implemented and modified and include any exceptions that may need to be in place for business continuity.

  • All users need to be trained on these best practices with continuing education at regular intervals.


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Tools to Secure Data

  • Data needs to be classified in the security policy according to its sensitivity.

  • Once this has taken place, the most sensitive data has extra measures in place to safeguard and ensure its integrity and availability.

  • All access to this sensitive data must be logged.

  • Secure data is usually isolated from other stored data.


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Tools to Secure Data

  • Controlling physical access to the data center or area where the data is stored.

  • Active or Open Directory is a centralized authentication management system that is available to companies to control and log access to any data on the system.

  • Encryption of the sensitive data is critical before transmission across public networks.


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Tools to Secure Data

  • The use of firewalls on all publicly facing WAN connections.

  • Deploying VLANs’ and ACLs’ to isolate sensitive departments from the rest of the network.

  • Shutting down unused switch ports.

  • If wireless is deployed, use authentication servers to verify and log the identity of those logging on.

  • Anti-Virus and malicious software protection on all systems.


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Tools to Monitor Secure Data

  • Walk around and look for passwords in the open.

  • Event Viewer / Log Files

  • Intrusion Detection/ Protection systems (IDS/IPS) such as SNORT.

  • These will alert Administrators of suspicious data flows.


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Tools to Monitor Secure Data

  • Set up SNMP monitoring servers to monitor and alert for everything.

  • This will alert Administrators to everything from unusual bandwidth usage to hardware failure.

  • It is key to know what's going on with your systems and network.


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Tools to Document Data Security

  • Microsoft Visio is the standard for drawing network maps.

  • These maps allow a detailed overview of the system and how it is functions.

  • They also allow the spotting of weak points of security and flaws in design that can impact reliability or continuity of the data to the end user.


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Tools to Document Data Security

  • Nessus is a network scanner that probes devices to ensure their secure.

  • It will probe and report old out of date software, open ports and the give details on potential exposure related to them.

  • Should be scheduled at least monthly enterprise wide.

  • A log needs to be kept of who was scanned so that anybody missed can be scanned either next time or individually.


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Tools to Stay Informed

  • SANS Storm Center will keep you posted to the latest attack trends.

  • Read you log files regularly of any publicly facing server to see what types of attacks are being run against your enterprise.

  • Trade publications discuss the latest threats and technologies.

  • Understand the technology that you are protecting and the technology that is used to attack.


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End User Education

  • All relevant security polices must be clearly explained to the end users.

  • A clear explanation of the consequences for violating these polices must also be explained.

  • The end user needs to sign a document acknowledging that they understand the policies and consequences for violating these policies.


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Enforcement

  • Must obtain executive authority to enforce policy.

  • Systematic approach of warnings and punishments.

  • Coordinate with HR to document continued issues with staff.


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Thank you!

I very much appreciate your time and interest.


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