Please click the links below to get more information about each of these threats and how they can impact you. This article begins with a discussion of the tradeoffs among seemingly different system security properties such as confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Although DDOS attacks are relatively brutish cyberweapons, the so-called “advanced persistent threat” (APT) refers to sophisticated attackers who operate more subtly against specific targets with specific goals.
Whether done with blunt objects (DDOS) or scalpels (APT), cyberattacks continue to be effective.
Combining all these facts and findings, it is evident that the growing cyberthreat environment is becoming more complex and more targeted while our ability to respond with appropriate defences at the appropriate investment levels is becoming more difficult. The cybersecurity research, development, and vendor communities have not been helping matters. These extremes beg the key question of what combination of cyberdefensives are appropriate for securing an enterprise from the spectrum of threats that it realistically faces.
Security considerations and metrics are not the only criteria enterprise IT managers use to make decisions.
In order to make such tradeoff decisions more rigorous and quantitative, we have started to develop a model and corresponding framework for confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA) risk management. Diversity can be introduced into an IT system by deploying hardware and software from different vendors or by mechanisms such as randomizing address layouts or compiler generation of executable code (Jajodia et al., 2011). Our basic model assumes a network of nodes that comprise an asynchronous distributed system that an enterprise operates. A compromise of a node (component or device) means that an attacker has control of that node, such as root or administrator privileges in an operating system, for example. Availability means that at least one of the nodes has not been compromised and is therefore functioning properly. Integrity means that a majority of the nodes (components) have not been compromised so that, if we request information from the components and compare results, at least one half of the results will match.
The time-to-compromise, ti, of the ith node is a random variable distributed according to a probability density function, fi(t). For simplicity, we assume that each density has the same form for each component and define ? to be the lower bound on the support of f, ? to be the upper bound on the support of f, ? to be the mean, and m to be the median.
This work quantitatively develops the trade space between confidentiality, integrity, and availability as a function of network diversity and time-to-compromise.
The discussion above provides a framework and methodology for identifying various security goals and understanding the possible tradeoffs between them.
In physical security, the time-to-compromise of a system is an accepted and measurable performance metric.
Physical security is relatively mature with much operational experience, so measures such as these have emerged as accepted standards within that community. The authors have developed a technique, called QuERIES, for quantifying cybersecurity risk using ideas from a variety of disciplines and have demonstrated those techniques in software protection scenarios.
An example result of using the QuERIES methodology is depicted in Figure 2, which shows the distribution of times for completing a successful attack against a protected software system. The plot in Figure 2 shows a probability density function for the time required by an attacker to compromise the protections. The QuERIES methodology consists of a number of steps and has been successfully applied in a variety of cyber security situations.
Model the Attacks: Use the protection map and knowledge of reverse-engineering methodologies to build an attack graph represented as a partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP) (Russell and Norvig, 2002). Quantify the Models: Perform a controlled red-team attack against the protected IP and use another red- or black-hat team to conduct an information market for estimating the parameters of the POMDP. Use the Results: The resulting estimates can be used to decide if the proposed protections are appropriate for the specific vulnerabilities in terms of various possible cost-benefit analyses.
To illustrate such a cost-benefit analysis, consider the plot shown in Figure 4, which compares two approaches for attackers to decide when to stop an attack.
Early in our work on threat and vulnerability analysis, we sought to identify simple – but still operationally meaningful, necessary, and sufficient – conditions for cyber-physical system vulnerabilities to exist. It is evident that, when these three elements are present in a system, an actual vulnerability exists.
Murphy's Law – “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” (Bell, 1989) – suggests that a system with vulnerabilities will be exploited given the appropriate operational environment. Access Validation Error (AVE): causes failure in enforcing the correct privilege for a user. Exceptional Condition Error Handling (ECEH): arises due to failures in responding to unexpected data or conditions.
Environmental Error (EE): triggered by specific conditions of the computational environment.
Race Condition Error (RC): caused by the improper serialization of the sequences of processes. Threat Accessibility: A threat will probe and analyze a system in order to discover which susceptibilities are accessible and how, with the goal of subsequent exploitation. Threat Capability: After thorough surveillance (either via remote observations or in situ instrumentation) of the system design and its operation, an attacker will attempt to gain control, tamper with, or steal detailed system-design knowledge or other valuable data. This form of threat model has deep roots in the Electronic Warfare (EW) test and evaluation community. Thus, The Three Tenets threat model posits that three ingredients are necessary and sufficient for cyber-physical vulnerabilities to exist: i) a system susceptibility, ii) threat accessibility, and iii) threat capability.
Additional evidence that this vulnerability model is suitable comes from so-called routine activity theory (RAT) (Cohen and Felson, 1979) that is used in criminology. With these three necessary and sufficient conditions for cyber-physical vulnerabilities to exist, we can develop mitigation techniques and metrics for each condition. Focus on What is Critical: The first Tenet instructs the designer to consciously and methodically focus on including only those system functions that are essential to the mission. Move Key Assets Out-of-Band: The second Tenet instructs the designer to consciously differentiate between user access and attacker access for a given system's mission. Just as each ingredient of the threat model has grounding in EW and classical criminology theory, each of The Three Tenets has been advocated and practiced in one form or another by computer security researchers and developers in the past.
System Susceptibility Metric: In its simplest instance, this system-construction metric instructs us to minimize the number of functionalities and services that act as access points to system-critical functions. Threat Capability Metric: Minimize useful insight into system operations in the sense that data observed at one time may or may not be similar or consistent with data observed at another time or on another system by the attacker. Moreover, there are clear economic and effectiveness tradeoffs between, for example, implementing Tenet 3 (detect, react and adapt) and Tenet 1 (implementing only mission-critical functionality). In this article, we have presented threat-driven, descriptive security methodologies that enable reasoning about cyber-physical system design in a strategic fashion.
George CybenkoDartmouth College George Cybenko is the Dorothy and Walter Gramm Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, United States. In this article, we illustrate the use of system dynamics modeling approach to study a complex system: word-of-mouth.
The Sahana Software Foundation governs humanitarian free and open source software (HFOSS) projects that address the information-coordination challenges of disaster management.
This article presents a business-focused approach to developing and delivering enterprise security architecture that is focused on enabling business objectives while providing a sensible and balanced approach to risk management.
The smart grid is a next-generation power system that is increasingly attracting the attention of government, industry, and academia. Computer Warehouse Group Plc, CWG, a Pan-African ICT company has said that Nigeria?s festering security challenges can be addressed by implementing surveillance technologies as first line of deterrent to discourage criminal activities across the country. The Nigerian company founded by Austin Okere, a technology entrepreneur recently collaborated with Huawei, one of the leading ICT infrastructure manufacturers to organise a breakfast session on Internet protocol, IP surveillance as one of the strategies that can be leveraged to provide lasting solution to the security challenges of Nigeria.
According to the Huawei executive, the world is shifting from the use of CCTV systems to the IP surveillance because of its enhanced efficiency. ABOUT USNews Ghana is Ghana’s leading online news publication for business executives in West Africa and around the continent. Computer security involves safeguarding computing resources, ensuring data integrity, limiting access to authorised users, and maintaining data confidentiality.
We live in a world where "information wants to be free" and in which people are getting used to having access to whatever information they want anytime, anywhere and from a wider and wider range of computing devices. You can also gain an overview of computer security by watching my Explaining Computer Security video. Hardware or media failure (either as a result of wear-and-tear, old age or accidental damage). Malware (any form of virus, and including "Trojan" e-mail attachments that users are encouraged to open). Given the breadth of the human reliance on computer technology, physical security arrangements to try and ensure that hardware and storage media are not compromised by theft or unauthorised access are more important today than ever before.
Not least due to advances in mobile and cloud computing, computing resources are more vulnerable to theft than ever before.
Personal and business data is now stored across a wide range of organisational, cloud vendor and personal locations, more work is conducted at home than since the rise of the modern city, and IT departments therefore have a right to be nervous. Physical security also needs to be particularly carefully considered in semi-public locations (such as many open plan offices). Large corporate data centres in which the computer equipment is located in an air conditioned room typically have fire control systems that will hermetically seal the location and put out a fire using an inert gas.
For even greater protection, a UPS unit includes a rechargeable battery that will continue to power a computer and key peripherals during a mains power brown-out or black-out.
Whilst physical threats need to be protected against, most data is lost or corrupted following user error or hardware failure. In other words, users need to ensure that they take regular backs-ups at regular intervals and before and after making key data changes.
Whilst any back-up strategy does require the selection of appropriate storage media, user education is often an equally key a consideration. When making their disaster recovery plans and addressing the key computer security questions (as discussed at the end of this section), the location of back-up media needs careful consideration. Physically protecting computer equipment and data against damage or loss is a large element of computer security.
A biometric characteristic of the individual (for example their signature, finger print, retinal scan or DNA).
For good security, two of the above measures should be employed for what is known as "two-factor security". Where computer security is concerned, one measure of user verification will almost always be a password given the relative technical ease with which this can be implemented.
Today at least, and probably in practice for many years to come, one-factor security based on passwords is all that is available for identifying authorised users in the majority of computing situations. Should be mixed case alphanumeric (a mix of apparently random upper and lower case letters and numbers is best). Users should also try and ensure password security by following the measures as outlined below under "Internet Security". In part the confidentiality of data is protected via physical security measures and appropriate user authentication precautions as already outlined above. The confidentiality of the data on stolen hardware or of data accessed by unauthorised users can be protected via encryption. At the end of a computer's life or when components are being upgraded, care also needs to be taken to ensure that discarded hard disk drives (including those located in external hard drive units) are appropriately erased before disposal. The connection of most computers in the world to the Internet, coupled with the growth of cloud computing, has inevitably broadened significantly the scope of computer security and control vulnerabilities.
Before the widespread adoption of personal computers, rogue programmers with malicious or criminal intent would try to "hack" into big computing facilities via the phone network.
Whilst there are very real security risks associated with both the consumer and business use of the Internet, it is also the case than many such security concerns are perceptual. In addition (though often bundled with) antivirus software, all computers with a potentially always-on Internet connection should be protected via a firewall.
In addition to antivirus software and a firewall, user vigilance and even plain common sense provide one of the most effective defences against potential Internet-related security vulnerabilities. Users also need to ensure that they use strong passwording (as above) when setting up accounts for web transactions. Talking of online transactions, users should also be careful only to conduct business online with trusted websites and over secure (encrypted) connections. For users of cloud computing services such as SaaS applications, all of the above points relating to good Internet security clearly apply. In addition to using antivirus software, a firewall, strong passwords, and uploading regular operating system and browser updates, it is doubly important for users of the cloud to ensure the security of the computer they use to access their chosen online services.
Depending on the types of threat they are intended to cover, disaster recover plans may rely on one of a mix of strategies (and a mix is arguably often best). Some businesses also have "reciprocal agreements" with other companies to make use of their computers to run key operations in the event of a disaster (such as a fire that destroys their premises).
As a final element of disaster recovery planning, replacement purchase plans should be in place.
We live in a world where data is held on everybody and used and inter-linked for a very wide range of purposes. The Data Protection Commissioner is charged with ensuring that all data in the UK "shall be obtained and subsequently processed in a fair and lawful manner". Whilst the Data Protection Act protects individuals on whom data it held, it does not protect data itself or computer systems. Is registration under the Data Protection Act required, and if so are plans in place for handling any subject action requests that may be received?
Unless there are deemed to be no negative consequences that could arise, in order to address the potential implications of the above any computer user -- be they an individual or a large business organization -- needs to take the following measures. First and foremost, a back-up strategy should be implemented that provides resilience against flood, fire theft and media failure. Alongside a back-up strategy, users must ensure that they are using strong passwording (see above) and have a firewall and antivirus software installed on all computers connected to the Internet.


Also of critical importance for organizations is the maintenance of a disaster recovery plan for ensuring a continuity of operations in the event of hardware failure or loss. Computer security involves safeguarding computing resources, ensuring data integrity, limiting accessto authorised users, and maintaining data confidentiality.
Whether a family member is in threat of identity theft, fraud, email threats, sexual threats, verbal threats, or physical threats  you need to evaluate the situation calmly & quickly.
A new product on the market to give you piece of mind in this arena is the Life 360 application. Hackers stealing your personal data, viruses and malicious software that can slow down damage, or take over your computer are just a few of the threats that make using the computer today such a risk. If you were to look at it in a graph you would see that is you increase your security you would be lowering your convenience.
Every day thousands of people are infected with viruses, have their identities stolen, and data on their computers are being compromised.
In spite of the considerable research and development investments made for more than 30 years, many government, industrial, financial, and consumer information systems continue to be successfully attacked and exploited on a routine basis. We develop a quantitative framework for understanding these tradeoffs and the issues that arise when those security properties are all in play within an organization.
For example, Operation Aurora deployed a zero-day web-browser exploit to extract detailed intellectual property from high-tech companies (McAfee Inc, 2010).
Most researchers and vendors promote their specific point solutions at the expense of seeing the bigger security picture. The novel approach proposed in this article is based on the authors' 30 years of combined experience in securing complex cyber-physical systems in government and private sector environments. The second section argues that tradeoffs between confidentiality, integrity, and availability are intrinsically unavoidable in typical enterprise operations and proposes an analytic framework for managing those tradeoffs. Revenue (or service in the case of a non-profit or government entity) is a result of providing users access to networked services and information and so it is often a primary driver when trading off security against access. This task involves complex, typically enterprise- and system-specific, tradeoffs that require an appropriate balance between properties that are not entirely consistent with each other.
Here, we briefly introduce our work on the specific issue of introducing “diversity” into an enterprise IT environment for the purpose of increasing “security”. Further details of the model and associated results can be found in a forthcoming technical paper devoted to this issue (Cybenko and Hughes, in press).
These nodes could be mirrored web or database servers, clients, routers, or other replicated devices or services in an information system. The goals of a compromise are often summarized as violating one or more of the confidentiality, integrity, and availability properties (Smith and Marchesini, 2008).
This definition is based on the assumption that all clients, servers, or other nodes under consideration contain or have access to critical, possibly the same, information. Once an attacker has compromised more than one half of the components, we no longer have any confidence that the information being provided by a majority is correct. The concept of time-to-compromise, discussed in more detail below, is based on the premise that any node is ultimately compromisable and the time when an attacker achieves the compromise is a random variable (which can include the attacker's skill level, resources, choice of attack strategies, and so on). Techniques for estimating fi and ti for more complex computing systems have been developed and evaluated by the authors (Carin et al., 2008).
The columns labelled Attackers and Diversity are as described; the entries in the columns for C, I, and A are the expected times to compromise confidentiality, integrity, and availability respectively. In any such trade space, the IT manager must determine the "operating point of the design" or the balance between security properties and other important system properties such as "maintainability" and "mission utility". For instance, "cost-to-disrupt" is a cost to the adversary to compromise the enterprise that is directly estimated from the time-to-compromise scenarios provided above. Moving forward, if we are given a collection of identified security vulnerabilities impeding the achievement of the goals and possible defences or responses to those vulnerabilities, then we would next like to have some sense of how effective the proposed defences are in terms of performance metrics that go beyond a simple checklist.
Consider for example the case of the Overly Door Company, a supplier of US government General Services Administration approved Class 5 security vault doors suitable for storing national security information.
Surreptitious entry means a method of entry that would not be detectable during normal use or during inspection by a qualified person. Cyber-physical system security is still relatively new, so such performance measures are not yet standardized.
The horizontal axis is time (equatable to cost in man-hours) and the vertical axis is the percentage of attempts requiring the corresponding time. We model the time-to-compromise as a random variable in QuERIES because it depends on the skill level and approach an attacker takes. The red line is the difference between the cost of the attack up to the corresponding time and the benefit of a successful attack; the blue line is the “cost-to-go” value of continuing the attack given that it has failed up to that time. Any system requiring a password can be compromised by a lucky guess and so would be considered insecure if that were the metric. Once such conditions are identified, specific mitigations could be identified and evaluated. Moreover, a threat model that supports reasoning about whether an inherent system weakness rises to the level of a vulnerability is essential for cost-effective system-security engineering.
Generally, the threat will use access points or services offered by a system to legitimate users as the original point of entry. Such attempts are often made using either a known or zero-day exploit determined after additional system reverse engineering. This theory posits that crimes occur when three elements coincide: i) there is a motivated offender, ii) there is a lack of guardianship, and iii) there is a suitable target. These mitigation techniques are called The Three Tenets and correspond to each condition outlined above.
Further details and a more comprehensive treatment of The Three Tenets is available in a longer and more technical article (Hughes and Cybenko, 2013).
This “reachability” metric is a direct consequence of the first Tenet: to identify, implement, and protect only what is mission critical. This “evidence variability” metric is a direct consequence of the third Tenet: to detect, react, and adapt. These tradeoffs can be addressed through a QuERIES-type methodology and are the subject of ongoing work. We feel that this approach is a clear alternative to traditional prescriptive approaches to cybersecurity that provide little insight into the comparative value of security solutions given the entirety of the system security trade-space. Professor Cybenko has made multiple research contributions in signal processing, neural computing, information security, and computational behavioural analysis. Word-of-mouth plays an important role in reducing risk and uncertainty in purchase and consumption. Sahana software has been proven effective and is recommended by numerous industry sources from both the emergency management and business sectors. It is an upgraded electricity network that depends on two-way digital communications between supplier and consumer that in turn give support to intelligent metering and monitoring systems. According to him, IP surveillance is a digitized and networked version of the popular Closed-Circuit Television, CCTV. IP system allows for remote viewing and control, sharing images and footages with security officials and ease of communication through the Internet for security alerts, improved search capability, greater ease of use. Effective computer security therefore involves taking physical security measures (to ensure hardware and media are not stolen or damaged), minimising the risk and implications of error, failure or loss (for example by developing a resilient back-up strategy), appropriate user authentication (for example by employing strong passwording), and possibly the encryption of sensitive files. Unfortunately, in terms of the security and control of the resources to which computers permit access, this can prove quite a problem. Twenty or more years ago, most computer equipment and data lived in a secure IT "glass house" well out of the reach of the casual thief, and with the hardware involved of little or no street value anyway. At the very least, physical computing security measures -- such as external building safeguards and the control of access to areas of a building where computers are located -- should be subject to regular formal updating and review. For example, it needs to be considered how easy it would be for somebody to gain access to a PC, insert a USB memory stick, and walk away with valuable or sensitive data. Many hard disk failures in particular are thought to be linked to power surge or outage issues of which users are often unaware. Software is usually also used to permit a controlled shut-down of equipment when a power black-out occurs. The best defence against this is an appropriate back-up strategy, triggered on both a time and event basis and with appropriate physical resilience. Even on a domestic level, most households could keep a few writable CD or DVD disks (or even SD cards) of key back-ups (including photographs and their music collection) in a secure location (in the roof or under a floorboard or with family and friends or wherever), and which would provide significantly increased data storage resilience.
However, another large element is limiting access to all or part of a system or data store to authorised users only. For example, to obtain money from a bank cash machine both a card and a PIN (personal identification number password) are required. Computer keyboards, mobile computers and dedicated input devices that include finger print readers are also becoming more common, and can be combined with passwording to achieve two-factor security. This in turn means that users must be educated to use strong passwording -- or in other words, to choose and use passwords in a manner that makes the password difficult to either fathom or otherwise obtain by an unauthorised party. However, effective security should plan for what happens if these measures fail, and how data confidentiality can be protected even if computer equipment or media fall into the wrong hands. In the case of the former, in an open plan office environment precautions should be taken when sending documents containing confidential information to a communal network printer. Then, once personal computing really took told, the focus for many such malicious programmers shifted to writing computer viruses that could be unknowingly distributed on floppy disks, and which could hence disrupt the operation of those millions of computers not connected to the telephone network. To an extent, all that has really changed over the past few years has been the willingness of people and organizations to conduct their affairs over the world-wide web. For a start these days it is foolish in the absolute extreme to run any computer with an Internet connection without antivirus software.
Whilst antivirus software is intended to detect and prevent infestation with malicious software (including viruses and other "malware"), the job of a firewall is to regulate the network communications a computer receives, permitting or denying such communications based on how trusted the communications source is considered to be. A personal computer firewall will almost certainly be software based, although increasingly some form of hardware firewall is being incorporated into wireless ADSL routers (wireless access points). For example, users should be educated never to open unsolicited (spam) emails, and doubly-so never to open any e-mail attachments included with such e-mails (and as may be automatically opened by some configurations of e-mail software). They should also never permit their browser software to remember their login details for a website unless they are absolutely certain of who else may have access to the computer they are using.
Trusted websites are those that are well known, have an established trading history, and which advertise contact points for both online and off-line customer support.
In particular care needs to be taken to make certain that they never leave active accounts on a device that may be stolen or otherwise accessed by inappropriate users.
Such disaster recovery or "business continuity" plans need to address how data would be recovered, what hardware would be used to run critical applications, and by whom.
One option is on-site standby, where duplicate systems exist that can be used to run critical operations (provided that data is still available or can be recovered). If a company has multiple buildings or premises, then it makes sense both to hold off-site back-ups across these locations, and to ensure that key system functionality can be duplicated across sites. Often small and medium-sized companies make such reciprocal agreements with nearby schools who have suitable computer suites which they are prepared to offer as an off-site standby provision for a reasonable cost.
In the event of fire or theft, the last thing most individual users or companies would want to be thinking about is where to purchase new computer equipment from, and what specification to choose. In an attempt to provide some redress against inappropriate data use, in the United Kingdom the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 protects data held on living individuals. This allows them to obtain a copy of all data held on them within 40 days of the subject action request being received.
All organizations have to have a "data controller" who, with a few limited exceptions, must register all data stored with the Data Protection Commissioner. Such a strategy needs to ensure that back-ups are taken at regular intervals and when key events take place (for example when a major project is completed or prior to and following a company's end-of-year and audit). It is also important to ensure that files are encrypted where protection is needed against loss of data confidentially in addition to loss of data access. Finally, if data is being held on living individuals, a company must make sure that is has registered with the Data Protection Commissioner and made appropriate plans for handling any subject action requests. This in no way diminishes the advantages of  physical nutrition or training in brazilian jiu jitsu, wresting, muay thai, or MMA, however a street encounter is not the same as training at a gym or academy. One of the main reasons that progress has been so meagre is that most technical cybersecurity solutions that have been proposed to-date have been point solutions that fail to address operational tradeoffs, implementation costs, and consequent adversary adaptations across the full spectrum of vulnerabilities. A survey of 671 IT security practitioners conducted by the Ponemon Institute (2012) found that only 33% believed their IT networks were more secure in 2012 than in 2011.
The third section describes a methodology for quantifying the impact of vulnerabilities and defences that are used to mitigate them, namely “QuERIES”. Information-system diversity, as opposed to “monoculture”, has often been praised as a mechanism for building more resilient and secure systems, ones in which the compromise of one system does not immediately translate into the subsequent compromise of all similar systems. We interpret these goals in the context of a networked system of functionally redundant components. Byzantine failures (Lamport et al., 1982) can also be modelled in this framework whereby at least one third, a different but constant fraction, of the components need to be compromised for an integrity attack. Moreover, estimates of the time-to-compromise density allow us to estimate the cost-to-compromise of the ith component as well as the overall system or mission. A graphical depiction of this analysis for the last line in the table is shown in Figure 1 to illustrate the wide variability on time-to-compromise under these different scenarios. Covert entry means a method of entry that would leave evidence, but would not be detectable by a user during normal use of the door and would only be detectable during inspection by a qualified person. The empirical probability density function was estimated using the QuERIES methodology and is depicted by the vertical bars. The cost-to-go value is computed using dynamic programming based on the probabilities shown in Figure 2 and is similar to the techniques used for American Options pricing. Instead, we argue that the right kind of metric is, for example, the expected cost of a successful attack.
This aspect is important because security for security's sake is neither affordable nor desirable, and so vulnerabilities must be quantified and only mitigated to the degree necessary to prosecute the enterprise's business processes or other missions. Threat access is typically a superset of legitimate user access, because some access points may be undocumented or not of interest to legitimate users.


Skilled attackers typically employ a methodical approach to reverse engineering during which they expect to observe certain system behaviours.
A version of this threat model was suggested for EW vulnerability analysis in 1978, and is called data link vulnerability analysis (DVAL) (Guzie, 2000). This figure depicts the co-occurrence of those ingredients as the space of vulnerabilities and therefore successful attacks.
The elements of RAT and the threat-model elements listed above have a clear correspondence: capability = motivated offender, accessibility = lack of guardians, susceptibility = suitable target. Collectively, The Three Tenets comprise a system security engineering approach consisting of both a secure design methodology and an assessment tool for security evaluation.
By "out-of-band" we mean not accessible by the attacker through their preferred or available access methods.
Underpinning our methodologies is the concept of “time-to-compromise.” We suggest that this is a fundamental metric associated with any adversarial environment and that cyber-physical system security is no different than physical security in this respect. Tenet 3 is a cybertechnology company with a focus on autonomous cyber-physical systems, analyzing their trustworthiness, and evaluating economical ways to demonstrably mitigate security risks.
Indeed, many users unfortunately often view security and control measures as inhibitors to effective computer use.
Indeed, the number of high-profile instances of CDs, DVDs, hard disks and laptops going missing from government offices in the United Kingdom over the past year is quite staggering.
Most large organizations -- particularly in the public sector -- have a horror story or several to tell of computer equipment that has "walked". Far too many individuals and businesses keep their back-up media -- be they removable hard drives, optical disks and even USB memory sticks, in an entirely insecure manner in the same physical location as their computer. However, unfortunately most people still only ever think of this kind of simple strategy after it is too late.
ID cards and even retinal scans are also used in conjunction with passwords on high-end security systems. This is particularly important when it comes to the protection of sensitive information such as financial data.
Today, this situation has evolved again, with many personal computers having an "always on" broadband connection which makes them potentially prone to unauthorised access via a computer network. The sensible use of a credit card over the web is not that much more secure that it was five years ago. Like antivirus software, a firewall needs to be regularly updated with the latest threat information to be most effective. Viruses and other malware (such as "sniffer" software intended to record and communicate usernames and passwords) can be attached as "Trojan" (horses) to e-mails. Indeed, it is still potentially unwise to let even a single-user PC remember passwords for activities such as online shopping or online banking. Secure connections can be identified by looking for the letters "HTTPS" (a secure version of the hypertext transfer protocol that facilitates web communications) at the start of the web address seen at the top of a web browser window.
However, it can also bring security advantages as user data is protected off-site in large vendor data centres. For example, files held in Google Docs or indeed another other SaaS application are not at all secure if a user leaves their netbook or smartphone in a public place and all anybody has to do to gain access is to boot up the machine and visit the appropriate web address. Such duplicate systems need not necessarily be standing idle waiting for disaster (as they would be in a nuclear power station), but may be everyday systems used in one part of the business that are prepared to run key applications from other parts of a business if the need arises. For larger organizations, or those highly dependent on computing continuity, "hot-site agreements" can be made with firms that offer commercial disaster recovery as a service, and who can deliver (for a price) portable working computer rooms at very short notice.
Not least this is an issue because direct-specification let alone exact-model replacements for any items of computer hardware or software more than a year old are incredibly unlikely to be available. Following a subject action request, individuals can challenge the validity of the data held on them, and if appropriate can claim compensation relating to any inaccuracy or misuse. Resilience will be obtained by keeping multiple back-ups on multiple media in multiple locations.
Many people are excellent at keeping back-ups, but have never thought about the consequences of one of their back-up devices (such as a USB key containing all of their personal files) getting lost or stolen and falling into the wrong hands. Everyone that is not protected is at risk regardless of where you live, how much you make or anything else.
There is no virus protection against Zero Day vulnerabilities because there is no signature to verify against. Furthermore, sound prescriptive security principles previously established, such as the Orange Book, have been difficult to apply given current system complexity and acquisition approaches. The goal of this article is to offer operational guidance, based on the techniques presented here, for informed decision making about cyber-physical system security. In spite of such concerns, a recent Oracle study (2013) found that, even with increased overall IT security spending, enterprises are still not protecting the right assets.
The fourth section presents the underlying cybersecurity model, called “The Three Tenets” of cybersecurity-vulnerability assessment and mitigation.
In this situation, where we have n-fold diversity and n parallel attackers, the expected times to achieve the various CIA security goals varies significantly.
Hence, analytically describing the trade space enables a richer strategic analysis regarding various IT enterprise objectives. Forced entry means a method of entry that would leave evidence of the attack and would be readily discernible in the normal use of the door; the attacker has no concern over leaving evidence that the vault door has been penetrated. The specific compromise that was modeled in this example was an attack against a protected software system by an adversary whose goal is to extract specific parameter values from the protected code. Consider, for example, that we do in fact model brute-force password attacks in this way already – an attacker can be lucky and very quickly guess correctly but with very small probability. If that cost is high enough, an attacker would not undertake the attack in the first place.
This category of susceptibility is also known as a boundary condition error (BCE) or buffer overflow (BOF). These system behaviours serve as exploitation guideposts and significantly aid the attacker. DVAL has four components in its vulnerability definition: susceptibility, interceptibility, accessibility, and feasibility. Our threat model is also related to “means, motive, and opportunity” arguments for convincing a jury of a suspect's guilt. This Tenet eliminates those access points and susceptibilities associated with unneeded functionality. Concrete metrics are described that are functionally related to and expand upon time-to-compromise. Previously, Jeff held various positions in the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), where he led research into advanced techniques for developing and screening trustworthy microelectronic components and performing complex system vulnerability and risk analysis for cyber-physical systems. He has served on the Defense Science Board (2008-2009), on the US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (2012-2015), and on review and advisory panels for DARPA, IDA, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Many such stories suggest that people who walk out of buildings with computer equipment under their arm are rarely challenged (and sometimes even assisted!).
The physical security of storage media against the threats of fire, flood and other forms of damage is discussed further in the following section. However, for a server or key personal computer (such as one used to run a business or key part thereof) they are also a very good investment.
Nor is any storage location entirely safe (although the cloud data centres run by Google, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and other computing industry giants are pretty well protected these days!). However, any system that requires a token or biometric to be read has proved difficult to rollout en-mass. This can be a particularly sensible thing to do when e-mailing sensitive documents, or posting them by snail mail on removable media.
And on top of this, the virus writers are still at work, the fruits of their corruptive programming labours now distributed both online and via physical storage media. Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 all include a software firewall, although many people choose to adopt third party firewall software as an alternative to this. However, it is only when the user opens such messages and executes their attachments that corruption or security risks can occur.
This is because the theft of the PC would permit direct access to the user's bank and other online accounts.
HTTPS connections exchange digital certificates to encrypt communications via what is known as a "secure socket layer" (SSL). For example users of Google Docs are always safe in the knowledge that their files are always securely stored on two different servers in two different data centres. SaaS users who share desktop PCs -- or who for example use public desktop computers in cyber cafes -- ought also to be very careful indeed to ensure that they log-out from cloud services whenever they finish using them.
To recover back-ups of data that cannot be run on any available hardware and software will not in any way ensure business continuity! The last of these offences in theory at least makes it illegal to write and distribute computer viruses.
As noted above, users of cloud computing services often obtain excellent resilience just by using online applications. Some trained people make the mistake of not escaping the first moment they are able to do so. To address these issues, the authors have developed threat-based descriptive methodologies to more completely identify system vulnerabilities, to quantify the effectiveness of possible protections against those vulnerabilities, and to evaluate operational consequences and tradeoffs of possible protections.
Finally, the fifth section provides a summary and a discussion of ways forward based on these results. Decision makers must understand which security properties are most important to their organization's missions and invest accordingly. This type of analysis is more explicitly described using the methodology in the next section. Manipulation of the lock is defined as the opening of the combination lock without alteration of the physical structure or disarranging of parts. For a brute-force password attack, the corresponding plot would be a horizontal line at a very small probability going very far into the future.
This is the basis for all state-of-the-art encryption schemes, so our position on this is entirely consistent with existing practice and experience in that realm. Moreover, commercial and open source systems are accessible by the attacker for testing and exploit validation prior to launching a real attack.
The degree to which the attacker is successful will depend on their level of system knowledge, their ability and resources to develop and use specialized tools given the system's functionality and operating environment, and their overall level of reverse-engineering experience. However, in contrast to DVAL, The Three Tenets threat model assumes that “feasibility” and “interceptibility” are effectively merged into what we call “capability.” In today's complex cyber-physical systems based on commercial-off-the-shelf technologies, attackers can rehearse for almost any given operating environment and develop an exploitation capability. The point is that previous work in criminology is relevant and consistent with our approach to cyberthreat modeling. The extent and strength of access differentiation between the user and attacker is greatly influenced by the type of out-of-band mechanism employed and whether it is done in software or hardware. They are today often built into multi-socket outlets with an insurance guarantee included for the connected equipment. This said, recently some banks have started to provide each customer with a reader device into which their bank card is inserted.
In an office package such as the freely downloadable OpenOffice, password protecting a file is as simple as ticking the "save with password" option when selecting "Save As". Indeed, my own current recommendation for PC owners is to install Microsoft Security Essentials.
As a basic rule, never enter your credit card details into a web page without first checking that the address of the page starts "HTTPS".
For private individauls and small companies, such a high level of off-site data protection and replication is hard to achieve by other means.
For non-cloud computer users, more information on back-up hardware and services is included in the storage section. Such rehearsals are even possible with specialized computer-controlled systems, as demonstrated, for example, by Stuxnet. Future work will describe the mathematical underpinnings of The Three Tenets and provide a more complete derivation of the resultant quantitative security metrics.
This allows for two-factor security, as the unit displays a number for each transaction that is uniquely in sequence with their bank. For most people this is a very good option, does not hog resources, comes from a reputable organization -- and is free!
Computer thieves like any other thief will always search out and victomize the easiest targets.
Entry by radiological attack means the use of radioactive isotopes and other sources judged to be effective in determining the locks combination. Additionally, the benefits of analyzing complex system security by employing probabilistic formulations such as QuERIES and the CIA analysis will be illustrated via reduction to practice for varying use cases.
More information on the card reader supplied by Natwest Bank to its customers since November 2007 can be found here. Pro-ActiveComputing uses a proactive program to mitigate your risk by providing you the tools and knowledge necessary to make computing safe, reliable, with the performance you need. You lock your house and car to protect them, so you should also lock down your computer to protect your data assets. Any entry made under these conditions within 20 man-hours shall be considered a failure of the vault door.
Finally, we intend to develop a more explicit coupling of these methodologies to a lifecycle security analysis for cyber-physical systems. Click on one wrong link or open one wrong email and your computer will have been comprimised.
Pro-ActiveComputing spends hundreds of hours learning about these threats and ways to deal with them.



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