Sunday, February 03, 2008

C, I .... Hey!!! Where is my 'A'???

Now, I have to apologize for sneaking up to my esteemed colleague
  1. Initial discussion with a link to a paper here
  2. Longer follow-up from Mike Farnum is here (scalpel bit is explained too :-))
  3. "Mr Hoff Strikes Back" discussion is here
So some random points while I still have time (the Brits still sell Internet by the minute, darn it!)
  • Security team usually does not own the 'A' - IT does. If you think "IT availability" equals "DoS defense", your view is painfully narrow
  • It sucks that some folks chose 'A' over 'C-I-A', but they do!
  • It often takes some effort to explain why people need to care about 'C' and 'I' (no matter how painfully obvious it is for security folks!), but you never have to explain the 'A' part
  • Yes, if your data is corrupted ('I' violation), then obviously the right data is not available (leads to an 'A' violation), but this is actually far less common today compared to the following: a crappy solution is deployed to guard 'C' and 'I'; it flakes out and takes 'A' with it ... oops!
  • I also disagree with taking it too far to "security against availability" (even those it happens sometimes, especially in the form of "security vs performance" or "security vs usability"); security is definitely not the opposite to availability.
  • Information / IT risk management definitely covers all of C-I-A risks; thus, a security team might not be responsible if a lighting strikes a server, but such scenario must be considered in IT risk assessments.
  • Maybe one of the reasons we lost the current malware battle (more on that later...) is that today's predominant malware - bots - and their creators/herders deeply care about preserving your systems 'A' - availability ...
UPDATE: a post by Stuart King continues the discussion.

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Dr Anton Chuvakin