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Collaboration with no compromise: The Jericho Forum commandments to good security

Corien Vermaak, Cybersecurity Partner Specialist

The Jericho Forum commandments define both the areas and the principles that must be observed when planning for a de-perimeterized future. Whilst building on “good security”, the commandments specifically address those areas of security that are necessary to deliver a de-perimeterized vision. The commandments serve as a benchmark by which concepts, solutions, standards, and systems can be assessed and measured.

Fundamental

1.The scope and level of protection should be specific and appropriate to the asset at risk.

  • Business demands that security enables business agility and is cost-effective.
  • Whereas boundary firewalls may continue to provide basic network protection, individual systems and data will need to be capable of protecting themselves.
  • In general, it’s easier to protect an asset the closer protection is provided.

2. Security mechanisms must be pervasive, simple, scalable, and easy to manage.

  • Unnecessary complexity is a threat to good security.
  • Coherent security principles are required which span all tiers of the architecture.
  • Security mechanisms must scale; from small objects to large objects.
  • To be both simple and scalable, interoperable security “building blocks” need to be capable of being combined to provide the required security mechanisms.

3. Assume context at your peril.

  • Security solutions designed for one environment may not be transferable to work in another.
  • Thus, it is important to understand the limitations of any security solution.
  • Problems, limitations, and issues can come from a variety of sources, including geographic, legal, technical, acceptability of risk, etc.

4. Surviving in a Hostile World.

  • Devices and applications must communicate using open, secure protocols.
  • Security through obscurity is a flawed assumption – secure protocols demand open peer review to provide robust assessment and thus wide acceptance and use.
  • The security requirements of confidentiality, integrity, and availability (reliability) should be assessed and built in to protocols as appropriate; not added on.
  • Encrypted encapsulation should only be used when appropriate and does not solve everything.

5. All devices must be capable of maintaining their security policy on an un-trusted network.

  • A “security policy” defines the rules with regard to the protection of the asset.  Internet; e.g., will not
  • Rules must be complete with respect to an arbitrary context.
  • Any implementation must be capable of surviving on the raw break on any input.

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