Taking the guesswork out of information security
Source: SearchSecurity - Posted by Pax Dickinson   
Security Network security practitioners need to base their technology and policy decisions less on what attacks are possible and more on which are probable, according to the chief scientist for Resonance Networks.

"Most decisions are based on folklore, anecdotes and inappropriate theoretical models," said Eric Rescoria during the keynote address Wednesday at the Information Security Decisions conference in Chicago. How we size up threats and defenses needs to change, he argues, to what he calls "evidence-based network security."

Traditionally, IT security departments base safeguards on all potential risks to a network, but Rescoria says that approach is impractical. Instead, he believes businesses should devote a bulk of their resources to combating the most likely attacks, based on threat reports now regularly released by major security vendors and groups like the FBI and Computer Science Institute. Though limited, these surveys give a snapshot at what attacks are most likely to penetrate unprotected systems, and which likely won't.

Rescoria used the example of an SSL certificate flaw in which the Internet Explorer verification didn't work properly, creating a potentially serious situation. But, since its publication in 2002, no attacks using this mechanism have been reported.

Rather than give in to fear and doubt, Rescoria advises a more rational approach to patch management and technology and services. "What it means is an approach that depends on measurement and experiment to determine which attacks are actually threats," he said.

Read this full article at SearchSecurity

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