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As you might expect, this kind of problem goes straight to the top of the "to-do" list for the victimized company. The CEO needed many immediate answers and solutions: the true source of the e-mail, the accuracy of the claims made by the sender, the possible weaknesses that might have been used to break into the system, why the intrusion detection system was not triggered, the steps that could be taken to further tighten security, the legal actions that might be possible, and the best way to deal with an adversary who was living halfway around the world.
For several months, many people--including computer security professionals--worked to gather information and evidence, to secure the system, and to track down the source of the attack. Ultimately, undercover officers from New Scotland Yard and the FBI met the unsuspecting "cyber extortionists" at a designated location in London, where they were arrested. They are currently in jail, awaiting extradition to the United States.
For anyone who has information security experience, this case will bring many thoughts to mind about some of the tools of the trade: logging, packet sniffers, firewalls and their rule sets, and legal access rights to e-mail communications (concepts covered in this book). Also, this incident raises questions about how an adversary in a remote location can gain access to a computer network without detection.
As those of us who have been involved in this field for years know, information systems security is achieved through intelligent risk management, rather than through risk elimination. Computer information security professionals find themselves at the core of a collaborative decision-making process. They must be able to provide answers and explanations that are anchored in sound methodology
Not all security issues that arise in the daily course of business will be as intense as the case study cited here, and many will be quite subtle. As many of the finest minds in technology focus more on the topic of security, there is a growing consensus that security is ensured through a process, rather than through a blind reliance on software or hardware products. No one in this field disputes that a computer security professional must be armed with training and experience in order to be effective.
As you read this book, keep in mind that those people who are closest to the business operations of an organization are in a great position to help notice anomalies. I often point out to clients that a violation of computer security might only be apparent to someone who is intimately familiar with the features of a given network and its file structure. It is not what you see, but what you know.
For example, if you went home tonight and found that your family photographs on your bedroom nightstand had been switched around, yet everything was still in its place, you would immediately know that someone had been in your home. Would a security guard who does not intimately know your home be able to notice this kind of difference, even if he or she took the time to look at your nightstand? More than likely, the answer is no. Similarly, there are many computer network features that an intruder could disturb, yet would go unnoticed by everyone except an expert who is familiar with your system.
You must sometimes point out to a client that the most serious threat to information systems security comes from people, not machines. A person who is an insider and is given a user account on a computer system has an enormous advantage in targeting an attack on a system. Computer crime statistics consistently show that insiders, as opposed to outside hackers, do greater damage to systems. As brilliant as they might be, computer criminals are a poor choice as computer security professionals.
Think of the concept this way: While the fictional Dr. Hannibal Lechter, in the movie "Silence of the Lambs," was brilliant in many ways, I would not trust him with my family. I respect the knowledge that smart people possess, but when you bring one on the team you receive their knowledge and their ethics--a package deal.
As you study the depth of the material provided in this book, keep in mind that the information system security professional of today is just that: a professional. Professionals must abide by rigorous standards yet provide something that computers cannot: human judgment. As a result the (ISC)2 requires strict adherence to its Code of Ethics before granting CISSP certifications.
If you are beginning your Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) certification, this book provides the framework to help you become a CISSP. If you are a harried IT manager for whom security is becoming an increasingly daily concern, this book will give you the fundamental concepts and a solid foundation to implement effective security controls. If you are already a CISSP or an active security practitioner, the "CISSP Prep Guide" will help you succeed in a field that has become crucial to the success of business and to the security of a nation's economy.
Edward M. Stroz
About the Authors.
Chapter 1: Security Management Practices.
Information Classification Process.
Security Policy Implementation.
Roles and Responsibilities.
Chapter 2: Access Control Systems.
Identification and Authentication.
Some Access Control Issues.
Chapter 3: Telecommunications and Network Security.
Chapter 4: Cryptography.
Secret Key Cryptography (Symmetric Key).
Public (Asymmetric) Key Cryptosystems.
Approaches to Escrowed Encryption.
Internet Security Applications.
Chapter 5: Security Architecture and Models.
Information Security Models.
Chapter 6: Operations Security.
Controls and Protections.
Monitoring and Auditing.
Threats and Vulnerabilities.
Chapter 7: Applications and Systems Development.
The Software Life Cycle Development Process.
The Software Capability Maturity Model (CMM).
Artificial Intelligence Systems.
Chapter 8: Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery Planning.
Business Continuity Planning.
Disaster Recovery Planning.
Chapter 9: Law, Investigation, and Ethics.
Chapter 10: Physical Security.
Threats to Physical Security.
Controls for Physical Security.
Appendix A: Glossary of Terms and Acronyms.
Appendix B: The RAINBOW Series.
Appendix C: Answers to Sample Questions.
Chapter 1-Security Management Practices.
Chapter 2-Access Control Systems and Methodology.
Chapter 3-Telecommunications and Network Security.
Chapter 5-Security Architecture and Models.
Chapter 6-Operations Security.
Chapter 7-Applications and Systems Development.
Chapter 8-Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery Planning.
Chapter 9-Law, Investigation, and Ethics.
Chapter 10-Physical Security.
Appendix D: A Process Approach to HIPAA Compliance through a HIPAA-CMM.
Appendix E: The NSA InfoSec Assessment Methodology.
Appendix F: The Case for Ethical Hacking.
Appendix G: The Common Criteria.
Appendix H: References for Further Study.
Appendix I: British Standard 7799.
Posted May 8, 2003
When this book was released in 2001 it was a great book. Now that it is 2003 this book is only ~60-75% of what is needed for the CISSP exam. IHMO this book should be pulled from the shelves because it has been superseeded by the Gold Edition (2003) from the same author. Gold Edition really means 'current' edition. It is not superior, it's just current with more material. I read this book and was surprised that it prepared me perfectly for the CISSP test, if it was 2 years ago. Now I have to read the Gold Edition and re-read content I already know just to get the Delta. It's possible the new Q&A book may contain enough for the exam but that's a gamble I can't take since my $450 is at stake. Conclusion: Don't buy it. Buy the Gold and/or the Q&A. PS I think the Q&A may just be the questions stripped out of the Gold Edition. You should check before you consider buying both.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 3, 2001
It¿s been said many times that the vast ocean of the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) is fifty miles wide and two miles deep and preparing for it can be quite an overwhelming endeavor. Various on-line study groups and web sites have numerous suggestions and links where freely available materials and helpful hints may be found. Individuals share there study guides and suggest the best books to procure for the study quest. I myself have participated and contributed in these vibrant forums. It¿s been said many times over that NO one book can effectively cover the CBK and to prepare the CISSP candidate for the exam. I too have amassed a large collection of the most suggested tombs. Well The CISSP Prep Guide almost negates this statement. The CISSP Prep Guide is now the FIRST place to start! I wish it had been in print a year ago when I began my quest for the CISSP. It is a complete and affordable textbook covering the MEAT of the CBK. This book completely defines and explains the major points of the CBK. It is an extremely readable and understandable text. If you can¿t afford attending the ISC2 CISSP Seminar either because of cost or time away from work this book is for you. If you have already attended the CISSP Seminar this book is for you. I was blessed by having the opportunity in attending the CISSP Seminar yet I am still finding that The CISSP Prep Guide is building upon the materials presented in the seminar. I can see where my copy of The CISSP Prep Guide will quickly become a dog-eared reference text that I use to refer to while carrying out my duties as an Information Systems Security Officer with the U.S. Government.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.