The U.S. federal government has taken an active role in dealing with computer, Internet, privacy, and corporate threats, vulnerabilities, and exploits during the past five years. This is exemplified by the increase in new laws and mandates that were passed recently. These new laws and mandates encompass the following areas:
When dealing with risk assessment in an organization, there are now many new laws and mandates that impact the requirements and scope of the risk assessment.
Depending on the organization's vertical industry category, different laws and mandates will impact how that organization approaches its internal risk assessment and vulnerability assessment. Many of these new laws and mandates will assist in defining the scope of the risk assessment and vulnerability assessment, given the IT and data assets that must now have the proper security controls, procedures, and guidelines. The following new laws and mandates currently impact information security requirements and are briefly described in this chapter:
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was signed into law in 1996 to address the lack of portability that individuals and their families had to deal with when changing jobs. HIPAA provides a way that individuals and their family members can have a continuity of health insurance even through job changes and perhaps even unemployment.
It used to be people stayed in one or two jobs throughout a whole career. In those days people had no need for HIPAA. But today, in a time when jobs and even careers are constantly changing, HIPAA can make a big difference in your personal welfare or the welfare of your family.
Title I of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs.
Title II requires the Department of Health and Human Services to establish national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health plans, and employers.
Under HIPAA law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was required to publish a set of rules regarding privacy. The Privacy Rule was published on August 14, 2002, and the Security Rule was published in the Federal Register on February 20, 2003.
The privacy rule states three major purposes:
The security rule states the following:
"In addition to the need to ensure electronic health care information is secure and confidential, there is a potential need to associate signature capability with information being electronically stored or transmitted.
Today, there are numerous forms of electronic signatures, ranging from biometric devices to digital signature. To satisfy the legal and time-tested characteristics of a written signature, however, an electronic signature must do the following:
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) was signed into law in 1999 and resulted in the most sweeping overhaul of financial services regulation in the United States by eliminating the long-standing barriers between banking, investment banking, and insurance. Title V addresses financial institution privacy with two subtitles. Subtitle A addresses this by requiring financial institutions to make certain disclosures about their privacy policies and to give individuals an opt-out capability. Subtitle B criminalizes the practice known as pretexting, where someone will misrepresent themselves to collect information regarding a third party from a financial institution.
Various sections of the GLBA provide support to Title V in a variety of ways. For example:
Under GLBA law, financial institutions are required to protect the confidentiality of individual privacy information. Under the GLBA definition, financial institutions may include banks, insurance companies, and other third-party organizations that have access to an individual's private and confidential financial, banking, or personal information. As specified in GLBA law, financial institutions are required to develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive information security program with appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards. This information security program must include the following:
Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)
The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) was signed into law in 2002 as part of the E-Government Act of 2002, replacing the Government Information Security Reform Act (GISRA). FISMA was enacted to address the information security requirements for non-national-security government agencies. FISMA provides a statutory framework for securing government-owned and operated IT infrastructures and assets. FISMA requires the CIO to carry out the following responsibilities:
The FISMA law also requires the agency head, in this case the secretary of the Navy, to
The FISMA law also requires each federal agency to develop, document, and implement an agencywide information security program that includes the following elements:
Finally, FISMA law requires each federal agency to report to Congress annually by the March 1. The agency FISMA report must address the adequacy and effectiveness of information security policies, procedures, and practices.
In addition to the annual report, FISMA requires that each agency conduct an annual, independent evaluation of the IA program and practices to determine their effectiveness.
FISMA requirements brought about for the first time in U.S. federal government history a definition for agency information security and human accountability for the protection of federal government IT infrastructure and data assets.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was signed into law in 2002 and named after its authors: Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Representative Paul Oxley (R-Ohio). This act mandated a number of reforms to enhance corporate responsibility, enhance financial disclosures, and combat corporate and accounting fraud.
Corporate and accounting fraud became commonplace thanks to the Enron and MCI Worldcom fiascos, which were the driving force in the creation and adoption of the SOX law. This was the first law of this kind that requires U.S.-based corporations to abide by new anticrime laws, address a broad range of wrongdoings, and requires a set of comprehensive controls be put in place while holding the CEO and CFO accountable for the accuracy of the information.
SOX law applies to U.S.-based publicly traded companies with market capitalizations of $75 million or more. SOX compliancy commenced in fiscal year 2004, with fiscal year 2005 being the first full year of SOX compliancy. Many organizations are now assessing and eliminating identified gaps in defined control objectives and in particular, information-security-related control objectives.
The SOX structure and charter consists of the following organizational elements:
To supplement the control framework structure created by the COSO, the PCAOB selected Information Systems Audit and Control Association's (ISACA) control objectives for information and related technology framework (COBIT). Assistance from the IT Governance Institute used COSO and COBIT frameworks to create specific IT control objectives for SOX. The IT Governance Institute Framework includes the following major areas:
Two sections indirectly and directly impact IT infrastructures and information security: Section 302 and Section 404.
Section 302 impacts information security indirectly in that the CEO and CFO must personally certify that their organization has the proper internal controls. Section 302 mandates that the CEO and CFO must personally certify that financial reports are accurate and complete and that the data they use for financial reporting is accurate and secure. In addition, the CEO and CFO must also report on effectiveness of internal controls around financial reporting.
Section 404 mandates that certain management structures, control objectives, and procedures be put into place. Compliance with Section 404 requires companies to establish an infrastructure that is actually designed to protect and preserve records and data from destruction, loss, unauthorized alteration, or other misuse.
When developing management structures, control objectives, and procedures for SOX Section 404 to protect and preserve records and data from destruction, loss, unauthorized alteration or other misuse, five major areas must be addressed:
Organizations today are being forced to create IT security architectures and frameworks to properly address the requirements of these new laws, mandates, and regulations. After an IT security architecture and framework is in place, risk and vulnerability assessments are needed to identify weaknesses and gaps in the deployment of information security architectures and frameworks.
By conducting a risk and vulnerability assessment, an organization will be able to identify and get a baseline for their current level of information security. This baseline will form the foundation for how that organization needs to increase or enhance its current level of security based on the criticality or exposure to risk that is identified during the risk and vulnerability assessment conducted on the IT infrastructure and assets. From here, it is important to understand risk assessment best practices and what the goal of a risk assessment should be for an organization.
Introduction to Assessing Network Vulnerabilities
Foundations and Principles of Security
Why Risk Assessment
Scoping the Project
Understanding the Attacker
Performing the Assessment
Tools Used for Assessments and Evaluations
Preparing the Final Report
Appendix A. Security Assessment Resources
Appendix B. Security Assessment Forms
Appendix C. Security Assessment Sample Report
Appendix D. Dealing with Consultants and Outside Vendors
Appendix E. SIRT Team Report Format Template