Security Automation and Continuous Monitoring
Security Automation and Continuous Monitoring WG
||Security Automation and Continuous Monitoring
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Securing information and the systems that store, process, and transmit
that information is a challenging task for enterprises of all sizes, and many
security practitioners spend much of their time on manual processes.
Standardized protocols and models aiding collection and evaluation of endpoint
elements enable automation, thus freeing practitioners to focus on high
priority tasks. Due to the breadth of this work, the working group will
address enterprise use cases pertaining to the assessment of endpoint posture
(using the definitions of Endpoint and Posture from RFC 5209). In alignment
with RFC 5209, a network device is an endpoint.
Posture assessment entails the following five steps which the working will
create solutions to automate:
1. Identify and characterize target endpoints
2. Determine specific endpoint elements to assess
3. Collect and make available specified elements' actual values
4. Compare actual element values to policy compliant element values
5. Make results available
This working group will focus on collection, evaluation, and orchestration and
communication, as described herein.
A. Collection. The WG will define a standardized way to provide two types of
guidance to collectors over varying collection mechanisms:
1) Which target endpoints to collect from, and
2) What elements to collect from these target endpoints.
A set of instructions (such as vulnerability description data, YANG filter
expressions, Windows Management Instrumentation classes, etc.) can be brokered
to the appropriate collectors using the control plane functions defined by
"C. Orchestration and Communication" (below). Element collection from
different sources may require orchestrating functions that go beyond the set of
capabilities a collector can provide. This will inform the requirements and
characteristics for "C. Orchestration and Communication". The working
group recognizes that manual configuration of targets and corresponding
collection profiles will not scale and does not seem to be a viable option.
B. Evaluation. The working group will standardize a criteria language enabling
evaluation of actual endpoint posture information against desired endpoint
posture information to produce a standardized result. This extensible language
will support complex Boolean statements, comparison operators, logical flow
statements, and functions for string manipulation. Additionally, the working
group will seek to discover an approach that allows data from any posture
collection mechanism to be generically evaluated.
C. Orchestration and Communication. The working group will define a set of
control plane functions to enable the orchestration between element collectors.
These element collectors can then provide the requisite elements sought by
posture collectors, posture evaluators, and data repositories.
Specific work items may include the following:
- Define a way to provide three types of guidance to the correct SACM
collectors: 1) Which target endpoints to collect from and 2) what to collect
from these target endpoints, and 3) how quickly after an attribute change
information must be collected. When applied, a set of instructions, such as
vulnerability description data or YANG expressions, can be brokered to the
- Define an extension of IETF NEA [https://ietf.org/wg/concluded/nea.html] to
collect and deliver information about firmware, operating systems, and software
installed on an endpoint.
- Describe a criteria language capable of being evaluated against endpoint
posture information to produce a standardized result. The language will support
complex Boolean statements, comparison operators, and functions for string
manipulation; and will be extensible enough to be applicable to the full range
of collected posture attributes. Additionally, this document will describe an
approach that allows data from any posture collection mechanism to be evaluated.
- Define a control plane function to enable the discovery and orchestration
between devices that can provide the requisite information sought by posture
collectors, posture evaluators or both. For example, XMPP capable host/endpoint
interactions may be defined through XMPP control plane and data transfer
protocol extensions. Likewise, the asynchronous push of selected attributes on
switches and routers may be framed using YANG Push for periodic and on-change
- Define a method of expressing software metadata that is suitable for use by
constrained devices including a CBOR-based format derived from the ISO/IEC
19770-2 Software Identification (SWID) tag standard.
- Define best practices for the collection of posture information from
endpoints and its delivery to a collector, from which it can be distributed
using the SACM messaging standards.
- Extend existing standards for information exchange to support the sharing of
software, configuration information, and other forms of guidance including
extensions to the Resource-Oriented Lightweight Information Exchange (ROLIE).
- Describe a SACM Information Model and a SACM Architecture including protocol
requirements and their associated use cases as well as a description of how
SACM protocols fit together into a system.