Security Automation and Continuous Monitoring WG           D. Waltermire
Internet-Draft                                                      NIST
Intended status: Informational                              A. Montville
Expires: April 22, 2014                                               TW
                                                           D. Harrington
                                                      Effective Software
                                                        October 19, 2013

                  Terminology for Security Assessment


   This memo documents terminology used in the documents produced by the
   SACM WG (Security Automation and Continuous Monitoring).

Status of This Memo

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   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 22, 2014.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Terms and Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     2.1.  Requirements Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   3.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   5.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   6.  Change Log  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     6.1.  ietf-sacm-terminology-01- to -02- . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     6.2.  -00- draft  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   7.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     7.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     7.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7

1.  Introduction

   Our goal with this document is to improve our agreement on the
   terminology used in documents produced by the IETF Working Group for
   Security Automation and Continuous Monitoring.  Agreeing on
   terminology should help reach consensus on which problems we're
   trying to solve, and propose solutions and decide which ones to use.

   This document is expected to be temorary work product, and will
   probably be incorporated into the architecture or other document.

2.  Terms and Definitions


      Defined in [RFC5209] as "the process of collecting posture for a
      set of capabilities on the endpoint (e.g., host-based firewall)
      such that the appropriate validators may evaluate the posture
      against compliance policy."

      Within this document the use of the term is expanded to support
      other uses of collected posture (e.g. reporting, network
      enforcement, vulnerability detection, license management).  The
      phrase "set of capabilities on the endpoint" includes: hardware
      and software installed on the endpoint."


      Defined in [RFC4949] as "a system resource that is (a) required to
      be protected by an information system's security policy, (b)
      intended to be protected by a countermeasure, or (c) required for
      a system's mission.

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   asset characterization

      Asset characterization is the process of defining attributes that
      describe properties of an identified asset.

   asset targeting

      Asset targeting is the use of asset identification and
      categorization information to drive human-directed, automated
      decision making for data collection and analysis in support of
      endpoint posture assessment.


      Defined in [RFC5209] as "data element including any requisite
      meta-data describing an observed, expected, or the operational
      status of an endpoint feature (e.g., anti-virus software is
      currently in use)."


      Defined in [RFC5209] as "any computing device that can be
      connected to a network.  Such devices normally are associated with
      a particular link layer address before joining the network and
      potentially an IP address once on the network.  This includes:
      laptops, desktops, servers, cell phones, or any device that may
      have an IP address."

      Network infrastructure devices (e.g. switches, routers,
      firewalls), which fit the definition, are also considered to be
      endpoints within this document.

      Based on the previous definition of an asset, an endpoint is a
      type of asset.


      An endpoint misconfiguration or software flaw that allows access
      to information or capabilities that can be used by an attacker as
      a means to compromise an endpoint or network. (derived from CVE
      exposure definition)

      From RFC4949: (I) A type of threat action whereby sensitive data
      is directly released to an unauthorized entity.  (See:
      unauthorized disclosure.)  Usage: This type of threat action
      includes the following subtypes: - "Deliberate Exposure":
      Intentional release of sensitive data to an unauthorized entity.
      - "Scavenging": Searching through data residue in a system to gain

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      unauthorized knowledge of sensitive data.  - "Human error": /
      exposure/ Human action or inaction that unintentionally results in
      an entity gaining unauthorized knowledge of sensitive data.
      (Compare: corruption, incapacitation.) - "Hardware or software
      error": /exposure/ System failure that unintentionally results in
      an entity gaining unauthorized knowledge of sensitive data.
      (Compare: corruption, incapacitation.)


      A misconfiguration is a configuration setting that violates
      organizational security policies, introduces a possible security
      weakness in a system, or permits or causes unintended behavior
      that may impact the security posture of a system. (from NIST IR
      7670) The misalignment of a unit of endpoint configuration posture
      relative to organizational expectations that is subject to
      exploitation or misuse.


      Defined in [RFC5209] as "configuration and/or status of hardware
      or software on an endpoint as it pertains to an organization's
      security policy."

      This term is used within the scope of this document to represent
      the state information that is collected from an endpoint (e.g.
      software/hardware inventory, configuration settings).

   posture attributes

      Defined in [RFC5209] as "attributes describing the configuration
      or status (posture) of a feature of the endpoint.  For example, a
      Posture Attribute might describe the version of the operating
      system installed on the system."

      Within this document this term represents a specific assertion
      about endpoint state (e.g. configuration setting, installed
      software, hardware).  The phrase "features of the endpoint" refers
      to installed software or software components.


      A remediation is defined as a security-related set of actions that
      results in a change to a computer's state and may consist of
      changes motivated by the need to enforce organizational security
      policies, address discovered vulnerabilities, or correct
      misconfigurations. (from NIST IR 7670)

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   software flaw

      A weakness in software that is subject to exploitation or misuse.
      A software flaw can be used by an attacker to gain access to a
      system or network, and/or materially affect the confidentiality,
      integrity or availability of information hosted by an endpoint or
      exchanged over a network.  Such a flaw may allow an attacker to
      execute commands as another user, access data that is contrary to
      specified access controls, pose as another entity, or to conduct a
      denial of service. (derived from CVE vulnerability definition)

   system resource

      Defined in [RFC4949] as "data contained in an information system;
      or a service provided by a system; or a system capacity, such as
      processing power or communication bandwidth; or an item of system
      equipment (i.e., hardware, firmware, software, or documentation);
      or a facility that houses system operations and equipment.


      A vulnerability is a state of configuration or defect in a system
      which allows an unintended and unauthorized party to violate the
      security or policies of the system.

      A weakness in an information system, system security procedures,
      internal controls, or implementation that is subject to
      exploitation or misuse.  This includes flaws in software and
      processes, and misconfiguration of hardware or software. (derived
      from NIST definitions)

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      From RFC4949: (I) A flaw or weakness in a system's design,
      implementation, or operation and management that could be
      exploited to violate the system's security policy.  (See: harden.)
      Tutorial: A system can have three types of vulnerabilities: (a)
      vulnerabilities in design or specification; (b) vulnerabilities in
      implementation; and (c) vulnerabilities in operation and
      management.  Most systems have one or more vulnerabilities, but
      this does not mean that the systems are too flawed to use.  Not
      every threat results in an attack, and not every attack succeeds.
      Success depends on the degree of vulnerability, the strength of
      attacks, and the effectiveness of any countermeasures in use.  If
      the attacks needed to exploit a vulnerability are very difficult
      to carry out, then the vulnerability may be tolerable.  If the
      perceived benefit to an attacker is small, then even an easily
      exploited vulnerability may be tolerable.  However, if the attacks
      are well understood and easily made, and if the vulnerable system
      is employed by a wide range of users, then it is likely that there
      will be enough motivation for someone to launch an attack.

   Vulnerability Management

      The process of mitigating the ability to exploit a vulnerability,
      via defect removal or protective measures such that exploitation
      becomes impossible or highly unlikely. (from Chris Inacio)

2.1.  Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

3.  IANA Considerations

   This memo includes no request to IANA.

4.  Security Considerations

   This memo documents terminology for security automation.  While it is
   about security, it does not affect security.

5.  Acknowledgements

6.  Change Log

6.1.  ietf-sacm-terminology-01- to -02-

   Added Vulnerability, Vulnerability Management, xposure,
   Misconfiguration, and Software flaw.

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6.2.  -00- draft

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

7.2.  Informative References

   [RFC4949]  Shirey, R., "Internet Security Glossary, Version 2", RFC
              4949, August 2007.

   [RFC5209]  Sangster, P., Khosravi, H., Mani, M., Narayan, K., and J.
              Tardo, "Network Endpoint Assessment (NEA): Overview and
              Requirements", RFC 5209, June 2008.

Authors' Addresses

   David Waltermire
   National Institute of Standards and Technology
   100 Bureau Drive
   Gaithersburg, Maryland  20877


   Adam W. Montville
   Tripwire, Inc.
   101 SW Main Street, Suite 1500
   Portland, Oregon  97204


   David Harrington
   Effective Software
   50 Harding Rd
   Portsmouth, NH  03801


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