Security Automation and Continuous Monitoring WG           D. Waltermire
Internet-Draft                                                      NIST
Intended status: Informational                              A. Montville
Expires: July 17, 2014                                               CIS
                                                           D. Harrington
                                                      Effective Software
                                                        January 13, 2014

                  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

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
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   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on July 17, 2014.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Terms and Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     2.1.  Terms Extracted from UC -05 Draft . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     2.2.  Terms from -01 Terminology Draft  . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     2.3.  Requirements Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
   3.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   5.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   6.  Change Log  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
     6.1.  ietf-sacm-terminology-01- to -02- . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
     6.2.  ietf-sacm-terminology-01- to -02- . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
     6.3.  -00- draft  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   7.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
     7.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
     7.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16

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

2.1.  Terms Extracted from UC -05 Draft

   The following terms were extracted from:

   acquisition method


   actual endpoint state

   ad hoc collection task

   ad hoc evaluation task

   applicable data collection content

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   appropriate actor

   appropriate application

   appropriate operator

   approved configuration

   approved endpoint configuration

   approved hardware list

   approved software list


   artifact age

   assessment criteria

   assessment cycle

   assessment planning

   assessment subset

   assessment trigger

   asset characteristics

   asset management

   asset management data

   asset management system

   asynchronous compliance assessment

   asynchronous vulnerability assessment

   attack condition


   automatable configuration guide

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   automatable configuration guide definition

   automatable configuration guide publication

   automated checklist verification

   automated endpoint compliance monitoring


   baseline compliance

   building block

   business logic

   candidate endpoint target


   change detection

   change event

   change event monitoring

   change filter

   change management

   change management program


   checklist identification

   checklist verification

   client endpoint

   collected posture attribute value

   collection content acquisition

   collection process

   collection request

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   collection task

   complete assessment cycle


   compliance level

   compliance monitoring

   computing platform endpoint

   configuration baseline

   configuration data

   configuration item

   configuration item change

   configuration management


   content change detection

   content data store

   content definition

   content instance

   content publication

   content query

   content repository

   content retrieval


   critical vulnerability

   current sign of malware infection

   data analysis

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   data collection

   data collection content

   data collection path

   data store query

   database mining

   define content

   desired state

   desired state identification

   detection timeliness

   deviation notification



   endpoint attribute

   endpoint compliance monitoring

   endpoint component inventory

   endpoint discovery

   endpoint event

   endpoint identification

   endpoint information analysis and reporting

   endpoint metadata

   endpoint posture

   endpoint posture assessment

   endpoint posture attribute

   endpoint posture attribute value

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   endpoint posture attribute value collection

   endpoint posture change monitoring

   endpoint posture compliance

   endpoint posture deviation

   endpoint posture deviation detection

   endpoint posture monitoring

   endpoint state

   endpoint target

   endpoint target identification

   endpoint type


   enterprise function

   enterprise function definition

   enterprise policy

   enterprise standards

   evaluating data

   evaluation content acquisition

   evaluation task

   evaulation result

   event-driven notification

   expected function

   expected state

   expected state criteria


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   functional capability

   immediate detection

   indicator of compromise

   industry group

   information expression

   information model

   malicious activity

   malicious configuration item

   malicious hardware

   malicious software

   malware infection

   manual endpoint compliance monitoring

   mobile endpoint


   network access control

   network access control decision

   network event

   network infrastructure endpoint

   network location

   network-connection-driven data collection

   new vulnerability

   on-demand detection

   ongoing change-event monitoring

   ongoing-event-driven endpoint-posture-change monitoring

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   ongoing-event-driven monitoring

   operational data


   organizational policy

   organizational policy compliance

   organizational security posture


   patch change

   patch management

   performance condition

   periodic collection request

   periodic data collection


   posture aspect

   posture aspect change

   posture attribute

   posture attribute evaluation

   posture attribute identification

   posture attribute value

   posture attribute value collection

   posture attribute value query

   posture change

   posture deviation

   posture deviation detection

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   posture evaluation

   previously collected information

   previously collected posture attribute value

   previously collected posture attribute value analysis


   public content repository

   publication metadata

   publication operations

   publish content


   regulatory authority


   repository content identification

   repository content retrieval


   result set

   retrieve content


   risk management

   risk management program

   scheduled task

   search criteria

   secure configuration baseline

   security administrator

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   security automation

   security posture

   security process

   server endpoint

   significant endpoint event

   significant event

   signs of infection

   state criteria

   supporting content


   target endpoint



   unauthorized configuration item

   unauthorized hardware

   unauthorized software


   vulnerability artifact

   vulnerability artifact age

   vulnerability condition

   vulnerability exposure

   vulnerability management

   vulnerability mitigation

   vulnerability remediation

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   whole assessment

   workflow trigger

2.2.  Terms from -01 Terminology Draft


      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.

   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)."


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      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
      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.


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      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)

   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.


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      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)

      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)

2.3.  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.

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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 simple list of terms extracted from UC draft -05.  It is
   expected that comments will be received on this list of terms as to
   whether they should be kept in this document.  Those that are kept
   will be appropriately defined or cited.

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

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

6.3.  -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

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


   Adam W. Montville
   Center for Internet Security
   31 Tech Valley Drive
   East Greenbush, New York  12061


   David Harrington
   Effective Software
   50 Harding Rd
   Portsmouth, NH  03801


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