Risk
2/29/2012
01:36 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Federal Cybersecurity Guidelines Now Cover Cloud, Mobility

Emerging technologies and cyber threats are focus of NIST's first update to feds' security handbook in three years.

Top 10 Open Government Websites
Top 10 Open Government Websites
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
New technologies, such as mobile and cloud computing, that are rapidly being adopted by the federal government have informed a major update to federal cybersecurity standards.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the first public draft of Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations, Special Publication (SP) 800-53.

The document is the federal handbook for cybersecurity standards to support the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and is used across agencies to protect IT systems from cyber threats.

The publication is the first update to the guide since 2009, and a lot has changed in the federal cybersecurity landscape over the last several years. The publication includes changes that reflect the new technologies and threats that have emerged in that timeframe.

[ A new report offers federal agencies guidelines on cloud services. Read more at Feds Offer Agencies Guidance On Cloud Implementation. ]

When the last edition was published, for example, cloud computing was in its nascent stages and smartphones like the iPhone were mainly a consumer phenomenon. Now the federal government has instituted a "cloud-first" policy that has made the former technology a priority for current and future IT projects. And iPhones, iPads, and Android-based mobile devices and tablets are being used government-wide, sometimes as part of a "bring your own device" policy agencies are instituting to allow employees to choose what smartphone they use at work.

The update does not categorize new security controls that focus on these technologies specifically, but distributes them "throughout the control catalog in various families" and provides "specific security capabilities that are needed to support those new computing technologies and computing approaches," NIST said in notes about the publication.

However, NIST has given guidance around privacy--another new area addressed in the publication--its own appendix because of its importance.

The update also includes security standards for other new threats that have surfaced since the last update, including supply-chain risk and the possibility of security breaches from insider personnel.

Both are areas that federal agencies themselves also have been focusing on in their own cybersecurity efforts. The Department of Defense, for example, has been developing technology that can preemptively detect when personnel may be about to turn on the department and stop an insider threat before it happens.

The updated publication comes as the feds' entire approach to creating safer IT systems undergoes "a significant transformation," according to NIST.

"Near real-time risk management and the ability to design, develop, and implement effective continuous monitoring programs depends first and foremost on the organization's ability to develop a strong information technology infrastructure--in essence, building stronger, more resilient information systems using system components with sufficient security capability to protect core missions and business functions," the agency said.

The public has until April 6 to comment on the draft. The final version of the publication is expected in July, according to NIST. InformationWeek and InformationWeek Government are conducting a survey on IT security and cybersecurity in U.S. federal government agencies. Upon completion of our survey, you will be eligible to enter a drawing to receive an Apple 16-GB iPad 2. Take our Federal Government Cybersecurity Survey now. Survey ends March 9.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-7298
Published: 2014-10-24
adsetgroups in Centrify Server Suite 2008 through 2014.1 and Centrify DirectControl 3.x through 4.2.0 on Linux and UNIX allows local users to read arbitrary files with root privileges by leveraging improperly protected setuid functionality.

CVE-2014-8346
Published: 2014-10-24
The Remote Controls feature on Samsung mobile devices does not validate the source of lock-code data received over a network, which makes it easier for remote attackers to cause a denial of service (screen locking with an arbitrary code) by triggering unexpected Find My Mobile network traffic.

CVE-2014-0619
Published: 2014-10-23
Untrusted search path vulnerability in Hamster Free ZIP Archiver 2.0.1.7 allows local users to execute arbitrary code and conduct DLL hijacking attacks via a Trojan horse dwmapi.dll that is located in the current working directory.

CVE-2014-2230
Published: 2014-10-23
Open redirect vulnerability in the header function in adclick.php in OpenX 2.8.10 and earlier allows remote attackers to redirect users to arbitrary web sites and conduct phishing attacks via a URL in the (1) dest parameter to adclick.php or (2) _maxdest parameter to ck.php.

CVE-2014-7281
Published: 2014-10-23
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Shenzhen Tenda Technology Tenda A32 Router with firmware 5.07.53_CN allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that reboot the device via a request to goform/SysToolReboot.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.