Risk
9/21/2011
02:44 PM
50%
50%

NIST Releases Federal Risk Assessment Guide

Federal technology standards body issues new guidelines for evaluating cyber security vulnerabilities.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
The federal organization for creating technology standards has released new guidance to help agencies assess risk within their IT systems as part of an overall strategy to instill more prevention in federal cybersecurity.

The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) is currently seeking comments through Nov. 4 on its Guide for Conducting Risk Assessments, which updates an original version published nine years ago.

The guide is aimed at helping agencies evaluate the current threat landscape as well as identify potential vulnerabilities and the adverse impacts they may have on agency business operations and missions, according to NIST.

[Pacific Northwest National Laboratory CIO Jerry Johnson takes you inside the cyber attack that he faced down--and shares his security lessons learned, in Anatomy of a Zero-Day Attack.]

Risk assessment is one of four steps in agencies' general security risk-management strategy, according to NIST. Assessment helps agencies determine the appropriate response to cyberattacks or threats before they happen and guides their IT investment decisions for cyber-defense solutions, according to the organization.

It also helps agencies maintain ongoing situational awareness of the security of their IT systems, something that is becoming more important to the federal government as it moves from a mere reactionary or compulsory security approach to one that proactively addresses risks and takes more consistent, preventative measures.

Indeed, in testimony Wednesday before Congress, a federal IT official noted the government's new focus on risk mitigation as key to its future security measures, particularly as they pertain to cloud computing and its security risks.

The government is "shifting the risk from annual reporting under FISMA to robust monitoring and more mitigation" in an attempt to strengthen the security of federal networks, said David McClure, associate administrator for the General Services Administration's office of citizen services and innovative technologies during a House subcommittee on technology and innovation hearing.

To this end, NIST has been working to provide cybersecurity guidelines and standards to agencies as they work to better lock down federal IT systems.

Changes also have been made to how agencies report their security compliance. Agencies recently were required to report security data to an online compliance tool called CyberScope as part of fiscal year 2011 requirements for the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), a standard for federal IT security created and maintained by NIST.

In the new, all-digital issue of InformationWeek Government: As federal agencies close data centers, they must drive up utilization of their remaining systems. That requires a well-conceived virtualization strategy. Download the issue now. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This is a secure windows pc.
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.