Time for Information Security Management to Go to War

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War has long been required reading for military leaders. Andrew Clark has taken this masterpiece of war-fighting strategy and built an inspiring corollary that draws on the techniques and motives of the war-fighter and places them in the information warfare arena. This innovative document may change the way you view your information technology defensive posture.

The concluding section is particularly thought-provoking, as can be seen from the following quote: “Today, many of us in the field of information security are expected to fill the role of general in the event of conflict. Few of us have felt the need to study the art of war — perhaps it is time to change that.”

Practices for Securing Critical Information Systems is a very comprehensive report recently produced by the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO). The document details the processes for locking down components of your information technology infrastructure. It provides guidance for the development of an effective computer security program and delineates the interrelationships of the individual components. This document represents a “total defence” approach to computer security and is a “must have” for your computer security library.

I also like the extensive hypertext links and pointers to information created and maintained by other leading public and private organizations. Just applying the ideas from the report’s Appendix E — Low-cost/No-cost Computer Security Measures — will greatly increase your organization’s security effectiveness.

The two reports (and many others) are available at http://www.fedcirc.gov/docsindex.html.

Leading Web Sites Supporting Security Management

1. ISSA — Information Systems Security Association


2. COAST — Computer Operations, Audit and Security Technology


3. CERT — Computer Emergency Response Team


4. CSI — Computer Security Institute


5. ICSA — International Computer Security Association (formerly NCSA)


6. NIST — National Institute of Standards and Technology


7. FEDCIRC — Federal Computer Incident Response Capability


Dan Swanson is a management consultant with LGS Group in Winnipeg. He specializes in audit and management consulting and can be reached at dswanson@lgs.ca