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Proceedings Paper

Using simulation and virtual machines to identify information assurance requirements
Author(s): Sheila B. Banks; Martin R. Stytz
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Paper Abstract

The US military is changing its philosophy, approach, and technologies used for warfare. In the process of achieving this vision for high-speed, highly mobile warfare, there are a number of issues that must be addressed and solved; issues that are not addressed by commercial systems because Department of Defense (DoD) Information Technology (IT) systems operate in an environment different from the commercial world. The differences arise from the differences in the scope and skill used in attacks upon DoD systems, the interdependencies between DoD software systems used for network centric warfare (NCW), and the need to rely upon commercial software components in virtually every DoD system. As a result, while NCW promises more effective and efficient means for employing DoD resources, it also increases the vulnerability and allure of DoD systems to cyber attack. A further challenge arises due to the rapid changes in software and information assurance (IA) requirements and technologies over the course of a project. Therefore, the four challenges that must be addressed are determining how to specify the information assurance requirements for a DoD system, minimizing changes to commercial software, incorporation of new system and IA requirements in a timely manner with minimal impact, and insuring that the interdependencies between systems do not result in cyber attack vulnerabilities. In this paper, we address all four issues. In addition to addressing the four challenges outlined above, the interdependencies and interconnections between systems indicate that the IA requirements for a system must consider two important facets of a system's IA defensive capabilities. The facets are the types of IA attacks that the system must repel and the ability of a system to insure that any IA attack that penetrates the system is contained within the system and does not spread. The IA requirements should be derived from threat assessments for the system as well as for the need to address the four requirements challenges outlined above. To address these issues, we developed a system architecture and acquisition approach designed to separate the system's IA capabilities requirements and development from the other system capability requirements; thereby, allowing the IA capabilities to be developed rapidly and assessed separately from the other system capabilities. Simulation environments and technologies allow us to test and evaluate solutions to the issues while also insuring that the system being tested and the solution are not exposed to real-world threats.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7705, Modeling and Simulation for Defense Systems and Applications V, 77050F (30 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.849165
Show Author Affiliations
Sheila B. Banks, Calculated Insight (United States)
Martin R. Stytz, Calculated Insight (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7705:
Modeling and Simulation for Defense Systems and Applications V
Eric J. Kelmelis, Editor(s)

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