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The Architect and the CSO: Enterprise Security's Dynamic Duo

The Architect and the CSO: Enterprise Security's Dynamic Duo

The security threats faced by enterprises today come from both external sources and within. Traditional security technologies and enterprise architecture will both play key roles as the concepts mingle together to bring about best practices in the early phases of planning, deployment and delivery of smart services.

By Dana Gardner E-Commerce Times ECT News Network
07/24/10 5:00 AM PT

Welcome to a panel discussion that examines the need for improved common defenses -- including advancing cooperation between enterprise architects and chief security officers -- to jointly defend against burgeoning cyber security threats. The risks are coming from inside enterprises, as well as myriad external sources.

From the panel, at The Open Group's Security Practitioners Conference in Boston, we'll learn more about the nature of these borderless, external, cyber security threats, as they emerge from criminal enterprises, globally competitive business sources, even state-based threats, and sometimes a combination of these. We'll also hear recommendations on developing smarter processes for cyber security based on proven methods and pervasive policies.

To help broaden the scope of enterprise architecture, and to develop a leverage point for "mission architecture"-levels of security and defenses, we're joined by retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., chairman of the Deloitte Center for Cyber Innovation, and who cochairs a cybersecurity commission under President Obama. We're also joined by Usman Sindhu, researcher at Forrester Research; and Jim Hietala, vice president of security for The Open Group. The panel is moderated by Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions.


Listen to the podcast (30:11 minutes).

Here are some excerpts:

Harry D. Raduege: With openness, come these new threats. The vulnerabilities that we have of operating in cyberspace are magnified by ... identity theft, information manipulation, information theft, cybercrime, and insider threats that are prevalent in many of our organizations and companies today. Also, the threat of espionage, of losing lots of intellectual property from our businesses, and the cyber attacks that are taking place, the denial of service (DOS), and also the threat that we see on the horizon -- cyberterrorism.

There's now a tremendous opportunity for us to gain the benefits of being able to communicate, not only nationally, but also internationally, and across all borders, in the area of cyber security. This is an international problem, and so an opportunity for us to take advantage of it. We're all in this together.

Many people are bringing best practices to the table. We're learning from each other's experiences. The international cooperation and the opportunity to meet and discuss these areas are very valuable to all of us individually, and to our companies and to our nations.

This is the significance of this type of a gathering, to talk about the real benefits of cyberspace, but also to talk about the issues of cyber security that are facing us all. The importance of the underlying foundational aspects of having a great enterprise architecture is pointing more toward a mission architecture for business success.

Organizations like The Open Group are working on the common standards that are so important for the international community to comply with and to have as guiding factors. Education is very important, developing a cyber mindset across all people of the world, not only in the government organizations, but for industry, and also the individual users at home.

The aspects of education and training and awareness of what's going on there in cyber is paramount for proper operation, but also for the protection of your critical information.

Usman Sindhu: Traditionally, security has been a point technology. Even in the government space, there has been a lot of focus around just technologies. We have seen saw how the importance of point technologies has been overemphasized, rather than risk analysis and process.

Today, many organizations, including the public and private sector, are waking up to the fact that technology alone is not the answer. It's the process and people as well. That's where deriving these best practices would be a key in collaborating with the private and public sector and bringing in an architecture.

As far as this interconnectivity is concerned, you'll see lot of different business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions. It happens today. Today, business partners and distributors do business on the go, on social media, either Twitter feeds or Facebook, or something I call "ad-hoc communication" through their mobile devices. This is the nature of today's interaction. This is the nature of B2C and B2B interactions. ...

And in the 21st Century we'll have a lot more innovations and more technology adoption in a much more accelerated fashion.

That's where the smart concept comes in. This entails smartening our physical infrastructure, our critical infrastructures like utility, healthcare, financial services, transportation, public safety, and also city administrations, down to the IT system itself.

It will use of lot of IT enablement from either the cloud or communication infrastructure, things like RFID technologies, 4G technologies, and solar technologies, to embed lot of situational awareness, analytics and locationing into the systems.

This is a smart kind of a concept that embeds itself into smart city infrastructure where all the different components embed all the IT technologies together. There are other initiatives like smart grid or smart healthcare that are embedding these IT technologies as well.

That's a great way to start the 21st Century with this innovation, but the need for security arises at the same time. As Gen. Raduege mentioned, cyberspace is a new frontier, or information security in the cyber world, is a new frontier.

That's where we have to address lot of different issues and problems around policy, architecture, and best practices. It's only going to get more serious, as we connect a lot of different systems that were not connected in the past.

One of the key aspects of smartness is cross-industry and cross-team collaboration. Today, when we start to look at some of the smart deployments, either in the vertical sectors like utilities, healthcare, or even other private-sector industries, we see more and more that security is getting attention from the board-level and C-level executive.

Similarly, enterprise architecture is getting its attention as well. Going forward, we see a great emphasis on combining these two initiatives, even though it's still a very nascent stage at the board-level talks and C-level talks. We're not seeing a huge focus on cyber security in some instances, but of course it's changing. It's increasing.

It's fair to say that the security and enterprise architecture will play a key role, as both concepts mingle together to bring about best practices in architecture in the early phases into planning, deployment and delivery of the smart services.

Jim Hietala: It's still early in the process of really bringing enhanced security into the professional enterprise architecture. So, in The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), three of the nine iterations of it, we've added significant security information and content that enterprise architecture need to bear in mind in developing architectures.

But that work is ongoing. We have a couple of projects both to enhance the security of TOGAF, and also to work to collaborate with the Sherwood Applied Business Security Architecture (SABSA) folks, another security architecture development methodology, to harmonize those two approaches.

There's a lot of work ongoing there, and there's a lot of work needed in developing reference architectures outside of purely IT. We have a document that we are updating called "Enterprise Security Architecture." It will be published this fall, and updates some work that was done five or six years ago, sort of an IT reference architecture.

From an enterprise perspective, looking at mission success and thinking about cyber security really is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) role inside a given enterprise. That probably is most relevant to address the issues. The interesting thing is that many of the new developments that we're looking at -- whether it's smarter hospitals, smarter medical devices, smarter electrical grid -- are industry specific and they require a lot of cooperation between organizations in an industry.

There's a role for standards and industry organizations to pull together and come up with some common standards to facilitate better security, maybe better frameworks or things like that, that can be leveraged across an entire industry.

We see a need, as you start to look at cyber security and the different kinds of architectures, to develop new reference architectures to address some of these new applications of IT technology to everyday life. If you think about networks in cars or networks of smart devices comprising the power grid, what does security look like for those things? Our membership is starting to look at some of those and trying to determine where we can add some value for the industry.

Raduege: The Internet has changed our world, and the way we operate. For years, we've had enterprise architects who have been working down the hall or in the basements of organizations, and who have been trying to figure out the best way of technically aligning the Internet and all of the interconnected networks to make it work as best it could.

Now that this world of cyber has really come upon us, it has really elevated the importance of the enterprise architect into the higher levels of an organization, just because of the threats that are constantly coming upon us in our business operations and our mission success.

The enterprise architect has now gotten the attention of the C-suite executives and organization leadership. But, they don't like to think as much about enterprise architecture, because it really has that technical connotation as my colleagues here have mentioned, we're really talking and focusing more now on the people and the process aspects of running the business properly.

The front-office people, the C-suite executives and leaders of organizations, instead of thinking about enterprise architecture from a technical aspect, are becoming much more interested in a mission architecture.

In other words, what's the architecture needed to complete my mission so that I can have success -- whatever your mission is, if it's government activity or whether it's industry. Mission architecture has taken on new meaning that takes into account the technical architecture, but also adds the workforce domain and the process elements of the organization.

So, mission architecture is really pointing toward business success, whatever your business is, whether it's government operations or industry.

Sindhu: Architecture is important, but there is no silver bullet to it. Since the smart concept is industry-wide and is global, there could be many references to architectures that could go in. Some things have started to happen.

For example, the Department of Homeland Security came over to IT risk baseline about a year-and-a-half ago. It collaborated with the IT vendors and IT sector in general and started to create this risk baseline, which comes about in the earlier phases of architecture.

As you develop a framework, you take feeds from the various industry standards and regulatory compliance mandates and you start to create a risk baseline, a risk profile that touches every single silo of people, process and technology. Over the time, you do the collaboration, internally, but externally as well.

Hietala: Definitely there is a need for increased public-sector and private-industry cooperation. We have an initiative here, The Open Group's Acquisition Cybersecurity (ACS) Initiative. It was brought to us by the Department of Defense as a consulting effort. They wanted an organization to pull together private industry and try to drive some standards looking at the supply chains to the major IT suppliers. That work is ongoing and that would be a good reference of an initiative like that.

Sindhu: The role of the architecture and security has to be involved right from the planning phase, where you manifest the value of security being built in, either to the products or in general to the architecture. That has to be the first step -- that we acknowledge the need to embed that into the overall process.


Dana Gardner is president and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, which tracks trends, delivers forecasts and interprets the competitive landscape of enterprise applications and software infrastructure markets for clients. He also produces BriefingsDirect sponsored podcasts. Follow Dana Gardner on Twitter. Disclosure: The Open Group sponsored this podcast.


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