Security without Obscurity: A Guide to Confidentiality, Authentication, and Integrity ハードカバー – 2014/5/12
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The traditional view of information security includes the three cornerstones: confidentiality, integrity, and availability; however the author asserts authentication is the third keystone. As the field continues to grow in complexity, novices and professionals need a reliable reference that clearly outlines the essentials. Security without Obscurity: A Guide to Confidentiality, Authentication, and Integrity fills this need.
Rather than focusing on compliance or policies and procedures, this book takes a top-down approach. It shares the author’s knowledge, insights, and observations about information security based on his experience developing dozens of ISO Technical Committee 68 and ANSI accredited X9 standards. Starting with the fundamentals, it provides an understanding of how to approach information security from the bedrock principles of confidentiality, integrity, and authentication.
The text delves beyond the typical cryptographic abstracts of encryption and digital signatures as the fundamental security controls to explain how to implement them into applications, policies, and procedures to meet business and compliance requirements. Providing you with a foundation in cryptography, it keeps things simple regarding symmetric versus asymmetric cryptography, and only refers to algorithms in general, without going too deeply into complex mathematics.
Presenting comprehensive and in-depth coverage of confidentiality, integrity, authentication, non-repudiation, privacy, and key management, this book supplies authoritative insight into the commonalities and differences of various users, providers, and regulators in the U.S. and abroad.
Jeff's extensive practical experience in applying information security and his expertise in cryptographic standards makes this book a must-read for the information security professional. Security without Obscurity: A Guide to Confidentiality, Authentication, and Integrity deserves a place in your reference library.
―Ralph Spencer Poore, CFE, CISA, CISSP, CHS-III, PCIP, ISSA Distinguished Fellow, ISSA Honor Roll
Having worked at the same consulting firm and also on a project with author J.J. Stapleton (full disclosure); I knew he was a really smart guy. In Security without Obscurity: A Guide to Confidentiality, Authentication and Integrity, Stapleton shows how broad his security knowledge is to the world. When it comes to the world of encryption and cryptography, Stapleton has had his hand in a lot of different cryptographic pies. He has been part of cryptographic accreditation committees for many different standard bodies across the globe. ... Those looking for a highly technical overview, interoperability guidance, and overall reference will find the book most rewarding. ... One of the ways Stapleton brings his broad experience to the book is in the many areas where he compares different types of cryptosystems, technologies and algorithms. This enables the reader to understand what the appropriate type of authentication is most beneficial for the specific requirement. ... For anyone looking for an authoritative text on how to fully implement cross-platform security and authentication across the enterprise, this is a valuable reference to get that job done.
―Book review by Ben Rothke, writing on slashdot.org
View the full review at: http://books.slashdot.org/story/14/06/16/1245237/book-review-security-without-obscurity
… the author is well qualified to assay the vital information technology field of computer network security … The text is peppered with instructive figures and tables … very clearly written …
―John Maxymuk for ARBAonline
That said, this is an excellent book and does a great job of clearly identifying how to correctly and appropriately apply various cryptographic or other security mechanisms into any given system. Not only is the academic side addressed, but equal time is given to the practical application. If your role or interest revolves around security, this is an excellent resource.
When it comes to the world of encryption and cryptography, Stapleton has had his hand in a lot of different cryptographic pies. He has been part of cryptographic accreditation committees for many different standard bodies across the globe. From ANSI, ISO, X9 and more.
The premise of the author and the need for the book is that the traditional information security CIA triad (confidentiality, integrity, availability) has led to the situation where authentication has to a large part gotten short shrift. This is a significant issue since much of information security is built around the need for strong and effective authentication. Without effective authentication, networks and data are at direct risk for compromise.
The topic itself is not exactly compelling (that is, unless you like to read standards such as ANSI X9.42-2003: Public Key Cryptography for the Financial Services Industry: Agreement of Symmetric Keys Using Discrete Logarithm Cryptography, ISO/IEC 9798-1:2010: Information technology -- Security techniques -- Entity authentication, etc.), so the book is more of a detailed technical reference. Those looking for a highly technical overview, interoperability guidance, and overall reference will find the book most rewarding.
For those who don’t have a general background on the topic of authentication and advanced security; it may be a book too deep and technical for those looking for something more in line of a CISSP preparation guide.
For those that want to know the deep underpinnings of how encryption algorithms work; they can simply read the RFC’s and standards themselves. What the book brings to the table are details about how to effectively implement the standards and algorithms in the enterprise; be it in applications, policies; or the specific procedures to meet compliance and standards requirements. And that is where Stapleton’s many decades of experience provide significant and inestimable value.
There are many reasons why authentication systems fail and many times it is due to interoperability issues. Stapleton details how to ensure to minimize those faults in order to achieve seamless authentication across multiple technologies and operating systems.
The 7 chapters cover a dense amount of information around the 3 core topics. The book is for the reader with a solid technical background. While it may be listed as an exploratory text, it is not like a For Dummies title.
As per its title, it covers confidentiality, authentication and integrity; in addition to other fundamental topics of non-repudiation, privacy and key management.
One of the ways Stapleton brings his broad experience to the book is in the many areas where he compares different types of cryptosystems, technologies and algorithms. This enables the reader to understand what the appropriate type of authentication is most beneficial for the specific requirement.
For example, in chapter 7, the book provides a really good comparison and summary of different cryptographic modules, including how they are linked to various standards from NIST, NSA, ANSI and ISO. It does the same for a comparison of cryptographic key strengths against various algorithms.
An interesting observation the book makes when discussing the DES encryption algorithm, is that all of the talk of the NSA placing backdoors in DES are essentially false. To date, no known flaws have been found against DES, and that after being around for over 30 years, the only attack against DES is an exhaustive key attack. This type of attack is where an adversary has to try each of the possible 72 quadrillion key (256 permutations – as the key is 56 bits long) until the right key is discovered.
That means that the backdoor rumors of the NSA shortening the length of the substitution ciphers (AKA s-boxes), was not to weaken it necessarily. Rather it was meant to block DES against specific types of cryptanalytic attacks.
While the book is tactical; the author does bring in one bit of trivia when he writes that the ISO, often known as the International Organization for Standardization, does not in truth realty stand for that. He notes that the organizations clearly states on its web page that because International Organization for Standardization would have different acronyms in different languages (IOS in English, OIN in French for Organisation internationale de normalization, etc.); its founders decided to give it the short form ISO. ISO is derived from the Greek isos, meaning equal. Whatever the country, whatever the language, the short form of the name is always ISO.
While Stapleton modifies the CIA triad, the book is not one of a security curmudgeon, rather of a security doyen. For anyone looking for an authoritative text on how to fully implement cross-platform security and authentication across the enterprise, Security without Obscurity: A Guide to Confidentiality, Authentication and Integrity is a valuable reference to get that job done.