CERT Guide to System and Network Security Practices

    Date17 Aug 2001
    2990
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    After reading the CERT Guide to System and Network Security Practices, you may feel as if you've been speaking with your mother about computer security, as most of the advice detailed in the book is common sense. But, as Voltaire astutely noted, common sense is not so common.. . . After reading the CERT Guide to System and Network Security Practices, you may feel as if you've been speaking with your mother about computer security, as most of the advice detailed in the book is common sense. But, as Voltaire astutely noted, common sense is not so common.

    The truth is that there is really nothing new in this book that CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team -- http://www.cert.org) has not been saying in one way or another for the last decade. But that should not in the least underscore the importance of the book, as it provides an excellent treatment of securing information assets. In fact, the book subtly echoes the sentiment of George Santayana, who stated that "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." This is true with information security. As even with all of the strides that have been made and new security technologies that have been developed, a large percentage of security breaches are the result of systems that were either incorrectly configured or ineffectively secured.

    While many people erroneously think that a firewall is the foundation of information security, the truth is that an effective set of information security policies and procedures are. In fact, policy is such a critical element within the effective and successful operation of information technology systems, that systems can't be effective unless they are deployed in the context of working policies that govern their use and administration.

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