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3 Sept 2009

Directions in Security Metrics Research

NISTIR 7564 "Directions in Security Metrics Research" says:

"Advancing the state of scientifically sound, security measures and metrics (i.e., a metrology for information system security) would greatly aid the design, implementation, and operation of secure information systems."

Hear hear!

"... Enterprise-Level Security Metrics, was included in the most recent Hard Problem List prepared by the INFOSEC Research Council ..."
That I didn't know, but I totally agree: security metrics is indeed a Hard Problem.

If you would like to metricate your ISMS, do take a look at NIST's new paper. The main body is quite short at just 15 pages but covers a wide brief, drawing on metrication practices from other fields. If you are eager to learn more, there are six pages of references to deepen your knowlege still further.

2 Sept 2009

Locational privacy

The Electronic Freedom Foundation's paper on locational privacy explores the privacy issues relating to automatic road toll devices and similar systems that check the locations of users. Such systems can be designed to incorporate locational privacy controls but this increases their complexity and cost - the question is whether that's justified by the privacy benefits.

It's also a moot point given that most of us already carry cellphones which can be tracked to a few city blocks or a few miles in open country.

1 Sept 2009

HSBC fined for not protecting customer confidentiality

Info4security published news about HSBC's privacy lapses:

"The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined three HSBC firms over £3 million for not having adequate systems and controls in place to protect their customers' confidential details from being lost or stolen ... During its investigation into the firms' data security systems and controls, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) found that large amounts of unencrypted customer details had been sent via post or courier to third parties. Confidential information about customers was also left on open shelves or in unlocked cabinets, and could easily have been lost or stolen. In addition, it was noted that members of staff had not been given sufficient training on how to identify and manage risks such as identity theft."

Read the whole item here.

New security awareness module on privacy

Privacy is both a narrow, intensely personal issue relating to the individual, and a broad democratic principle relating to society at large. It’s one of those things in life that perhaps we don’t truly appreciate until it’s gone – ask anyone who has suffered intrusive media coverage for instance, lost their identity to an identity thief, or had their medical, personnel or credit card data records “lost presumed stolen”.

A lay person might define personal information as “Details about someone that they would consider private.” That definition may make perfect sense to you and me but is probably too subjective for the courts. Personal information is defined more narrowly in the legislation, but annoyingly the definitions vary between countries.

Read more about what’s in September’s NoticeBored module and the free security awareness newsletter, or follow along with us on Twitter or our blog as we continue gathering links to interesting privacy news.