Cybersecurity gets faster with blending of two protocols

The integration of TCG’s Trusted Network Connect with government’s Security Content Automation Protocols could add automated policy enforcement to scanning and evaluation of security status.


Read a Trusted Computing Group white paper on the integration here.


A suite of automated network access control standards from the Trusted Computing Group has been integrated with the government’s Security Content Automation Protocols to enable automated policy enforcement on networks. The South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services is testing the combination in a pilot program.

The integration of the Trusted Network Connect standards with SCAP was announced Tuesday at a NIST security automation workshop in Baltimore.

Steve Hanna, co-chairman of the TCG’s TNC Working Group and distinguished engineer at Juniper Networks, said the two standards offer “a complementary set of capabilities,” each valuable in its own right but much more powerful when combined.

“What we are getting is automation,” Hanna said. “We can take the human out of the loop now,” so that security tools can operate at the speed of the increasingly sophisticated and automated attacks they must counter.

Tony Sager, chief of the National Security Agency’s Vulnerability Analysis and Operations Group, said automation is an imperative for IT security and called the combination of the protocols “a great step forward.”

TNC and SCAP will remain separate sets of standards developed under the auspices of their own organizations. The initial pilot integration is being tested in Juniper’s TNC network enforcement tool called Unified Access Control, and the SCAP-validated Resolution Manager from Triumfant.


Related coverage:

NIST releases guide to security automation protocol

NIST out to ensure security products comply with vulnerability assessment language


SCAP is a specification for expressing and manipulating security data in standardized ways, developed under the authority of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in cooperation with other organizations including the NSA, MITRE Corp., and the Forum for Incident Response and Security Teams.

The protocols address the challenge of managing the configurations and security settings of information systems manually. A wide variety of hardware and software platforms typically are used for many purposes, with differing levels of risk in a single environment. Security is further complicated by the fact that these platforms and the threats they face are constantly evolving. Agencies are supposed to conduct continuous monitoring of security configurations and be able to determine the security posture of IT systems at any time. SCAP was developed to provide a standardized, automated approach to help agencies overcome these difficulties.

The Office of Management and Budget requires agencies to use products that have been validated as capable of using the protocols for checking compliance with Federal Desktop Core Configuration Settings. The protocols enumerate hardware and software product names and vulnerabilities, including software flaws and configuration issues. They also identify the presence of vulnerabilities and assign severity scores to software flaws.

TNC was created separately by Trusted Computing Group, an industry organization developing standardized and interoperable security platforms and schemes. The TNC architecture integrates the collection of pertinent security data from devices requesting access to or already on a network with the enforcement of security policies for the network based on that data. It combines network access control—the ability to control who can access a network and what resources they can use—with coordinated security, which correlates data from a variety of security systems for decision-making.

The use of SCAP data for decision-making and enforcement by TNC grew out of a meeting of the TCG with NIST, MITRE and NSA in June, Hanna said.

“It’s not so difficult,” he said of the integration. “It turns out the specifications fit together quite well.”

Prototype tools were available by July and demonstrated in August, and the South Carolina pilot now is under way. The development reflects the maturity of the SCAP and TNC schemes, Hanna said.

“Great ideas seem obvious in retrospect,” he said. But until recently both teams have been focused on developing their own sets of protocols and ensuring that they work as intended. “It is only in the last year or two that we’ve reached that level of capability” that would allow the integration.

Fully functional production products integrating the two suites are expected to be available by year’s end.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.