SACM Working Group H. Birkholz
Internet-Draft Fraunhofer SIT
Intended status: Informational July 06, 2015
Expires: January 7, 2016

Secure Automation and Continuous Monitoring (SACM) Terminology


This memo documents terminology used in the documents produced by SACM (Security Automation and Continuous Monitoring).

Status of This Memo

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Our goal with this document is to improve our agreement on the terminology used in documents produced by the IETF Working Group for Security Automation and Continuous Monitoring. Agreeing on terminology should help reach consensus on which problems we’re trying to solve, and propose solutions and decide which ones to use.

2. Terms and Definitions

This section describes terms that have been defined by other RFC’s and defines new ones. The predefined terms will reference the RFC and where appropriate will be annotated with the specific context by which the term is used in SACM.

Defined in [RFC5209] as “the process of collecting posture for a set of capabilities on the endpoint (e.g., host-based firewall) such that the appropriate validators may evaluate the posture against compliance policy.”
Within SACM the use of the term is expanded to support other uses of collected posture (e.g. reporting, network enforcement, vulnerability detection, license management). The phrase “set of capabilities on the endpoint” includes: hardware and software installed on the endpoint.”
Defined in [RFC4949] as “a system resource that is (a) required to be protected by an information system’s security policy, (b) intended to be protected by a countermeasure, or (c) required for a system’s mission.
Asset Characterization:
Asset characterization is the process of defining attributes that describe properties of an identified asset.
Asset Management:
The process by which assets are provisioned, updated, maintained and deprecated.
Defined in [RFC5209] as “data element including any requisite meta-data describing an observed, expected, or the operational status of an endpoint feature (e.g., anti-virus software is currently in use).”
Defined in [RFC4949] as “the process of verifying a claim that a system entity or system resource has a certain attribute value.”
Defined in [RFC4949] as “an approval that is granted to a system entity to access a system resource.”
A standard SACM component providing and/or connecting services on the behalf of other SACM components via the control plane. Within the SACM Architecture, for example, a broker may provide authorization services and find, upon request, SACM components providing requested services.
Building Block:
For SACM, a building block is a unit of functionality that is used to compose SACM components. It contains functions and may apply to one or more use cases. A Building Block can have interfaces on the data plane, the control plane, or on the management plane.
The extent of an SACM component’s ability enabled by the building blocks it is composed of. For example, a Posture Information Provider may only provide endpoint management data, and then only a subset of that data.
Collection Task:
The task by which endpoint attributes and/or corresponding attribute values are collected.
An architectural component receiving information from another architectrual component.
Data Confidentiality:
Defined in [RFC4949] as “the property that data is not disclosed to system entities unless they have been authorized to know the data.”
Data Integrity:
Defined in [RFC4949] as “the property that data has not been changed, destroyed, or lost in an unauthorized or accidental manner.”
Data Origin:
One or more properties that enable a SACM component to identify an Endpoint that is claimed to be the original source of received data.
Data Provenance:
A historical record of the origins and evolution of data that is influenced by inputs, entities, functions and processes.
Defined in [RFC5209] as “any computing device that can be connected to a network. Such devices normally are associated with a particular link layer address before joining the network and potentially an IP address once on the network. This includes: laptops, desktops, servers, cell phones, or any device that may have an IP address.”
To further clarify the [RFC5209] definition, an endpoint is any physical or virtual device that may have a network address. Note that, network infrastructure devices (e.g. switches, routers, firewalls), which fit the definition, are also considered to be endpoints within this document.
Based on the previous definition of an asset, an endpoint is a type of asset.
Endpoint Attributes:
[TODO] (Definition of content, structure, and relationship to Posture Attributes)
Evaluation Task:
The task by which endpoint attributes are evaluated.
Evaluation Result:
The resulting value from having evaluated a set of posture attributes.
Expected Endpoint State:
The required state of an endpoint that is to be compared against.
A behavioral aspect or capacity of a particular building block, which belies that building blocks’s purpose. For example, a building block on the control plane can provide a brokering function to other SACM components. On the data plane, a function can act as a provider and/or as a consumer of information.
Information Model:
An information model is an abstract representation of data, their properties, relationships between data and the operations that can be performed on the data. While there is some overlap with a data model, [RFC3444] distinguishes an information model as being protocol and implementation neutral whereas a data model would provide such details.
Management Plane (TBD per list; was “Control Plane”):
Architectural component providing common functions to all SACM participants, including authentication, authorization, capabilities mappings, and the like.
Defined in [RFC5209] as “configuration and/or status of hardware or software on an endpoint as it pertains to an organization’s security policy.”
This term is used within the scope of SACM to represent the configuration and state information that is collected from an endpoint (e.g. software/hardware inventory, configuration settings, dynamically assigned addresses). This information may constitute one to many Posture Attributes.
Posture Attributes:
Defined in [RFC5209] as “attributes describing the configuration or status (posture) of a feature of the endpoint. A Posture Attribute represents a single property of an observed state. For example, a Posture Attribute might describe the version of the operating system installed on the system.”
Within this document this term represents a specific assertion about endpoint configuration or state (e.g. configuration setting, installed software, hardware). The phrase “features of the endpoint” refers to installed software or software components.
An architectural component providing information to another architectrual component.
An architectural component providing functions, information, or services on behalf of another component, which is not directly participating in the architecture.
An architectural component intended to store information of a particular kind. A single repository may provide the functions of more than one repository type (i.e. configuration baseline repository, assessment results repository, etc.)
SACM Role:
A label representing a collection of building blocks (containing functions and composing SACM components) residing on a particular endpoint. If a particular endpoint does not contain any SACM components it takes on the role of a target endpoint unless indicated otherwise.
SACM Component:
A composition of building blocks that contain control plane, data plane or management plane functions. SACM defines a set of standard components (e.g. a collector, a broker, or a data store). A SACM component MUST contain at least a basic set of control plane building blocks and MAY contain data plane and managment plane building blocks. A SACM component residing on an endpoint assigns one or more SACM roles to the corresponding endpoint. A SACM component “resides on” an endpoint and an endpoint “contains” a SACM component, correspondingly.
SACM Component Discovery:
The function by which a SACM component (or subsets, such as SACM roles or other functions) can be discovered.
Security Automation:
The process of which security alerts can be automated through the use of different tools to monitor, evaluate and analyze endpoint and network traffic for the purposes of detecting misconfigurations, misbehaviors or threats.
The entity seeking to be authenticated by the Management Plane for the purpose of participating in the SACM architecture.
System Resource:
Defined in [RFC4949] as “data contained in an information system; or a service provided by a system; or a system capacity, such as processing power or communication bandwidth; or an item of system equipment (i.e., hardware, firmware, software, or documentation); or a facility that houses system operations and equipment.
Target Endpoint:
A target endpoint is a SACM Role. An endpoint that takes on the target endpoint role either contains no SACM component or contains an internal SACM component. A target endpoint is an “endpoint under assessment” (even if it is not actively under assessment at all times). If an endpoint takes on both the role of target endpoint and Not A Target Endpoint [TBD] it is not a Target Endpoint.
A target endpoint is similar to a device that is a Target of Evaluation (TOE) as defined in Common Criteria.
Target Endpoint Discovery:
The function by which target endpoints can be discovered.

3. IANA Considerations

This memo includes no request to IANA.

4. Security Considerations

This memo documents terminology for security automation. While it is about security, it does not affect security.

5. Acknowledgements

6. Change Log

Changes from version 00 to version 01:

Changes from version 01 to version 02:

Changes from version 02 to version 03:

Changes from version 03 to version 04:

Changes from version 04 to version 05:

Changes from version 05 to version 06:

Changes from version 06 to version 07:

7. Contributors

David Waltermire
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg, Maryland  20877


Adam W. Montville
Center for Internet Security
31 Tech Valley Drive
East Greenbush, New York  12061


David Harrington
Effective Software
50 Harding Rd
Portsmouth, NH  03801


Nancy Cam-Winget
Cisco Systems
3550 Cisco Way
San Jose, CA  95134
Jarrett Lu
Oracle Corporation
4180 Network Circle
Santa Clara, California  95054


Jarrett Lu
Oracle Corporation
4180 Network Circle
Santa Clara, California  95054


Brian Ford
3650 Brookside Parkway, Suite 500
Alpharetta, Georgia  30022


Merike Kaeo
Double Shot Security
3518 Fremont Avenue North, Suite 363
Seattle, Washington  98103


8. Informative References

[RFC3444] Pras, A. and J. Schoenwaelder, "On the Difference between Information Models and Data Models", RFC 3444, January 2003.
[RFC4949] Shirey, R., "Internet Security Glossary, Version 2", RFC 4949, August 2007.
[RFC5209] Sangster, P., Khosravi, H., Mani, M., Narayan, K. and J. Tardo, "Network Endpoint Assessment (NEA): Overview and Requirements", RFC 5209, June 2008.

Appendix A. The Attic

The following terms are stashed for now and will be updated later:

Asset Targeting:
Asset targeting is the use of asset identification and categorization information to drive human-directed, automated decision making for data collection and analysis in support of endpoint posture assessment.
An architectural component receiving services from another architectural component.
Endpoint Identification (TBD per list; was “Endpoint Discovery”):
The process by which an endpoint can be identified.

Author's Address

Henk Birkholz Fraunhofer SIT Rheinstrasse 75 Darmstadt, 64295 Germany EMail: