Distributed Security Policy Conformance

Montanari, M., Chan, E., Larson, K., Yoo, W., Campbell, R.

IFIP International Information Security Conference (IFIP SEC), Vol. 354, 2011, pp. 210-222.

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Security policy conformance is a crucial issue in large-scale critical cyber-infrastructure. The complexity of these systems, insider attacks, and the possible speed of an attack on a system necessitate an automated approach to assure a basic level of protection.

This paper presents Odessa, a resilient system for monitoring and validating compliance of networked systems to complex policies. To manage the scale of infrastructure systems and to avoid single points of failure or attack, Odessa distributes policy validation across many network nodes. Partial delegation enables the validation of component policies and of liveness at the edge nodes of the network using redundancy to increase security. Redundant distributed servers aggregate data to validate more complex policies. Our practical implementation of Odessa resists Byzantine failure of monitoring using an architecture that significantly increases scalability and attack resistance.

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