New answers tagged

1

It depends on what you consider a "secure computer". Security is typically defined by the CIA triad of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Once you allow physical access to a device, you lose the ability to maintain availability. It's just too hard to make something indestructible against a motivated and funded adversary when they have physical ...


3

The fundamental answer is the market doesn't really want to pay for general purpose computers that are secure against physical attacks. You propose making tradeoffs, and those tradeoffs involve engineering costs and operational costs which only a small number of buyers care about. Some computer systems try to make these tradeoffs (for example, the Xbox) ...


1

I think some of the things you propose are doable but conflict with expected usability, flexibility or freedom of use. Others take ideas from the software world and try to adapt it to the hardware, but fail to address the problems we already have at the software side. But some of the ideas are already used in practice. Just a few examples: Seal the ...


-1

There are three problems. By definition, someone having physical access over a system already breaks security. Hardware is made to be compatible Hardware has much more and much more severe attack vectors My question is, is that just hardware manufacturers suck at security, or is there an intrinsic reason that is true. Can you create systems that ...


0

I would say this is typical, and used fairly commonly in the industry. Not the exact same way though. Many companies use password managers where the they can access employees passwords, and passwords can be shared between employees. This is mostly for logging into 3rd party services that don't support individual user accounts. This would specifically only ...


0

This actually depends on both country and/or state laws that you live. This is more of a question for employment law, than it is a cyber security question. The reason that this is an employment law question is that it depends on the size of the organization, the data and system in question, the general employment contract, and the company policies. ...


0

It's a big lie - no one needs your pass to access your account, there are an administrative accounts just to fit this purpose. Even more - it's not a common practice except for cheaters wishing to blame you and reduce/remove your payroll. Neither your pass, nor your certificate(s) are required for an Administrator to take a look at your full account.


0

The very existence of the envelop protects you from any nefarious doings by your boss. In general, you don't need to prove your innocence. Someone else needs to prove your guilt. And that is going to be quite hard if it is well known that someone else has access to the incriminating account. If you are really worried about it, just sign the envelope wonky. ...


2

Never had to me in any company I was in. In such case, I would put in the envelope a message saying "In case of emergency call me on mobile mobile number". In case of emergency, I can spell the password over the phone and be informed that it was used - and my boss could do anything needed. So it is all he needs. If the envelope is ...


3

Let's call it what it is: a workaround for lack of proper access control. The real solution is to fix/improve access control. Specifically, here: Why can't your boss access the things you can access with his own account? The only purpose of credentials is to authenticate an identity. If we break that, they become useless. You might as well remove the ...


13

This article of Daniel Missler is great! It states that Security by Obscurity is bad, but obscurity when added as a layer on top of other controls can be absolutely legitimate. by having that concept, a much better question would be Is adding obscurity the best use of my resources given the controls I have in place, or would I be better off ...


7

While not really answering your question, this might serve as an argument towards your school. I would consider someone getting access to an authorized key/identity the real risk. People are sloppy, use bad passwords, and write secrets down all the time. A teacher at my school, ages ago, once left the keys to the entire school in a student bathroom. If I ...


25

You have already received several excellent answers, though @TomLeek's and @Iszi's answer (both excellent btw) seem to be in direct contradiction. They both make excellent points: on the one hand, keeping the design secret will not make the system secure, whereas reviewing it publicly will enable you to (possibly) find certain vulnerabilities you had not ...


3

I have a long explanation that may seem to wander, so I'll give a shortened answer, then justify it. Short answer, this is security through obscurity, but this likely isn't a problem because of the number of people that come into contact with the system. So it probably isn't worth having an argument over. You are correct in your assertion, that keeping the ...


192

Obscurity isn't a bad security measure to have in place. Relying upon obscurity, as your sole or most substantial security measure, is more or less a cardinal sin. Kerckhoff's Principle is perhaps the most oft-cited argument against implementing security through obscurity. However, if the system is already properly secure according to that principle, this ...


92

Keeping the design secret does not make the door insecure per se; however, believing that it adds to security is a dangerous delusion. If revealing the details of the authentication system would allow breaking it, then that system is pure junk and should be discarded. Therefore, if you did your job properly, then revealing the details should be harmless. If ...


3

This is unfortunately common in small companies using cloud services, without having a business relationship with the cloud provider. Mark the envelope to make it a bit more tamper proof, that's it. A former company of mine still uses my personal e-Mail address in their domain, the never managed to change their domain registration after I left. Change the ...


0

If you're worried about your boss opening the envelope, using your password for deeds of nefarious do, and then resealing your password in a new envelope and forging your signature, then just splatter a bit of paint, Jackson Pollock style, on the envelope after you sign right across the glued area, and then take a few very high resolution photos of the ...


3

This should be completely unnecessary in a properly configured system, assuming you log on to a corporate domain. In a properly configured system, logging on to a corporate domain, any data you edit, create or have access to on the network or on your local system, will be stored in a location accessible by others who each have their own login credentials ...


12

Password escrow as described in your situation is highly unusual and loaded with risks. The setup you describe relies on trusting your boss to not only be honest with their intentions and motivations, it also assumes your boss is storing those passwords in a secure manner. Are the envelopes kept in a safe? A locked filing cabinet? His desk drawer? A folder ...


7

Philipp is correct here. Let me restate something he said: In order to use your password, one needs to break the seal of the envelope you signed. When you think your password was abused, you can ask to see the envelope with your signature and check if it is still unopened. To add to what he's saying, your company appears to have grossly incorrect IT ...


11

Change your password immediately after handing him the envelope. You have fulfilled his requirement of giving him an envelope with your password, and you have fulfilled the need to keep it secure. In the unlikely event that he tries to use the envelope password, you can explain that you needed to change it and he had yet to receive the new envelope. In no ...


23

I don't think you are in a particularly worse situation than not disclosing your password. Your boss could: Get the system administrator to make a copy of your (hashed) current password Change it to something new Do something evil in your name Put the old password back (replace the hash back what it was) What does protect you is that there are, ...


119

That's what the envelope is (or should be) for: In order to use your password, one needs to break the seal of the envelope you signed. When you think your password was abused, you can ask to see the envelope with your signature and check if it is still unopened. All you need to do is that should your management ever require your password, change the ...


3

Dealing with physical locks is pretty straightforward. You call a professional locksmith and they can open the lock. Once it's open, you can either reset the combination or re-fit a new lock. The bigger and more expensive/professional the safe, the more costly/difficult it is to do this. Standard practice is to keep a few spare copies of the key in ...


3

As @BobBrown said in comments, we need to ask what problem the passport stamps are supposed to be solving. Turns out it is a security problem, but not in the way you are thinking (I think). Let's say I'm a Canadian visiting the UK. In addition to providing a record for the UK gov - which surely they're also recording in a database - it acts like a receipt ...


1

There are very few countries that use the passport stamp as a means of "security" other than tagging the user with a date of entry or exit. Japan actually does have a QR Code as part of their stamp\sticker that will give an immigration official information about the owner when scanned. But as a matter of opinion I would say no this is not a good method of ...


0

Defense in Depth/Layered Security is more likely a Core Security Goal for a company, it's a concept or should I say a practice of implementing several layers of protection. You can't simply take or risk a single action by just implementing a firewall or an anti-malware software, and consider yourself protected. You must implement security at several ...


1

The key difference is defense in depth (DiD) is a high-level concept. From the Wikipedia article: Defense in Depth (also known as Castle Approach) is an information assurance (IA) concept So it is much broader than a network security policy. The policy focuses on one aspect of security, the network. The policy also is a set of concrete requirements ...


2

The adversary in this case decides to go for a hardware attack, specifically opening the computer/laptop case and removing the RAM to then dump the contents before searching for the password. So, the only way for this to work would be if the computer / laptop is turned on, and the drive / volume has been decrypted. If you are actually dealing with ...


4

I've seen this done on old Compaq servers. The side panel had a pin that fit inside the power switch. When the panel was opened, the pin came with it, shutting off power. In fact, the system would not even power on without that side panel (more specifically, the pin) in place. It was quite a surprise when I was called in to service a server off-hours and I ...


0

I can give you some insight regards one of the biggest banks in the world as I used to work for them for some years. I won't go into specifics or tell you which bank just in case I am breaching some kind of security! The bank has multiple data centres, for contingency purposes, in fact the data centres they use are designed to withstand a nuclear attack. ...


1

I'm going to turn it around: Disaster planning is not part of security, because security is part of disaster planning. Disaster Planning, which is made up of Disaster Prevention and Disaster Recovery, covers a range of topics (e.g. redundancy, backups) including security.


2

If we look in a dictionary one of the secondary meanings of "security" is: the ​fact that something is not ​likely to ​fail or be ​lost While we often think of Information Security as guards, guns, and hackers in dark glasses, what it is really about is protection of information from threats. These threats could be: External attackers - hackers ...


6

I'll toss in my 2c and mention something that others have not specifically mentioned: Business Continuity Plans BCP is an important function of a security analyst's job, and as such, the CISSP provides a broad overview of the issues that can impact disasters and outages. Knowing these high-level details helps the CISSP build a foundation for knowledge and ...


48

CISSP is an information security certification not a computer security certification. Information security is about the protecting the confidentiality, integrity, availabity of information in general. Information is not only stored on computers. They are printed out and stored in filing cabinets, they are memorized and stored in your employee's brains. ...


60

All other answers are fine. I'm going to offer you a classic security perspective. Starting a fire/flood is a textbook scenario for physical penetration/exfiltration. People under stress are less likely to challenge strangers. A fire can be used to destroy forensic evidence, in particular when there's insider involvement. An earthquake or, indeed, any ...


16

Even if you take a narrow view of computer security as being limited to dealing with intentional malicious attacks, any way in which your system is vulnerable to a natural disaster also represents a way in which a well-equipped (or clever) attacker could disrupt your service. For example, if a data center is vulnerable to flooding, someone who wants to take ...


13

Disasters are as much a security issue as mitigating denial of service attacks. In the ISC2 (CISSP) docs, security is often represented by the CIA triad: Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability. Disaster recovery strategies and DDOS mitigation both pertain to establishing and maintaining availability.


51

It comes down to the classic security triad; Integrity, Confidentiality and Availability. The last of which could certainly suffer from any type of natural disaster, which is why you must include it in your continuity plan.



Top 50 recent answers are included