[Snort-users] towards a taxonomy of Information Assurance (IA)

Abe Usher abe.usher at ...9981...
Wed Aug 27 05:59:12 EDT 2003

Fellow Information Security Professionals,

Bottom line: I'd like your help in shaping a usable taxonomy of 
Information Assurance.*

This taxonomy is part of my graduate studies, and will not be used for 
any commercial purposes.  It will remain an "open source" open project.

I am presently working on creating a taxonomy of information assurance, 
based on the three aspects of:
(1) Information characteristics
(2) Information states
(3) Security countermeasures

These three aspects of Information Assurance (IA) were highlighted by 
John McCumber [1] as well as a team of West Point researchers [2] as a 
component of works that define an integrated approach to security.  I 
have also considered the works of Matt Bishop [3] in how to create a 
useful taxonomy.

Within the next 6 months, I would like to create a taxonomy that 
graphically depicts the relationships of these three aspects.  I will 
use an "open source" model whereby all of my findings & results will be 
posted for public review and revision.

My intent is that this taxonomy could be used by the academic community, 
industry, and government in improving the precision of communication 
used in discussing information assurance/security topics.

I have searched the Internet widely for a taxonomy of Information 
Assurance, but I have not found anything that is sufficiently detailed 
for application with real world problems.

I've posted my initial results to the following URL:


for comments and peer review.


Abe Usher
abe.usher at ...9981...

* Information assurance is defined as "information operations that 
protect and defend information and information systems by ensuring their 
availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and 
non-repudiation.  This includes providing for restoration of information 
systems by incorporating protection, detection, and reaction capabilities.

[1] McCumber, John.  "Information Systems Security: A Comprehensive 
Model".  Proceedings 14th National Computer Security Conference.  
National Institute of Standards and Technology.  Baltimore, MD.  October 

[2] Maconachy, Victor, Corey Schou, Daniel Ragsdale, and Don Welch. "A 
Model for Information Assurance: An Integrated Approach".  Proceedings 
of the 2001 IEEE Workshop on Information Assurance and Security.  U.S. 
Military Academy.  West Point, NY.  June 2001.

[3] Bishop, Matt.  "A Critical Analysis of Vulnerability Taxonomies".  
Department of Computer Science, University of California. Davis, CA.  
September 1996.
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