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CISSP - Module One

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CISSP Domain One
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Learning Objective:

  • To provide a recap of the domains covered by the content of the learning path

Intended Audience

  • Those who are looking to take the AWS certified SysOps Administrator - Associate certification


  • There are no prerequisites 

Related training material

If you are interested in another certification then you can find the corresponding learning path within our library here: https://cloudacademy.com/library/certifications/


So moving into section four to understand legal issues. It has to be remembered that CISSP is a global certification. Consequently, we have to talk about laws in the international context. Now, one word that I can give you about the exam. This is not like a bar exam for attorneys. You won't be asked detailed questions about these if you're a CISSP, say in Canada, about laws that might exist along the same line, but in Japan. Having a general understanding of the concepts that each of these laws presents is more along the lines of what you would likely face. So let's move into our section four. 

So here's the listing of the topics we're going to cover in this particular module. We're going to expand on the topic I introduced a moment ago in talking about legal. It is absolutely no secret, in fact it's front-page news, that we have an increasing amount of computer crime. But while we may have an increasing amount of computer crime the question has to be asked, how much more effective is law enforcement in dealing with computer crimes as opposed to the common criminal events of say burglary or car theft? What in fact creates a computer crime? What are we looking at? 

Well, when we look at cyber crime as it's commonly being called these days, we have to evaluate what is actually going on, and try to compare it to what is happening in other laws to try to get an equivalence between them to aid our understanding. We're looking at the loss of intellectual property and sensitive data, whatever intellectual property and sensitive data might be in a given case. For us, we have to look at the opportunity costs. This of course is the cost of what we could've done with whatever was stolen or whatever was compromised if the bad event had not happened. What are we spending to resolve that, that we could've spent doing something far more positive and productive? We very much must concern ourselves with damage to our branding and image because public perception has a great deal to do with what our stock prices do, how we're valued, and what is considered to be a very important function in the way that we conduct our business. We have to worry about penalties and compensatory payments. There may be fault found in our organization and that can exact a very large fine against us. We always have to look at the cost of countermeasures, the cost of the mitigation strategies because these are costs to our bottom line. And as important as they are, as necessary as the measures they're paying for are, we must manage those costs to keep them in line. The basic principle is always to protect at a level of cost that is commensurate with the value of the asset that we're protecting. And then the added expense of recovery from these cyber attacks. 

So we have various forms of intellectual property laws. We have to define what intellectual property means. Now strictly defined this means an invention or product of the mind. And it can take a variety of forms but it must be something that we can put into a form that the law can actually grasp. For example, when someone steals something from someone else. Let's say that I have a baseball bat. If someone steals the baseball bat from me they steal the bat and I no longer have it. Now that may seem a simplistic way of looking at this but it makes the legal landscape somewhat complicated. If I have information, how can someone steal it? If they take it from me and I no longer have a copy that one is obvious theft. But what about if they simply make a copy and they take the copy away and yet I still have the information. You see, this is part of what complicates the legal landscape and can make things difficult to define and enforce. So the way that the law is able to deal with these are through vehicles like patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. All definable things committed to some specific form that can then be governed by laws because now we've turned them into an actual defined commodity. Sometimes these things move across international boundaries and so regulations are set up to track the movement of various types of objects such as arms, computers, cryptographic systems, and we do that through the ITAR, the International Traffic In Arms Regulation, Export Administration Regulations, and the Wassenaar Arrangement. 

Now Wassenaar was passed to try to bring some sense, some regulation, some stability to regions and international relationships around the world. What it attempts to do is to promote greater transparency and it's attempting to prevent destabilizing accumulations of arms in various places. In this particular area of intellectual property privacy and the information that is governed by privacy regulations is a very, very popular and very hot topic. The rights and obligations of individuals and organizations with respect to the collection, use, retention and disclosure of personally identifiable information is really what we're talking about within the entire subject of privacy. With that in mind the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, has set up these guidelines in order to govern the kinds of exchanges, collection, use, and disclosure of individually identifiable information. It defines a few parties. The Data Controller is the party that is doing the collection or doing the creation of regulated information out of various forms from various sources. These principles are incorporated in virtually all of the privacy regulations you can find around the world. Specifically, in the U.S., in Canada and of course in the EU as embodies in the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation. The Data Controller must be plainspoken in its purpose specification. This is its statement about we would like to collect this information from you and this is what we are going to use it for. They must state that they are going to limit what they're collecting to the use that they have described to the data subject. Which would be any of us from whom they're getting this information. If that use should change in any way or for any reason the Data Controller is required to come back to us, the subjects, explain that and ask for our cooperation, our authorization to be able to use it in this other way. The Data Controller must outline that they are collecting what they have determined to be the minimum amount of information needed to meet the stated need. The Data Controller is, by law, going to held accountable and so the principle of data quality specifies that once the Data Controller collects it they will guard it against contamination or unauthorized manipulation or change. As I said, the Data Controller is going to be held accountable for this and therefore, they must set up various forms of controls, detection mechanisms, and so on to ensure that whatever their data holdings, on whatever individuals they have, they have met all the applicable regulatory requirements and that will include putting in place a breach response process. That of course means that they have to determine what security safeguards will be needed. And given all of this it means that they will base it on a risk management process to ensure that they have put in place proper controls commensurate with the value of the data that they've got. They must be open. They must be transparent about what their holdings are and what actions have been taken or planned. And they must engage the individuals from whom they've collected this information. They must be forthcoming if the individual wants to know what the entity is holding on it, what they've done with it. Provide an accounting of disclosures by some regulations. But this is intended to foster a balance between what the Data Controller intends to do with the information and this assumes, of course, that the Data Controller is of a commercial nature as opposed to governmental and on balance with the privacy of that individual. Making sure that the individual is kept informed and engaged in the overall process. 

Now fundamental to this is the idea that breaches will happen and that breaches must be managed. We must try to keep them from happening to the extent possible. But that we must have a plan for responding to them when they occur. Now what we have is we have events and events can happen and be anything from something that is purely routine involving no kind of information of any importance whatever, simply, let's say, the indication that your system has taken some action. An event is not necessarily positive or negative until it's examined. When it's examined and it's found out to be of a negative quality then we regard it as being an incident. Now an incident is typically a negative event but it may not involve the exposure of privacy covered information in a human readable form. If that happens now we regard the incident as containing a breach. And breach is an unwanted, undesired, unauthorized disclosure of individually identifiable information in a human readable form. Now we have data disclosures that are authorized and that are of a character that we do want such as official requests. Disclosure of data to ourselves or to those we designate. And a breach is certainly a data disclosure, though an unwanted one. So we need to be sure that as these events occur we take close examination of them so that we can determine what the nature is so that we will know what then to do to respond to make sure that we've identified the compliance requirements and the appropriate steps to cope with the event, whatever its character. Now these are some examples of relevant laws that we have in the United States, the European Union, and the UK. Just to pick some. As you saw in previous slides these laws are now springing up all over the world. They share a lot of the similar characteristics that you saw in the OECD guidelines. Now the United States, we have the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which has to to with individually identifiable information in the financial services or commercial sector. We have the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The famous, or if you prefer infamous, HIPAA law. And the European Union, we have the Regulation for Electronic Communication Service and of course, in the EU we have the GDPR, the General Data Protection directive. In the UK, we have the UK Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations of 2003. These are simply some examples and these three examples share a great many of the characteristics of these laws that require us to look at individually identifiable data and safeguard its privacy from all those who are unauthorized for its possession and that in the event that a breach does occur, that we respond in a proper, timely, and effective manner to contain that breach. Well that concludes our first module. That is the first set of modules within domain one, security and risk management. In the next module, we're going to continue security and risk management domain. So I hope you'll join me for the next module. Thank you.

About the Author

Learning paths34

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data centre and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date Stuart has created over 40 courses relating to Cloud, most within the AWS category with a heavy focus on security and compliance

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.

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