CSSLP Domain 3:3 - Securing Commonly Used Architecture
Securing Commonly Used Architecture - Introduction

This is the third course in Domain 3 of the CSSLP certification and covers the essential ideas, concepts, and principles that you need to take into account when building secure software.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the differences between commonly used computing architectures

Intended Audience

This course is intended for anyone looking to develop secure software as well as those studying for the CSSLP certification.


Any experience relating to information security would be advantageous, but not essential. All topics discussed are thoroughly explained and presented in a way allowing the information to be absorbed by everyone, regardless of experience within the security field.


So, a bit of a walk back through history of computing. From mainframe days until the present, computing architectures have evolved ever closer to that envisioned to ideal end state: that of a human nervous system type functionality based on quantum mechanics and bioengineering. Now, along the way, however, much of that original architecture has been repeatedly employed, from centralized to decentralized and distributed, and back to centralized, and then ultimately, currently, to cloud.

Now, part of this evolution has included the appearance of differing software, operational characteristics. We've gone from proprietary, platform specific offered by the creators of the computing platform, open source, Windows, Linux, and then a variety of others. While the hardware has continued to advance rapidly in miniaturization with greater and greater performance, software seemingly has developed a lot slower with methodologies that have evolved more slowly as new features are introduced and exploration of their functions and utility continues. The result, of course, is that computing environments of widely variable architectures exists, many remaining in service long after they were superseded as well as much of the former architecture's features and flaws also remaining present.

So we're going to address the question as it changes from why all this diversity to, how to integrate it all. We're going to talk again about confidentiality, integrity, and availability, authentication, authorization, and auditability or accountability. We're going to look again at session management, exception management, and configuration management. This diagram highlights the results of a proper understanding of what the application is supposed to do and how to build it so that features that reinforce these six characteristics are going to be developed, understood, and designed in.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Mr. Leo has been in Information System for 38 years, and an Information Security professional for over 36 years.  He has worked internationally as a Systems Analyst/Engineer, and as a Security and Privacy Consultant.  His past employers include IBM, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Rockwell International.  A NASA contractor for 22 years, from 1998 to 2002 he was Director of Security Engineering and Chief Security Architect for Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center.  From 2002 to 2006 Mr. Leo was the Director of Information Systems, and Chief Information Security Officer for the Managed Care Division of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.


Upon attaining his CISSP license in 1997, Mr. Leo joined ISC2 (a professional role) as Chairman of the Curriculum Development Committee, and served in this role until 2004.   During this time, he formulated and directed the effort that produced what became and remains the standard curriculum used to train CISSP candidates worldwide.  He has maintained his professional standards as a professional educator and has since trained and certified nearly 8500 CISSP candidates since 1998, and nearly 2500 in HIPAA compliance certification since 2004.  Mr. leo is an ISC2 Certified Instructor.

Covered Topics