Friday, May 17, 2019

ICMC19: At the Root of It All: The Cryptographic Underpinnings of Security

Karen Reinhardt, Director, Security Tools, Entrust Datacard
What is security without cryptography? That's how it used to be - we secured our computers with physical access control. That advanced to password files and access control lists, and then once we got on the network we had to advance to things like LDAP. We still relied heavily on routers and firewalls. But now that we are in the cloud... are those still effective?

We know we will have issues - so we must do monitoring and detection (IDS, IPS, logging, log analysis, etc) - but that's only if things have gone wrong.  But, wouldn't it be better to prevent the incident?

We used to secure devices by being in a physically secure environment, then we introduced VPNs - which allowed us to pretend we were in the physically secure environment.... but now we have so many connected devices in our house filled with personal and professional identity information.

Those identities are hot commodities! Ms. Reinhardt has worked many breaches and she notes the attackers are always going after the MS Active Directory.

Now even ambulances are connected to the Internet - but please don't attack them, you could put someone's life at risk.

Think about comparing crypto keys to nuts & bolts in construction. You need to use good quality nuts and bolts, and you need redundancy - our you could have a catastrophic failure (think about the recent crane collapse in Seattle).

If we have a few bad keys here and there - we might still be okay, depending on what is being protected. But, what if we lose an entire algorithm?  What if it happens before quantum computers?   We have nothing to replace RSA and ECC right now - what if something happens to them?  Should we be looking at older algorithms and ideas?

You need to assume your algorithms are going to fail and you will need to get new keys and new algorithms out there. think about this as plumbing - need to be able to replace the pipes.

If we lose RSA, you lose your entire chain of trust.  We can't reasonably replace every device out there - all the thermostats, traffic signals, cars, etc. impossible.

Good crypto alone is still not good enough - the attackers are still going to go after your users, your user directories, your insecure machines on your network, your kerberos golden ticket....We have to slow them down,

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