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towards a taxonomy of Information Assurance (IA)
From: Abe Usher (abe.usherSHARP-IDEAS.NET)
Date: Tue Aug 26 2003 - 07:01:40 CDT
Fellow Information Security Professionals,
Bottom line: I'd like your help in shaping a usable taxonomy of
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  as well as a team of West Point researchers  as a
component of works that define an integrated approach to security. I
have also considered the works of Matt Bishop  in how to create a
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.
* 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.
 McCumber, John. "Information Systems Security: A Comprehensive
Model". Proceedings 14th National Computer Security Conference.
National Institute of Standards and Technology. Baltimore, MD. October
 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.
 Bishop, Matt. "A Critical Analysis of Vulnerability Taxonomies".
Department of Computer Science, University of California. Davis, CA.
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