Survivable Networks Systems

Society is growing increasingly dependent upon large-scale, highly distributed systems that operate in unbounded network environments. Unbounded networks, such as the Internet, have no central administrative control and no unified security policy. Furthermore, the number and nature of the nodes connected to such networks cannot be fully known. Despite the best efforts of security practitioners, no amount of system hardening can assure that a system that is connected to an unbounded network will be invulnerable to attack. The discipline of survivability can help ensure that such systems can deliver essential services and maintain essential properties such as integrity, confidentiality, and performance, despite the presence of intrusions. Unlike the traditional security measures that require central control or administration, survivability is intended to address unbounded network environments. This report describes the survivability approach to helping assure that a system that must operate in an unbounded network is robust in the presence of attack and will survive attacks that result in successful intrusions. Included are discussions of survivability as an integrated engineering framework, the current state of survivability practice, the specification of survivability requirements, strategies for achieving survivability, and techniques and processes for analyzing survivability.

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