Richard A. Caralli, William R. Wilson Survivable Enterprise Management Team Networked Systems Survivability Program Software Engineering Institute
ABSTRACT Modern organizations have a huge challenge on their hands, on a scale unlike anything they’ve seen since the Y2K crisis. They must “secure” the organization in the face of increasing complexity, uncertainty, and interconnection brought about by an unprecedented reliance on technology to accomplish their mission. They must also stay mindful of the heavy hand of regulation as legislators discover the importance of security. This paper explores some of the challenges that organizations must overcome to be successful in this environment and introduces ways in which a change in perspective might be the impetus for an emerging mission-driven approach to security.
Introduction Let’s start by recalling 9th grade biology class when you were introduced to the concept of a cell. You might remember that each cell in the body performs a specific function. To carry out this function, cells receive input from their environment, transform it, and create output—a continuous cycle that lasts throughout the cell’s life. The success of the cell in performing this cycle is important to the larger environment in which it exists—the organs, systems, and functions of the body. Interestingly, this cycle can also be used to describe the basic functions of information systems and organizations as well. In particular, an organization can be described as an open system1 that gives and takes from its environment to exist, to be sustained, and to succeed.
System theory is concerned with describing systems and their interaction with their environment. An open system is one that is open to and dependent on its environment to succeed. The open systems
It isn’t such a leap to consider today’s organizations in this context. Organizations are connected to their environment in an ever... [continues]
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