Room Side Security

Attacks on government and sensitive commercial entities by foreign state sponsored persons and organizations are increasing. There are reports, not just of attacks on our secure networks, but of adversaries “living” on networks. The attacks are so serious that the US Cyber Command and organizations within Homeland Security have been stood up to address this issue. Yet, it falls to each organization to protect their own network or portion of it and the assets attached to the networks.

There are many guidelines “on the books” for policies, procedures and implementations to protect the security of our networks and the devices attached to those networks. Some policies, like keeping computers of different classifications at least 1m apart, seem dated but are well known and widely applied. Using approved KVM switches for keyboard, mouse and monitor sharing is almost universal. A policy is well established that prohibits computers or other devices of different classifications ever touch or communicate. It is prohibited to connect two devices of different classifications in any manner. In many cases, USB ports and serial ports are removed or disabled to help keep computers from being directly connected or data passed via flash drives.

All persons responsible for IA are familiar with the above policies and many others that are applied to networks and devices connected to them. Compliance with computer assets is very high. When it comes to VTC and AV implementations, however, these policies are often overlooked, ignored or disregarded.


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