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Management & Leadership

Featuring 38 Papers as of April 28, 2016

  • Quantifying Risk: Closing the Chasm Between Cybersecurity and Cyber Insurance Analyst Paper
    by Barbara Filkins - February 25, 2016 

    Sponsored by PivotPoint Risk Analytics, in conjunction with Advisen.

  • Selling Your Information Security Strategy Masters
    by David Todd - February 18, 2016 
  • IT Security Spending Trends Analyst Paper
    by Barbara Filkins - February 2, 2016 

    This paper assumes security budgeting occurs as part of each organization's yearly cost management cycle. Readers will explore the what, why, where and how of IT security spending and will get advice on how to better meet the challenge of aligning security spending processes with organizational needs.

  • Security Risk Communication Tools Masters
    by Andrew Baze - September 16, 2015 

    The effective communication of risks is a serious challenge faced by every security risk management professional in today's dynamic cybersecurity environment. Business executives expect communication in their language, focusing on financial gain, risk, or loss. Security professionals often speak in technical terms, describing threats or vulnerability in the context of confidentiality, integrity and availability. A key challenge is to translate common security metrics into risk statements using the language of business so that executives with limited security knowledge can make the best, risk-informed decisions. One of the reasons security risk management is a unique challenge is because the language of security is often relatively technical. An in-depth security discussion often requires a level of engineering understanding that one should not generally expect of executives. It is the responsibility of the security risk professional to translate relevant risk metrics, details, and descriptions into the language of their business leaders, whose understanding could directly affect the future of the business.

  • Defense-in-Policy begets Defense-in-Depth by Matthew Greenwell - April 3, 2015 

    Defense-in-depth is a commonly cited "best practices" strategy for achieving "Information Assurance".

  • A Plan for How to Get There and What to Do When You Arrive: Practical Advice on Establishing a Security Information Management Program within Healthcare Masters
    by Barbara Filkins - January 26, 2015 

    Health care, as an industry, is stressed from all sides as it tries to improve its privacy and security posture in the age of the electronic health record (EHR).

  • Security Skills Assessment and Training: The Critical Security Control that can make or break all others Masters
    by Paul Hershberger - December 2, 2014 

    Across the security community, 2013 has been noted as the year of the breach. Symantec reported 8 breaches with more than 10M identities exposed per breach representing a 700% increase from the year prior(Symantec Corporation, 2014). The year was filled with salacious headlines pulling readers across into the latest exploits of cyber crime and espionage rings.

  • Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation : Making it Work Analyst Paper
    by John Pescatore - August 6, 2014 

    Security professionals in federal, state and local agencies face many unique challenges in protecting critical systems and information. The CDM program has tremendous potential for both increasing the security levels at those agencies and reducing the cost of demonstrating compliance. However, to be successful, the program must address the following: lack of awareness, low inspector general awareness and lack of information on how to use the program. For use of the program to result in better security, additional staffing and skills are needed, as are success stories to guide organizations attempting to implement CDM.

  • Calculating Total Cost of Ownership on Intrusion Prevention Technology Analyst Paper
    by J. Michael Butler, Dave Shackleford - February 17, 2014 

    Calculate the value of specific automation features in NGIPSes with which organizations can achieve savings in total cost of ownership TCO

  • Bridging the Gantt Masters
    by Erik Couture - December 23, 2013 

    To Project Management (PM) novices, the Gantt chart is often seen as the central tool of the project management process.

  • Layered Security: Why It Works Analyst Paper
    by Jerry Shenk - December 9, 2013 

    How a layered approach to security provides better protection of your organizations IT assets.

  • Managing Threats and Compliance While Automating the CSCs: EiQ SecureVue Review Analyst Paper
    by Jerry Shenk - November 11, 2013 

    Product review of EiQ SecureVue - a solution to provide advanced log management and security information and event management (SIEM) capabilities for the SMB-sized organizations.

  • Building and Maintaining a "Certifiable" Workforce Masters
    by Robert J. Mavretich - September 23, 2013 

    When picking up a newspaper or reading an online journal, (CNN, Fox, WSJ, New York Times, etc.) it is hard to escape the unemployment statistics both domestically and internationally.

  • Corporate vs. Product Security by Philip Watson - May 22, 2013 

    When people hear "I deal with security" from any employee, the typical thought is that they are defending the enterprise, the web servers, the corporate email, and corporate secrets.

  • Managing the Implementation of a BYOD Policy Masters
    by Jim Horwath - May 6, 2013 

    Mobile devices are consumer-oriented devices that are changing the way people do business.

  • Information Risks & Risk Management by John Wurzler - May 1, 2013 

    In a relatively short period of time, data in the business world has moved from paper files, carbon copies, and filing cabinets to electronic files stored on very powerful computers.

  • Using Teambuilding to Improve Performance for Geographically Distributed Information Security Professionals by Julie Kent - January 21, 2013 

    In recent years there has been a focus on work being done in teams rather than individually.

  • Recovering Security in Program Management by Howard Thomas - October 3, 2012 

    Few Information Security (InfoSec) professionals get the opportunity to build a program from the ground up. Whether brought in to maintain, enhance, or fix an existing environment, most inherit a security situation not of their own making.

  • A Process for Continuous Improvement Using Log Analysis by David Swift - October 26, 2011 

    A great deal of money has been spent by organizations on security technology, with only moderate success. Technology is often installed, but often left untuned and unmonitored. Though vendors have touted self-defending networks (Gleichauf, 2005), and claimed their products are impervious, reality teaches otherwise.

  • Net Neutrality, Rest in Peace by James Mosier - October 11, 2011 

    No one would argue that the Internet has become an instrumental part of society. With broad- band access in a large percentage of homes, WiFi freely available in many places of business, and smart phones connected via mobile service providers, our access to the information portal has become nearly an always-on experience.

  • Scoping Security Assessments - A Project Management Approach by Ahmed Abdel-Aziz - June 7, 2011 

    Security assessments can mean different things to different people. This paper will explore what a security assessment is, why it should be done, and how it is different than a security audit.

  • Creating a monthly Information Security Scorecard for CIO and CFO Masters
    by Michael Hoehl - January 4, 2011 

    Identifying the specific security metrics desired by executives ultimately accountable for information security financials and organization risk management is a daunting task. Common security metrics report how well policies, processes, or controls are functioning. Though this operational perspective is important, additional insight may be desired to reveal the capability maturity of the organizations security practice (right way), assure I.T. investments are being made based on risk management (right amount and order), and confirm the organizations business objectives are being advanced (right outcome).

  • Get Out of Your Own Head: Mindful Listening for Project Managers Masters
    by Charlie Scott - December 20, 2010 

    It is important for project managers to have interpersonal skills in order to develop a project team (Novello, 2008; Frisk, 2009; Project Management Institute, 2008; Heldman, 2009). The Project Management Institute (2008) summarizes the need for interpersonal skills in a project manager as follows

  • Practical Approaches to Organizational Information Security Management by Raees Khan - December 20, 2010 

    All around the world, it has become a well-known fact, that a majority of the worlds leading global organizations, across all industries, are constantly challenged in successfully achieving their strategic and tactical business and technology objectives in an effort to provide true-value to their stakeholders (COBIT, 2005). These leading global organizations increasingly rely on a variety of information assets, such as skilled personnel, complex business processes and the latest technology, to perform various functions across all divisions. These factors, when correctly provisioned, ultimately contribute towards successfully achieving the organizational objectives. However, one of the most compelling challenges encountered by these leading global organizations is the lack of clear and concise enterprise-wide view of organizational information security across the board (ISO/IEC 17799:2000/27002:2005).

  • Creating Robust IT Security and Efficiency by Reducing Infrastructure Complexity in Higher Education Masters
    by Keith Lard - November 17, 2010 

    Recent economic conditions have created a business problem unique to higher education and its IT infrastructure. In the past ten years, IT systems and infrastructure have experienced a rapid change in complexity as a result of moving from mainframes to web services (Weinschenk, 2003). The technical landscape continues to become more complex as technology advances and application sophistication increases more rapidly, creating a greater dependency on IT services. To stay competitive and efficient, private and for-profit businesses have spent the last ten years keeping up with technology and training their staff. However, the university has been insulated in its own microcosm, having the luxury of ignoring business cycles, as the product offered has not changed drastically. Now, recent economic conditions and rapid advancement in technology have created the perfect storm within the university setting.

  • Determining the Role of the IA/Security Engineer by Brian Dutcher - October 14, 2010 

    What is your view of the role performed by an IA/Security Engineer? Is it focused on securing the network perimeter through the operations of the firewall, virtual private networks (VPNs), intrusion detection system/intrusion prevention system (IDS/IPS), network access control (NAC), data loss prevention (DLP) and enterprise anti-virus solutions? Is it the network specialist responsible for the secure design of the local area network (LAN), virtual LAN (VLAN), wide area network (WAN) and all endpoints? Is it the systems designer or operator responsible for the security of all clients and servers? Is it a software developer specializing in developing and hardening custom applications? Is the IA/Security Engineer someone who is an expert in all these areas? Is the IA/Security Engineer a specialized single technology (i.e. Cisco) expert, or is the position technologically agnostic, working at a higher level where specific detailed technology is irrelevant in the bigger scheme of things?

  • Brains for Hire / Blame for Hire - The Life and Challenges of a Consulting Project Manager Masters
    by Rob VandenBrink - May 7, 2010 

    This paper explores many aspects of project management that are unique to consulting, and consulting Project Managers in particular. Discussions will include how consultants managing projects face different challenges than those in the normal in-house project management situation. Well explore some of the ways to maximize the chances of project success when consulting. Well also discuss how the Process Groups defined within Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) can be combined, modified, or sometimes outright skipped, under the unique pressures of the consulting situation.

  • The Evolving Role of Security Structures by Dale Emel - January 28, 2010 

    Suggestions for extensions and additions to the security management structures covered in the SANS Management 512 course, Security Leadership Essentials for Managers (The SANS Institute, 2009).

  • Gathering Security Metrics and Reaping the Rewards by Dan Rathbun - November 16, 2009 

    Far from being another treatise on detailed metric formulas or data analysis techniques, this is a practical roadmap for initiating a brand new security metrics program or strengthening an existing one.

  • Women in IT Security Project Management by Gurdeep Kaur - October 27, 2009 

    This paper will provide information about specific skills, which may have developed or acquired within the IT security field.

  • Tackling ISO 27001: A Project to Build an ISMS by David Henning - July 22, 2009 

    The ISO 27001/27002 standards for implementing an Information Security Management System (ISMS) often present a challenging set of activities to be performed. When a security professional is tasked with implementing a project of this nature, success hinges on the ability to organize, prepare, and plan effectively. This paper addresses the implementation of an ISO 27001 ISMS using the Project Management Body of Knowledge known as the PMBOK Guide published by Project Management Institute, Inc. This paper explores the process of implementing an Information Security Management System capable of being certified against ISO 27001. It also provides real world concrete examples of the 44 processes in the PMBOK Guide as applied to an information security project at a satellite broadband ISP.

  • Quantifying Business Value of Information Security by Eric Poole - July 14, 2009 

    Some organizations forgo implementing information security controls that could bring a positive return on investment to their organization. The goal of this paper is to familiarize the reader with risk management terminology, and present a quantitative risk management valuation process to show the benefit of a security control to the business. The impact of security controls are on the bottom line of the organization.

  • Effective Time and Communication Management Masters
    by Brad Ruppert - June 9, 2009 

    This paper will discuss how to manage your time to ensure you are focusing your work on the business rather than in the business.

  • Beer - The Key Ingredient to Team Development Masters
    by Brad Ruppert - May 20, 2009 

    This paper will discuss the importance of building a social connection with your team members to effectively communicate, problem-solve, and ultimately work together as a team.

  • Improving the Management of Information Security in Canadian Government Departments by Ken Fogalin - April 13, 2009 

    Taking Lessons from the ISO/IEC 27001 Standard to Make Continuous, Incremental, and Enduring Improvements

  • Leading the Transformation of a Security Organization as a New Security Manager by Robert Mayhugh - August 19, 2008 

    This paper will document my experience and provide insight into my assignment as a new security manager tasked with improving network security and making things happen.

  • Successfully Building Security into Business Projects by Alex Clayton - August 7, 2008 

    Argument to persuade project managers to bake security into their projects.

  • The Death of Leadership in Management by Dana Hudnall - September 12, 2007 

    The intention of this paper is to outline the author's views on leadership techniques when it comes to the management of personnel. It will also describe the differences one faces between managing personnel and managing processes to include what qualities one should possess for each. Some possible misconceptions are also addressed concerning the meaning of "management" and "leadership" and how these two processes greatly differ.

Most of the computer security white papers in the Reading Room have been written by students seeking GIAC certification to fulfill part of their certification requirements and are provided by SANS as a resource to benefit the security community at large. SANS attempts to ensure the accuracy of information, but papers are published "as is". Errors or inconsistencies may exist or may be introduced over time as material becomes dated. If you suspect a serious error, please contact webmaster@sans.org.

All papers are copyrighted. No re-posting or distribution of papers is permitted.

Masters - This paper was created by a SANS Technology Institute student as part of their Master's curriculum.