Choosing Controls

In this analysis controls can overlap, as for example, when a human guard and a locked door both protect against unauthorized access. Neither of these is redundant, because the human guard can handle exceptional situations (for example, when a legitimate user loses a key), but the lock prevents access if the guard is distracted. Also, one control may cover multiple vulnerabilities, so encrypting a set of data may protect both confidentiality and integrity.


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Choosing Controls
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Controls have positive and negative effects: Encryption, for example, protects confidentiality, but it also takes time and introduces key management issues. Thus, when selecting controls, you have to consider the full impact.

Controls are not perfect. They can fail: Guards can be bribed or fall asleep, encryption can be broken, and access control devices can malfunction. Some controls are stronger than others. For example, a physical device is generally stronger than a written policy (policies are nevertheless useful).