p182-stevenson - Teaching Security Best Practices by...

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Teaching Security Best Practices by Architecting and Administering an IT Security Lab Brady R. Stevenson Gordon W. Romney Brigham Young University Brigham Young University 265 CTB 265 CTB 1.801.572.4440 1.801.422.297 [email protected] [email protected] ABSTRACT Information Assurance(IA) can be learned by actively being involved in the “doing” process. Students within a university setting have architected, installed and administered a security lab. The value and need for security best practices becomes self- evident, daily, as the security lab services the needs of information technology (IT) courses and research for both undergraduate and graduate students. Additionally, a need exists to coordinate the administration of the security lab with the ongoing operation of general IT courses and labs. Stability in the infrastructure, lab and research areas can only be achieved by designing good security best practices . A best practice is defined as a process that has performed exceptionally well in industry or the everyday world. Learning to design and implement security b est practices is a teaching opportunity for students preparing to be Network Engineers, Security System Engineers or Security Architects. The best practices of the security lab were patterned after IT industry policy concepts that effectively handled change while maintaining a secure and stable infrastructure. The security best practices were developed under the supervision of a student security team and faculty advisor. The use of the IT security lab by undergraduate and graduate students for security projects provided a test of the viability of the security best practices . With the security team and the security policies in place, a working security lab is a realistic learning model in training and educating IT undergraduates and graduates in proper security practices. Furthermore, the experience provides guidance in how to expand security best practices to include the entire educational enterprise of laboratories and IT infrastructure and teaching areas. Categories and Subject Descriptors D.3.3 [ Systems and Information Theory ]: General systems theory, Information theory, and Value of information. General Terms Management, Documentation, Design, and Security. Keywords Security B est Practices , Information Assurance, Security Laboratory, Business Enterprise, Educational Enterprise, Network Engineer, Security System Engineer, Security Architect, IT Infrastructure . 1. INTRODUCTION The development of the Information Technology (IT) Security Lab b est practices at Brigham Young University (BYU) establishes a logical foundation for an IT Educational Enterprise. The foundation of Best practices provides a technical environment of perpetual stability as a teaching model for undergraduate students. “Best practices ,” as stated by the United States General Accounting Office (USGAO), “are the processes, practices, and systems identified in public and private organizations that performed exceptionally well and are widely
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