September 18-20, 2024 | DoubleTree by Hilton, San Jose, California

Can the complete application stack be agile and remain compliant? (U22b)

16 May 2019

Can the complete application stack be agile and remain compliant? (U22b)

This presentation describes a user’s perspective on management of entire application stack with certified components, involving both FIPS hardware and Common Criteria applications on top. Further, we discuss how this can work in an agile future, with new threats and with new developments in cryptography.

Running and operating applications securely and maintaining conformance requires continuous work in today’s environments. The threats are advanced yet the requirements for efficient and operative applications are increasing. Yet, in deployments with strong regulatory requirements for certified components we see over and over again how life cycle management of the platform is bordering unacceptably slow, or how projects are delayed waiting for re-certification although the solution already exists.

Already, some components have moved from being static to being life cycle managed – for instance, auditors would seldom argue about the necessity of applying security patches to the operating system. Upgrading Hardware Security Modules commonly involves a real struggle, even for security issues, until the firmware has completed certification. Similar is situation with Common Criteria certified components.

Is this a systematic issue with certification, an issue with auditors or is it related to product development? Certification bodies are working hard at keeping schemes up to date and take the issue seriously, are new style protection profiles for Common Criteria on step in the agile direction?

Finally, we suggest some potential remedies that involve all actors—certification bodies, labs, auditors and end-users.