Curtin University of Technology

Project Description

The Duality of Disclosure: Information Sharing and Critical Infrastructure Protection

Project Abstract

The evolution of the Internet from its collegial roots in academia to a critical national infrastructure in the United States also has evolved the discussion over how knowledge pertaining to both real and potential security vulnerabilities are handled. Not exclusively a function of government in its role as protector of the Nation as it was during the Industrial Age, this task now includes � and some say requires -- significant participation from the commercial sector and academia in matters critical to national security and national competitiveness in the Information Age, each with their own perspectives over how best to handle the discussion, analysis, and remediation of security vulnerabilities.

This thesis intends to examine the vulnerability disclosure debate pertaining to the Internet as one of America�s critical national infrastructures. Specifically, it will provide an objective scholarly assessment of the topic and critically dissect the key actors, interests, and influences that have precluded the development of a standardized framework for information-sharing activities regarding Internet vulnerabilities. By ascertaining the effectiveness of both perspectives, this thesis will provide both critical commentary on the topic and, more importantly, serve as a significant contribution to the eventual resolution of this most serious source of contention within the internet and critical infrastructure protection communities, from both practical and policy-based perspectives.

Research Objectives:

1. How vulnerabilities are analyzed, understood and managed throughout the vulnerability lifecycle process.
2. The ways that the critical infrastructure security community interact to exchange security-related information and the outcome of such interactions to date.
3. The nature of and influences upon collaboration and information-sharing within the critical infrastructure protection community, particularly those handling internet security concerns.
4. The relationship between secrecy and openness in providing and exchanging security-related information.

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