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[Colloquium] Analyzing Security Critical Components with a System Level Perspective

March 12, 2009

Watch Colloquium: 

Quicktime file (403 Megs)
AVI file (634 Megs)

  • Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2009 
  • Time: 11 am — 12:15 pm 
  • Place: ME 218

Edward J. Nava
Sandia National Laboratories

Abstract: Considerable work is done today to analyze hardware, application software, operating systems, and network communication components for security issues and to develop enhancements for each in an effort to achieve a more secure system. A typical approach is to develop and analyze each of these independently and then develop security enhancements for each. With this approach, improvements can be made but the overall system security may still be weak. In order to effectively analyze a system and develop a secure solution, all components of the system must be included in the process. The operating environment and the life cycle of the system must also be considered. This presentation describes some of the shortcomings of current designs and outlines the beginning steps for a systems-level approach for designing a secure computing system.

Biography: A graduate of New Mexico State University, University of New Mexico, and Stanford University, he has worked at Sandia National Laboratories since 1979. His initial assignment was in the intrusion detection sensors division, where he conducted research on new sensors, sensor configurations, and signal processing techniques. Later, he moved to the exploratory systems division, where he developed Kalman Filter based, real-time aided navigation systems for use on military terrestrial and space applications. In 1987, he was promoted and led a group that designed multi-processor flight computers for real-time applications and other electronic weapon subsystems. In 1996, he moved to the Systems Analysis and Research Center, where he leads vulnerability analyses activities for high-consequence systems for the US Government. In 1985 he was commissioned as an Engineering Duty Officer in the US Navy Reserve. As part of his Navy duties, he focused on Information Security for ship-borne systems. In 2001, he was recalled to active duty by the US Navy, first to teach at the US Naval Academy, and later to represent the Navy at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was released from active duty in 2006 and returned to Sandia.