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The Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is the software system that allows to sign, validate certificate, hold a list of revoked certificates, dispense CA public key. The goal of PKI is to enable secure communication among parties who Have never met before.
The most common utilize case of the PKI are myriad of the websites secured with TLS/HTTPS and using SSL certificates to establish dependence for particular domain name(s) and authenticate the server side. Once the certificate is signed by the CA (certificate authority), it remains cogent for a specific duration. When it’s about to expire, usually you renew it or buy a fresh one. But sometimes you exigency to revoke a certificate beforehand, usually due to a private key compromise.
Certificate revocation is a process of invalidating an issued SSL certificate. Ideally, browsers and other clients should be able to detect that the certificate is revoked in timely manner, exhibit the security warning, that certificate is no longer trusted, and avert user from further consuming such a website.
Let’s explore various approaches to address certificate revocation.
Certificate Revocation Lists (CRL)
Original design was for CAs to manage and publish lists of revoked certificates, so browser/clients can download them and compare against to check for certificate status. This worked mighty in the past when there were few websites and certificates, but given today’s scale of the Internet, it’s practically infeasible for CA to manage and for client to download these huge lists, whenever they exigency to check for revocation status.
CRL architecture introduces the dependency between client and CA infrastructure, making it prone to the CA server’s availability issues and downtimes.
Nowadays original CRLs are effectively ignored by just cessation clients.
Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP)
OCSP is an improvement to CRL and is a protocol for checking if a SSL certificate has been revoked. Instead of client downloading the complete ample list of revoked certificates, it can just submit a request to a CA server, that returns a signed response with certificate current status. OCSP is much lightweight, as only one record is retrieved at a time, and it can provide more accurate information, as antithetical to CRLs lists, which are downloaded and cached on a client for some time.
Still, it suffers from many issues:
Additional dependency and query between client and CA servers during TLS handshake, that adds up latency.
Poor, unreliable CA infrastructure. prone to availability problems. The CA servers are targets for DoS attacks. leisurely OCSP response adds up latency too.
Privacy compromise. Browser leaks what website is being accessed and who accesses it to CA servers.
Given dependency to indigent and not-reliable CA infrastructure, browsers/clients usually mind to utilize soft-fail (ignore) behavior, when they don’t receive OCSP response in a timely manner or encounter some errors, assuming that certificate is cogent and allowing to access the website. Some browsers just exhibit warning, that user can bypass. Chrome, for example, does not utilize OCSP at all, and utilize its own proprietary mechanism, called CRLSet. The judgement for such soft-fail conduct is because unavailable CA servers should not secrete access to everyone websites, using their certificates.
Soft-fail conduct gives us spurious sense of security — it’s OK when you come by revocation warning, but when you don’t — you’re in doubt if cert is cogent indeed or if there is an OSCP infrastructure related issue. For example, attacker can secrete OCSP traffic and cause revocation checks to pass.
Here is firefox reaction with SEC_ERROR_REVOKED_CERTIFICATE mistake when it gets revoked status from OCSP responder.
Firefox and revoked certificate
Chrome does not utilize OSCP at all, maxim cert is OK with a green “secure” badge, but if you dig a bit deeper, it tells certificate is revoked 😕
Chrome and revoked certificate
Right now there is no trustworthy artery to switch to hard-fail behavior. Essentially, revocation is broken. There are yoke of attempts to address this issue, dote proprietary mechanism (Chrome CLRSet, Firefox OneCRL) or OSCP must-staple extensions, but there is quiet no 100% working solution.
OSCP Stapling moves the querying of the OCSP server from the client to the https server. The https server periodically polls OCSP server for revocation status of its own certificate(s), and sends OCSP response along with certificate (staples) to the client during TLS handshake in aServerCertificateStatus message.
OCSP responses are short-lived (around a week). They are signed by CA, so client can dependence them.
OCSP stapling approach solves several issues, inherent to regular OCSP approach:
Removes dependency between client and CA servers. No additional query, faster TLS handshake.
Protect website visitors privacy. Since browsers don’t talk to CA servers any more, they don’t leak browsing activity.
More resistant to CA server availability issues, since web server caches OCSP responses which are cogent for several days.
Less load on CA servers, since number of https servers is less than number of clients/visitors.
Still, the biggest problem with OCSP stapling is that stapled response is an option and not mandatory. Clients don’t know whether to expect/require stapled OCSP responses from a website or not. If an attacker has a stolen revoked certificate it can be used without stapling. Browsers will fallback to regular OCSP, which can again be blocked, and browser will accept the certificate. They quiet Have soft-fail conduct with a spurious sense of security.
To setup stapling on Nginx:
ssl_stapling on;ssl_stapling_verify on;
Configure DNS servers so Nginx can resolve OCSP server IP address:
Also, some folks point that you exigency to supply root and intermediate certificates chain via ssl_trusted_certificate , but I’ve tried and it works fine without it — I just Have a ssl_certificate directive pointing to a chain of website certificate plus intermediate one (without root CA cert).
The acerbic verity is that Nginx is not that apt at handling and serving OCSP stapling. 😞
First request handled by an nginx worker process never has a stapled OCSP response. Nginx initiates a idle OCSP query afterwards, and subsequent requests will most likely comprehend OCSP response. Note, that OCSP stapling cache is per worker process, sense you can come by several initial requests without OCSP stapling, as soon as they processed by different worker processes with a frigid OCSP cache.
There are workarounds dote warming up OCSP cache beforehand, but that’s too much crap.
You can check OSCP stapling on your own with a following command:
There is yet another issue . When OCSP responder reports revoked certificate status, Nginx does not staple it at all, and they declare it’s by design. Rather confusing to me 😕, because it completely breaks “must-staple” solution, described below.
So you see, that current server-side implementation is far from being robust, and making otherwise apt sentiment quite useless in practice.
Chrome CRLset and Firefox OneCRL
A CRLSet is Google’s own list of revoked certificates that it compiles and embeds inside Chrome. Lists are auto-updated by regularly crawling the CRLs from the major CAs around the world. Google does not utilize OCSP servers or CRL lists, instead Chrome simply checks its own CRLSet for certificate status when visiting a secure website.
It’s dote regular CRL approach, except that browser does not exigency contact CA’s servers and download a list, instead it already has the list embedded privilege into the browser, which is updated in timely manner.
Surely, such CRLsets cannot encompass every feasible revoked certificate on the Internet. Instead of targeting end-server leaf certificates and DV certificates, they focus on tall value intermediate CA certificates. This helps to quickly secrete intermediate CA certificates in case of emergency, when the private key is compromised to avert an attacker to impersonate any site they dote by signing their own child certificates.
Also, such lists might comprehend tall value EV certificates.
Firefox has analogue solution, which is called OneCRL. In addition, Firefox utilize regular OCSP approach.
As said before, OCSP stapling is apt because it offloads OCSP requests from browser to the server, but it’s optional — browser Have no sentiment if stapled response is expected or not, and therefore they utilize soft-fail behavior, which is a seat belt, that pretends to protect you, but breaks in case of emergency. So, meet “must-staple” extension.
Must-staple is simply a flag in the certificate, that puts a mandatory requirement on OSCP stapling presence and instructs the browser that the certificate must be served with a cogent OCSP response or the browser should hard fail on the connection.
This flag is set when CA generates certificate for you. If you’re using LetsEncrypt CA, clients dote certbot or acme.sh advocate issuing certificate with “Must-Staple” extension:
Must staple advocate reported by Qualys SSL server test
Now, given the certificate with “Must-Staple” extension, if I spin off stapling altogether in the Nginx, browser should secrete me with mistake failing to find OCSP stapled response during TLS handshake.
Firefox reports a cryptic mistake MOZILLA_PKIX_ERROR_REQUIRED_TLS_FEATURE_MISSING as expected. But Chrome tells cert is good — recall, Chrome does not ensue OCSP standard, even when it comes to stapling and must-staple stuff 😞
Firefox and must-staple certificate without OCSP response
Must-staple sentiment is mighty and allows to switch to hard-fail behavior. Also, solution scales well and does not interpose client-side performance hit. And it makes impossible for attacker to utilize stolen revoked certificate.
Despite being a substantial improvement over regular OCSP, it’s not a silver bullet and not a 100% working solution. Primarily, it suffers from server-side implementation issues and exigency of widespread client support. If server fails to reliably staple the OCSP response, or utilize corrupted/erroneous response, or client is not ecstatic with stapled response, whatever goes wrong — you’d lock out the website completely due to browser hard-fail behavior. This is a huge risk, and web servers dote Nginx and Apache are not age at OSCP stapling yet.
Note, there is a experimental Except-Staple HTTP response header, which helps you to monitor how trustworthy you as a site owner can staple apt OCSP responses, and how clients are fine with those responses, before switching to hard-fail must-staple behavior.
Given everything said above, there is no ready-to-go 100% working and trustworthy solution to fabricate browsers detect revoked certificates in a timely manner and refuse connecting to such websites.
OCSP must-staple is mighty idea, but not practical due to server-side implementation issues, and puts a risk of blocking a website completely. Chrome’s CRLSet solution is good, but addresses only high-value intermediate CA certificates.
When it comes to end-server certificates, you might determine to give up with revocation stuff dote OCSP stapling, must-staple altogether. Just ensue security best practices. Reduce the validity era of the certificate and renew it more frequently, to reduce the time-frame for an attacker to utilize stolen certificate. And yes, it sounds trivially, but hold your private keys safe. conclude not allow CAs to generate private key for you, protect it with a password, etc.
Revocation is broken — https://scotthelme.co.uk/revocation-is-broken/
The current status of certificate revocation (CRLs, OCSP and OCSP Stapling) — https://www.maikel.pro/blog/current-state-certificate-revocation-crls-ocsp/
HTTPS Certificate Revocation is broken, and it’s time for some fresh tools | Ars Technica — https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/07/https-certificate-revocation-is-broken-and-its-time-for-some-new-tools/
The Problem with OCSP Stapling and Must Staple and why Certificate Revocation is quiet broken — Hanno’s blog — https://blog.hboeck.de/archives/886-The-Problem-with-OCSP-Stapling-and-Must-Staple-and-why-Certificate-Revocation-is-still-broken.html
ImperialViolet — Revocation checking and Chrome’s CRL — https://www.imperialviolet.org/2012/02/05/crlsets.html
Google Chrome will no longer check for revoked SSL certificates online | Computerworld — https://www.computerworld.com/article/2501274/desktop-apps/google-chrome-will-no-longer-check-for-revoked-ssl-certificates-online.html
Damn it, nginx! More bugs, this time with SSL OCSP stapling. — https://blog.crashed.org/nginx-stapling-busted/
Some time ago the OpenGift team explored deploying a HyperLedger-based blockchain within a production environment. This article presents a sage of their attempts to integrate it, the problems they encountered, and the tricks that helped us unravel them.
We believe that HyperLedger Fabric is potentially a better option for blockchain-based traffic applications than a private Ethereum network.
With HyperLedger you can build a system where clients conclude not exigency to dependence other clients, and partners conclude not exigency to dependence other partners (but clients conclude exigency to dependence partners).
The network is smooth to expand and can exist without a parent organization.
HyperLedger is not free of technical drawbacks, and so be prepared to write a lot of supporting scripts for maintaining HyperLedger in production.
Some time ago their team explored deploying a HyperLedger-based blockchain within a production environment. This article presents a sage of their attempts to integrate it, the problems they encountered, and tricks that helped us unravel them. Several significant updates Have been introduced into the HyperLedger framework, and so some of the challenges were overcome, while others quiet wait for a solution.
In the first section of the article they interpret why they decided to utilize a blockchain to unravel a business problem and why they chose the HyperLedger framework over Ethereum. The second section of the article is dedicated to HyperLedger-based blockchain architecture and technical aspects of the framework implementation.
Why utilize blockchain?
We initially believed that blockchain was unnecessary for their business. After all, most businesses resolve their dependence issues by referring to centralized facilities or arbitrage centers. As a result, it took us a long time to determine whether in their case a blockchain solution was needed or not.
Our platform is a benevolent of web resource where companies can reduce their evolution time and maintenance costs by working directly with open source teams. They identified that for some customers it might be difficult to establish working relationships with open source maintainers and key collaborators. The measure exercise of resorting to services of in-house developers or freelancers for fine-tuning open source code seemed sub-optimal, because of increased project time and price.
With their platform they aimed to resolve this inefficiency by providing an ‘entry point’ and simple interface for customers to request and co-finance developing fresh features in OSS. For this system to be sustainable they needed to interpose a implement that would incentivise developers to fulfill customers’ requests. After some deliberation, they forward up with an sentiment of ‘digital ownership’.
The sentiment was quite simple: a person who registers a project on their platform receives digital ‘shares’, which they may transfer to his fellow contributors at their own discretion. As the name suggests, their shares enable holders to receive a share of a project income proportional to the share of ownership. On the top of that constraint, they added a rule that any ‘outsider’ developer could create a requested piece of functionality, and if this solution is accepted by clients, receive a portion of the project’s shares.
We wanted developers to deal their project shares as a valuable long-term asset, which inherently implies that developers believe it won’t disappear. They basically had two options: they could either postpone introduction of this functionality until they gain the community’s trust, or they could build a trustless system. The latter path would require edifice a platform in such a artery that would leave the assets untouched even if the parent organization exited the business.
We besides planned to integrate the platform with numerous confederate organizations, which would outsource evolution tasks to their platform and automatically receive a fee when they are completed. In an exemplar scenario, they would just provide an access point for organizations into their network through some simple registration process, such as API integration. Their goal was to fabricate the process as smooth as feasible to avoid everyone the legal complications and paperwork. After some doubts, they decided that blockchain would befriend us to realize this vision.
Ethereum vs HyperLedger
Ethereum was their first choice, even though they didn’t Have significant suffer with the platform. They hadn’t studied the documentation in detail; they just got privilege to spiking the integration. At first glance, it seemed dote an smooth choice. Several factors led us to give it a try:
It’s rather mature;
it’s smooth to integrate;
it’s smooth to develop;
It has a great community;
It’s been rapidly developing;
It’s been used in numerous projects;
It gives an opening of private deploying in their private network.
One the other hand, there were a few factors that eventually convinced us that Ethereum was not the privilege option for us:
Non-determinacy of the consensus algorithm.
Proof-of-work (POW) is unpredictable.
Non-existence of roles.
Uncontrollable access to the network.
Transaction fee and tall CPU workload even in a sleep mode (minor).
Some of these issues Have potential mitigations in evolution in the Ethereum world. For example, the GHOST protocol modification may well help, but even in this case if owners of the major pools suddenly determine that their branch is longer than yours, while your tanker with tuna is in on its artery to the destination point… well, the cancellation of the payment transaction may surprise you, if the transaction is being conducted over a public (or shared-use) Ethereum network.
In an extreme case, they may even Have a confederate whose node capacity allows them to outhash the gross network, so there would be no point in using blockchain.
It was besides very significant to us to understand whether a network member is a client or a partner. They Have to know this for sure. The Ethereum network does not advocate this feature, so they would exigency to build this on top. They certainly could integrate their VPN into the blockchain. But if they provide access to partners, there, naturally, should be a artery to open up such access. At the very time, they would dote to exercise control over who has access to their network and what they can come by from it.
A key takeaway is that it’s significant to recollect that within a business-use case corporate node capacities may significantly preponderate over private ones. This is why they opted for a private blockchain, using Hyperledger framework.
HyperLedger besides allowed us to avoid the minor inconveniences that they observed regarding the costs of transactions and CPU usage that they observed with Ethereum.
At this time the HyperLedger Fabric was one of the most advanced and age frameworks in the family. It besides has a few features that fabricate it to stand out. The permissioned architecture ensures that if someone accessed your blockchain, you know whether they Have a certificate issued by a Certificate Authority (CA). They besides liked its deterministic PBFT algorithm, with which you can be 100% positive that a transaction is completed once your received such notification. Test launching on docker-containers is besides very simple.
We tried to design out whether they exigency Byzantine Fault-Tolerance. conclude they really dependence their partners, and conclude they really dependence us? Can they afford to expose ourselves to Byzantine Generals’ Problem, knowing that at any moment any node could start sending incorrect data to the network? They eventually decided that they should Have such protection, and it was fairly smooth with HyperLedger.
Still in doubt, they conducted some tests to compare HyperLedger Fabric and Ethereum in a private network. We coded a paltry shrink that generates a long array and then sorts it. You can behold the results on the graph below. They Have added two lines for 1 million and 10 million elements to the image just to exhibit that Hyperledger is here too. In fact, the inequity is such ample that lines are actually invisible.
Y axis: Milliseconds.
Y axis: Megabytes
Now let’s deem the time required for reaching a consensus. They took a simple barren transaction and attach it in a cluster of 8 machines. The machines had to attain an agreement and recrudesce confirmation: they waited for six confirmations in the Ethereum private network and a confirmation from each node in the HyperLedger network. The hurry was quiet better in the HyperLedger cluster.
Y axis: seconds
We should note that they conducted the tests on version 0.6 of the HyperLedger Fabric framework; as of today the latest version is 1.2.0, which has a divide node answerable for maintaining transaction order. Back then, the network became frozen if you increased the number of nodes to 16 and the hurry to 500 transactions per second. At such pace the network was not able to attain a consensus before receiving a fresh transaction request.
Before they slip forward, let’s deem the basic architecture of the Hyperledger blockchain.
Peer - the main node, which stores information about everyone transactions (in version 1.0 it is divided into Endorser, a peer that confirms transactions, and Committer, a peer that records transactions to the register.)
App - the client initiating a transaction can be replaced with its own application on Hyperledger SDK
CA - provides users with certificates that allow them to fabricate transactions and read data from the registry
Orderer - arranges transactions in secrete and transfer blocks to nodes for recording in the ledger
HyperLedger can divide nodes by roles. In particular, there is a peer that stores the register. In the 1.2 version there are several subtypes of peers, but generally peers are answerable for storing registers and validating incoming transactions. They store everyone smart-contracts and chain-codes, and endorse incoming transactions and save them to the register.
The application they built is on the frontend. It can forward information about transactions to the blockchain, and it can login to blockchain with a member certificate. It is besides answerable for consensus.
The CA issues certificates. By default, HyperLedger can distinguish nodes by organizational attribute; each organization has its own root certificate. With a membership certificate you can assign rights on completing smart-contracts, rights on changing network configuration, and rights on adding fresh peers – basically whatever you may want. In the newest versions of the framework, you can besides add any attributes you dote to certificates, so you can be even more flexible in providing different sets of rights to system participants.
An ordering service, or the “orderer”, is a set of nodes answerable for a transaction order in a block. The orderer collects transactions into a secrete and sends this secrete to peers, so they can confide it to a register. It does not store smart contracts, though stores ledger data in a binary file, which is used to bootstrap fresh peer. Losing this file means losing everyone blockchain data. The orderer besides performs some validation: it checks hashes and signatures.
For example, their system consists of the following elements:
A web application,
An OpenGift organization,
A root CA of the organization
An intermediate CA, which was designed with an sentiment of scaling up the system;
A cluster of orderers on Apache Kafka to which everyone confederate peers refer
At the present moment, their blockchain is deployed on four existent peers, and they Have four orderers in Kafka. They ultimately exigency five, as it is recommended to utilize an odd number of nodes for the ordering service in this mode. They Have approximately 100 client applications, 1 Root CA and 1 Intermediate CA. In the first several months of their work they Have conducted over 1000 transactions, but their system allows us to process the very quantity in 1 second.
Partners Have their own peers so that they can store a register and validate transactions, and customers can mention to any peer they dote to interact with the blockchain.
Client applications log in to the blockchain by providing a certificate, which can be issued by a Certification Authority intermediate server trusted by blockchain, for example, “organization one”. CA Intermediate servers are authorized by a CA Root server, which is kept aside of blockchain network. Then the client application can interact with peers within the framework of available policies, in compliance with restrictions and permissions. Once any peer confirms a transaction submitted by the application, and if it uses any consensus algorithm, it sends the transaction to the orderer. The orderer commits these transactions to peers. After that, the application can wait for any number of confirmations from the peers to fabricate positive that the transaction was recorded in the ledger.
What is it dote to implement HyperLedger Fabric in production?
Perhaps the first thing you notice is an absence of any simple admin panel. It's very difficult to maintain it everyone in production mode without Kubernetes or Swarm, so they had to write a lot of supporting scripts. Hopefully, with the Cello project this will change for the better.
We faced several technical challenges while trying to implement this architecture. First, the orderer service can operate in two modes: solo mode and Apache Kafka mode. If you utilize solo mode, you can’t switch to the scalable mode without re-creating the entire network.
Second, If you utilize the orderer services on Kafka, you cannot scale it to other organizations. If other organizations already Have their own orderer services, you will exigency to attain an agreement on who will be in imbue of arranging transactions in blocks. This means that only one organization can be answerable for the order of transactions in a block, which leads to some vulnerability. However, in general, if transactions are valid, their order in a secrete is not of a particular importance. If someone changes the order of transactions and they become invalid, they will simply be marked as invalid in the block, and your request will recrudesce “fail”.
CAs (certification authorities) are easily scalable. Each organization has a root CA, and it can issue any number of certificates to intermediate CAs. This is mighty because the CAs are answerable for adding users to the network. However, the certificate revocation mode is not well configured. First, in order to request several parties to token a revocation certificate, you exigency to write an additional chain code. Second, even when you add information about a revoked certificate in a blockchain, the certificate ex-holder can quiet connect to peers. You Have to generate the certificates manually and add them to folders of peers and orders. Controlling that sort of process may be challenging in a decentralized structure.
You besides exigency to hold in judgement that until the orderer has created a fresh block, everyone queries to the register will recrudesce the previous status of the network, i.e. the register has transactional (versioned) semantics. This means that if you Have a traffic process that consists of multiple read queries and a write query privilege after them that takes into account the result of the read queries, you had better fabricate them asynchronous. Because in this case, your expectation of reading the registry will not be consistent with its existent state. In general, you exigency to wait for the orderer to configuration a secrete and forward it to the ledger; only after that can you forward read queries, assuming that the status has already been changed.
Since the blocks are not created according to POW protocol, you can set any secrete creating frequency for the ordering service. In solo mode, you will not be able to create more than one secrete per second, and in Apache Kafka mode, you can configure this parameter quite flexibly. hold in judgement though, if you decrease waiting time for creating fresh block, your network will augment in size quite quickly. Disk space will besides be consumed very quickly, and so you always exigency to find a poise between a hurry of transactions confirmation and your capacity.
The consensus mechanism is realized at the transaction level, so you can specify requirements that transactions will exigency to comply with to be cogent in smart contract. For instance, when you interpose a fresh smart shrink in the chain code, you set a procedure of its confirmation, how many participants Have to token the transaction for it to remain valid.
Smart contracts can be written in several languages, Golang and Java being the main ones. A typical smart shrink has the simplest structure. Only two simple methods are required to be used in smart contract: one of the methods is called when a fresh chain code is set up or upgraded (init) , and the other one when it is called(invoke). Different policies are configured to initialize a fresh smart shrink and to call it. One group of users can be answerable for updating of a smart contract; another group can be answerable for its implementation. Here they deem the simplest role call, which takes a role and parameters of this role as an input controversy and depending on the name of the role calls the needed method.
Data storage in HyperLedger may be considered as a key-value map, referred to as KV-storage. Working with KV-storage is quite low-level. With PutState() system you can write in KV-storage, and with GetState() you read from it. But the most consuming thing is that you can work in a smart shrink with the attributes of certificates. In this specimen you can behold how the hash of the public key of an authorized user is used as an identifier for his wallet. In the 395th line they come by a hash and utilize it as a key for KV-storage.
Although, they are quiet using the 0.6 version of the framework, the newer versions hold some major improvements, which they Have to mention:
In the older versions, you needed to recreate everyone blockchain to comprehend a fresh organization in a genesis block. Now it’s quite simple and you besides can change policies of working with blockchain for each organization.
Starting with 1.2. version the system can Have its peers compute the requested information dynamically and present it to the SDK in a consumable manner.
External applications can receive and process information about events from a chain. This feature may be helpful in a number of cases, for specimen - for notifying a controlling organization about suspicious activity.
HyperLedger suffer in a nutshell
From the technical perspective, the system is quiet developing (steadily but firmly.) There are some technical issues, but hopefully that the community will find solutions for them. quiet and all, they believe HyperLedger is one of the best options for companies looking to implement blockchain in real-world business.
On the traffic side, thanks to the framework they successfully realized the intended digital ownership functionality, which helps us to incentivize evolution teams to work on open source projects. The network is smooth to expand and can exist without a parent organization. If they disappear, the community agrees upon setting a fresh ordering service, updates the channel and continue working.
Based on a feedback we’ve received, this capability facilitates adoption of the platform, since their users don’t exigency to dependence us and rely on their faculty to conclude business. They are actively looking for partners to hand over the nodes and procedure to undertake first technical integrations for their blockchain in early 2019.
About the Authors
Yegor Maslov is the CEO of OpenGift Inc., platform for open source software monetization, Head of The Hive project, system empowering code reusability in organizations. Yegor has over 15 years of software evolution suffer in web and mobile fields combined with an extensive background in technical entrepreneurship.
Konstantin Erokhin is a DevOps engineer with over 10 years of professional experience. He worked in such companies as Kaspersky, Sberbank Technologies, Moscow Stock Exchange.
Experience can be the best instructor, but security professionals may find that instruction coupled with more advanced...
certifications can befriend further their careers. While introductory certifications may befriend novices come by a foot in the door, an intermediate information security certification or two may befriend them enmesh the next step.
This report comprehensively reviews the current status of intermediate security certifications, highlighting which are best for achieving goals specific to an information security career path. It's a companion to three other articles, which cover the vendor-specific information security certification landscape, vendor-neutral certification career paths and cloud security certifications in detail.
Several changes Have been made for this updated cybersecurity certifications guide. The following table shows the number of certifications in the 2015 edition, as well as this 2017 edition. The overall numbers for vendor-neutral information security certifications increased by about 14%. Several certifications Have been discontinued, and 19 credentials Have been added. Some certifications Have been moved to fresh categories to more accurately classify them.
Some of the notable fresh entries in this information security certification sheperd comprehend the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst certification and two fresh EC-Council certs: the EC-Council Certified Network Defender and the EC-Council Certified Encryption Specialist.
Part three of this information security certification sheperd offers advanced options for more experienced professionals. section four includes certifications for forensics and anti-hacking, and section five covers more specialized certifications.
Editor's note: The credentials are listed in alphabetical order within each section.
General Cybersecurity certifications -- Intermediate
(ISC)2 Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) The (ISC)2 Certified Authorization Professional certification identifies individuals possessing "skills and abilities required for personnel involved in the process of authorizing and maintaining information systems," according to (ISC)2. "Specifically, this credential applies to those answerable for formalizing processes used to assess risk and establish security requirements and documentation. Their decisions will ensure that information systems possess security commensurate with the plane of exposure to potential risk, as well as damage to assets or individuals."
In particular, this credential confirms that the holder has the knowledge, skill and suffer necessary to license and maintain systems within the Risk Management Framework described in the NIST SP 800-37 Rev 1 specification. Candidates must Have two years of full-time suffer in one or more of the seven domains of the CAP Common body of Knowledge. It's besides recommended that candidates possess one to two years of common technical, database, systems evolution and network experience, along with two years of common systems experience.
Candidates must besides prove technical or auditing suffer within the government, U.S. Department of Defense or specific industry sectors.
(ISC)2 offers the Associate of (ISC)2 credential for candidates who pass the CAP, Certified Cyber Forensic Professional, Certified Cloud Security Professional, Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional, HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioners, or Systems Security Certified Practitioner exam, but conclude not yet meet the suffer requirement.
Source: (ISC)² Certified Authorization Professional
Mile2 Certified Incident Handling Engineer (CIHE) The Mile2 CIHE certification recognizes security professionals who work to avert attacks on their organization's IT infrastructure, and those who participate in incident response to successful cyberattacks. Certification candidates are expected to be intimate with common hacking approaches and techniques, safeguards, incident handling procedures, and techniques for quickly recovering from attacks.
Mile2 recommends that candidates Have at least 12 months of networking experience, as well as lore of TCP/IP, Microsoft packages and Linux before taking the associated course and exam.
EC-Council Certified Network Defender (CND) Holders of the EC-Council CND certification Have abysmal lore of network security controls and protocols, and know how to manage paraphernalia and appliances -- firewalls, intrusion detection, etc. -- that protect networks from attack. Other skills comprehend network traffic analysis, vulnerability scanning and assessment, network security policy maintenance, and creation of incident response plans.
The skills required for this credential align with the National Initiative of Cybersecurity Education framework, and they map to Department of Defense job roles for system/network administrators. Candidates must enmesh a course and pass the certification exam.
Source: EC-Council Certified Network Defender
CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CSA+) The CompTIA CSA+ certification is a vendor-neutral credential designed to certify professionals who Have three to four years of security and behavioral analytics experience. A CSA+ commonly works with data collected by network protocol analyzers, network intrusion detection systems, and security information and event management software.
For candidates climbing the CompTIA certification ladder, the CSA+ is the next rung above Security+ and just below the advanced-level CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner.
Source: CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst
(ISC)² Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) The (ISC)² CSSLP certification recognizes individuals who specialize in software security across the lifecycle, from conceptualization and design, through coding, testing and deployment.
Candidates must Have at least four years of direct suffer in the software evolution lifecycle in one or more of the eight domains covered in the CSSLP Common body of Knowledge, conform to adhere to a code of ethics, respond questions regarding their criminal history and background, and pass one exam.
Candidates who exigency the requisite suffer may become an Associate of (ISC)2 by passing the CSSLP exam. Those obtaining the Associate credential Have five years to gain the required suffer in order to upgrade the certification.
Source: (ISC)² Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional
Mile2 Certified Wireless Security Engineer (CWSE) The Mile2 CWSE certification is geared toward network administrators, systems engineers, IT managers and security consultants who are answerable for the security of one or more wireless local region networks (WLANs). Certification candidates must be intimate with WLAN security concepts, legacy security, common attacks, WLAN auditing and more.
Prerequisites for the CWSE certification are the Mile2 Certified Security Sentinel and Certified Information Systems Security Officer certifications, or at least 12 months of networking experience. Candidates must pass one exam to achieve certification.
CertiTrek Group Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP) Made available by the CertiTrek Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP) Wi-Fi certification and training unit, the CWSP credential recognizes individuals who can design, implement and manage wireless LAN security.
To obtain this credential, candidates must pass one exam.
Source: CWNP Certified Wireless Security Professional
EC-Council Certified Encryption Specialist (ECES) The EC-Council ECES recognizes IT professionals who can select and apply symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, common algorithms and hashing algorithms. A professional with the ECES credential can besides set up a virtual private network, select and implement digital certificates, encrypt a drive, and utilize a variety of steganography tools.
To obtain ECES certification, a candidate needs to complete a three-day course and pass one exam.
SANS Institute Global Information Assurance Certification Program (GIAC) SANS is well-known for timely, focused and useful security information and training courses. SANS offers regular in-person training, as well as online classes, and uses such classes to draw attendees to their frequent, well-situated, week-long conferences.
SANS created the GIAC program to administer certifications related to SANS training. The GIAC program seeks to identify individuals who can demonstrate both lore of and the faculty to manage and protect significant information systems and networks.
Overall, the GIAC program aims at serious, full-time security professionals answerable for designing, implementing and maintaining a state-of-the-art security infrastructure, which may comprehend incident handling and emergency response team management. Available intermediate-level GIAC credentials comprehend the following:
GIAC Security Essentials Certification
GIAC Information Security Professional
GIAC Certified Incident Handler
Global Industrial Cyber Security Professional
Source: SANS Global Information Assurance Certification
Security University Qualified/Certification & Accreditation certification (Q/CA) Security University's Q/CA is for system certifiers and validators who exigency cybersecurity skills. The class identifies individuals who can assess security skills to certify and validate systems and manage the security threats within an organization, particularly in the government and enterprise sectors.
The class has several labs on security controls and ends with a certification and accreditation validation practical. The Q/CA class meets the objectives of the National Security Agency's Committee on National Security Systems 4016A for a Fully Qualified Navy Validator.
Source: Security University Qualified Certification & Accreditation certification
Security University Qualified/Wireless Security Professional (Q/WSP) Security University's Q/WSP identifies and validates individuals who can architect and install wireless networks and manage and mitigate risk. Candidates must pass one exam.
Source: Security University Qualified/Wireless Security Professional
About the author: Ed Tittel is a 30-plus year IT veteran who's worked as a developer, networking consultant, technical trainer, writer and expert witness. Perhaps best known for creating the Exam Cram series, he has contributed to more than 100 books on many computing topics, including titles on information security, Windows OSes and HTML.
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