CHAPTER 10Controls

In Chapter 3, we defined the four broad types of controls: preventative, detective, corrective, and compensatory. Some analysts include a fifth type, called a targeted control or a countermeasure, which addresses a specific threat or a specific vulnerability. But for simplicity's sake, I'm going to include targeted controls as part of the four categories, depending on how they function.

Keep in mind that the examples that follow are just that, examples—not an exhaustive list by any means. New controls are developed almost daily as part of the constant arms race between hackers, cybersecurity vendors, developers, IT companies, end users, and governments.

Preventative Controls

Preventative controls are the road barriers of the information highway. They are designed to stop an attacker from getting to an asset. If the asset involves physical protection, then a good example of a preventative control would be security guards. Digital equivalents of the security guard include:

  • Antivirus and antimalware applications. Typically lumped under endpoint protection systems, these are mostly signature‐based applications that scan traffic, compare it against a known database of threats, and decide accordingly. What I mean by signature is that these viruses and malware programs, once discovered, are found to have a unique look, like a signature. That makes them identifiable to the antivirus and antimalware applications. They now know what to look for. These applications ...

Get Cybersecurity Program Development for Business now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.