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Re: Anyone using OCTAVE process?
From: Aaron Shelmire <shelmire () PSC EDU>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 13:46:52 -0400

Many different Risk Assessment/Analysis methods were evaluated for use
on the TeraGrid as well as locally at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.
I've evaluated OCTAVE before as well as discussing the approach with
some of the developers at CERT. It takes a little bit of time to get
started, but once the staff performing the risk assessment are trained
the time estimates laid forth in OCTAVE are rather accurate. Although
that time estimate is pretty heavy for most organizations (5-6 weeks of
full-time effort for a team of individuals including the time of many
senior-ish leadership throughout the assessment).

Another method also developed by CERT is the Survivable Systems Analysis
method. SSA is much quicker and more flexible. It is formally designed
for use in the development process of systems, although it is easily
adapted to use in business infrastructures.

If you are looking for a quantitative method that uses a stronger base
of numbers, you might want to look into the model developed by Lawrence
Berkeley National Lab with Aashish Arora and Rahul Telang of Carnegie

After using the SSA method and other Risk Assessment methodologies, as
well as studying many methods, I felt that most methodologies were
lacking at least something. I also came to the conclusion that many
organizations would benefit from a more formal approach to security
based upon risk assessment. Jim Rome of ORNL and Jim Marsteller at PSC
contributed to a paper I presented on this subject(which includes our
thoughts on a few risk assessment methodologies). If you(or anyone else)
would like a copy, I can email it to you (didn't want to spam the whole
list with attachments).


Brad Judy wrote:
While we're not using OCTAVE directly, it was one of several risk
assessment/analysis/management resources that went into the development
of the process we use:

I need to update the version of the document on the website as it
doesn't include the important interview stage, but this is what I'm
using at the moment.

The next step for me is coming up with a much quicker version for lower
risk departments.  The full version is heavily facilitated and take a
lot of time.

Brad Judy

IT Security Office
University of Colorado at Boulder

-----Original Message-----
From: David Grisham [mailto:DGrisham () SALUD UNM EDU]
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 1:01 PM
Subject: [SECURITY] Anyone using OCTAVE process?

UNM HSC is considering the use of the OCTAVE process as a
risk management system.  We have previously tried risk
analysis software with various success.
Would anyone who has used the OCTAVE process for a risk
analysis please let us know:
1. What was the length of your learning curve for those involved?
2.  What length of time did your process take to complete?
3.  Where the outcomes-action items understandable and usable?
Any other recommendations and/or information would be greatly
David Grisham, Manager, IT Security
UNM Hospitals, HSC
(505) 272-5657
Dgrisham () salud unm edu

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