ISO Announces Cybersecurity Standard

The new standard will help to ensure safe online transactions and personal information exchanged over the Internet, as well as protecting computers when the users are browsing websites.

Noting cybersecurity has become a major concern around the world -– U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, for example, warned again Oct. 19 that cyberattacks are a grave national security threat -- ISO (www.iso.org), the International Organization for Standardization, announced a new standard, ISO/IEC 27032:2012, Information technology – Security techniques – Guidelines for cybersecurity, that is intended to make cyberspace safer.

An Oct. 16 article by Maria Lazarte, ISO's communication officer and social media manager, said the new standard addresses security gaps arising from the lack of communication between online users and providers and tackles risks not covered by current Internet, network, and information and communication technology security.

"Devices and connected networks that support cyberspace have multiple owners, each with their own business, operational and regulatory concerns. Not only do the different users and providers share little or no input, but each has a different focus when dealing with security," said Johann Amsenga, convenor of the working group that developed the standard. "Such a fragmented state opens up vulnerabilities in cyberspace. ISO/IEC 27032 will provide an overarching, collaborative, multi-stakeholder solution to reduce these risks."

The standard provides a framework for information sharing, coordination, and incident handling while facilitating secure, reliable collaboration that protects the privacy of individuals, according to the announcement, which said it can help to prepare, detect, monitor, and respond to:

  • Social engineering attacks
  • Hacking
  • Malware
  • Spyware
  • Other unwanted software

Secretary Panetta has highlighted cyber security recently, including during an Oct. 19 speech in Norfolk, Va., according to an article posted by the Pentagon. He said, "And now we confront a whole new threat of warfare in cyber [space]. I think this is an area we have got to pay close attention to. This is the battle front of the future. As I speak, there are cyberattacks going on in this country, and now they're developing the capability to be able to go after our grid -- our power grid, our financial systems, our government systems -- and virtually paralyze this country. We are confronting a series of threats to our national security."

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