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Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

A Science of Cyber Infrastructure Configuration

Sanjai Narain - Vencore Labs

Nov 09, 2016

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Abstract

Configuration is the glue for logically integrating cyber infrastructure components to satisfy end-to-end requirements on security and functionality. Every component has a finite number of configuration variables that are set to definite values. It is well-documented that configuration errors are responsible for 50%-80% of infrastructure vulnerabilities and downtime and it can take months to set up and adapt infrastructure. This is because the large conceptual gap between requirement and configuration is manually bridged. This talk presents a Science of Configuration to automatically bridge this gap. The Science is embodied in the Distributed Assured and Dynamic Configuration (DADC) suite of tools for requirement specification, configuration synthesis, repair, vendor-specific adaptation, visualization, emulation, verification, distributed configuration, in-band configuration, reconfiguration planning and moving-target defense. DADC leverages modern SMT solvers that can solve a million constraints in a million variables in seconds, and group communication protocols that provide total-ordering message delivery guarantees. We will sketch a new application of DADC to cloud configuration.

About the Speaker

Dr. Sanjai Narain is a Fellow and Chief Scientist in the Systems and Cyber Security Department at Vencore Labs. Currently, he leads a Science of Configuration project to increase the efficiency and accuracy of building cyber infrastructure by several orders of magnitude. His industrial expertise is in networking and security, and formal training in mathematical logic, programming languages, and electrical engineering. He studied logic with Professor Alonzo Church at UCLA and Professor J.A. Robinson at Syracuse.

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