Why a Data Flow Map Will Make Your Life Easier

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Brent Huston

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It’s impossible to protect everything in your environment if you don’t know what’s there.

All system components and their dependencies need to be identified. This isn’t a mere inventory listing.

Adding the dependencies and trust relationships is where the effort pays off.

This information is useful in many ways:

  • If Server A is compromised incident responders can quickly assess what other components may have been affected by reviewing its trust relationships
  • Having a clear depiction of component dependencies eases the re-architecture process allowing for faster, more efficient upgrades
  • Creating a physical map in accordance with data flow and trust relationships ensures that components are not forgotten
  • Categorizing system functions eases the enclaving process

Don’t know where to start? It’s usually easiest to map one business process at a time. This enables everyone to better understand the current environment and data operations.

Once the maps are completed they must be updated peri-odically to reflect changes in the environment.

Click here to see an example of a Data Flow Map. The more you know, the better prepared you can be.

Cross-posted from State of Security

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