In society today, we become increasingly dependent on information systems in our everyday lives. Imagine if suddenly the banking and finance industry found itself without its method for tracking and storing information. The consequences for our economy would be dire. These systems, with great societal importance, are called critical information systems.
With the increasing dependence on critical information systems facilitating the banking and finance, military command and control and health care comes greater consequences if there is system failure. It is in society’s best interest to keep the core functions of these systems functional even in the event of a terrorist or hacker attack. This notion is referred to as survivability.
What Dr. Frank Zuo is doing with the help of some graduate students and a grant from the Dept. of Defense, is working to improve the survivability of these critical information systems. The approach taken is an all-encompassing one. The first step is to identify and prioritize the strengths of a system. Once these strengths are identified, a strategy for survivability is planned and analyzed. With this in place, a structure is developed to identify intruders or faults in the system, select the proper survivability measures based on time and available resources and finally a technique for full system recovery. The ultimate idea is to develop a framework that can be applied to each individual’s situation so that survivability is strengthened and that systems are more secure.