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Security in Telecommunications and Information Technology 2004

An overview of issues and the deployment of existing ITU-T Recommendations for secure telecommunications

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The purpose of this security manual is to provide an overview of the numerous Recommendations developed by ITU-T – sometimes in collaboration with other Standard Development Organizations – to secure the communication infrastructure and the associated services and applications. In order to address the multiple facets of security, it is necessary to establish a framework and architecture, in order to have a common vocabulary with which to discuss the concepts.ITU-T has developed security provisions in several systems and services defined in its Recommendations and a significant focus of this manual is on applications.These applications are described in terms of deployment architecture and of how protocols have been defined to meet security needs. In addition to offering security of application information, there is also a need to secure the infrastructure of the network and the management of network services.In addition, this manual contains the current version of the ITU-T Catalogue of Recommendations related to Security Aspects, a list of acronyms anddefinitions related to security and other topics addressed in this document.

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Executive Summary

The communications industry has made a major contribution to improve global productivity and efficiency by the development of communications infrastructures that bridge communities in almost every industrial segment and every part of the world. This has been possible, in large part through the implementation of standards developed by organizations such as ITU-T. These standards ensure interoperability and efficiency of network operations and also lay the foundations for next generation networks. However, while standards have continued to meet end-user and industry needs, the increased use of open interfaces and protocols, the multiplicity of new participants, the sheer diversity of applications and platforms, and implementations that are not always adequately tested have increased opportunities for malicious use of networks. In recent years, a surge in security violations (such as viruses and attacks that have resulted in breaches of confidentiality of stored data) has been observed throughout global networks and has often resulted in major cost impacts. The question then is, how does one support an open communication infrastructure without compromising the information exchanged on it? To a large degree, the answer lies in developing sufficiently robust specifications that security threats to any area of the communications infrastructure can be countered. With this objective, the efforts of standards groups include the development of standardized security architectures and frameworks, standards for security management, security-specific protocols and techniques to secure communications protocols, as well as steps to minimize potential vulnerabilities in communications standards generally.

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