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SMART                                                        M McFadden
Internet Draft                             internet policy advisors ltd
Intended status: Informational                             July 8, 2019
Expires: January 8, 2020



                        Endpoint Taxonomy for CLESS
          draft-mcfadden-smart-endpoint-taxonomy-for-cless-00.txt


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   This Internet-Draft will expire on January 8, 2020.

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Abstract

   A separate document [I-D:draft-taddei-smart-cless-introduction]
   (CLESS) attempts to establish the capabilities and limitations of
   endpoint-only security solutions and explore potential alternative
   approaches. That document discusses endpoints in general terms. It
   has been suggested that there are classes of endpoints that have
   different characteristics. Those classes may have completely
   different threat landscapes and the endpoints may have completely
   different security capabilities. In support of the work on CLESS,
   this document provides a taxonomy of endpoints that is intended to
   provide a foundation for further work on CLESS and research on
   approaches to providing endpoint security alternatives in a diverse
   group of settings.

Table of Contents


   1. Introduction...................................................3
   2. Conventions used in this document..............................4
   3. Problem Statement..............................................4
   4. The Endpoint in CLESS..........................................4
   5. Taxonomy.......................................................5
      5.1. Traditional and Enterprise Computing Equipment [TECE].....6
         5.1.1. Description..........................................6
         5.1.2. Endpoint characteristics.............................6
      5.2. Personal Computing Equipment..............................6
         5.2.1. Description..........................................6
         5.2.2. Endpoint characteristics.............................7
      5.3. Human Interface Devices...................................8
         5.3.1. Endpoint description.................................8
         5.3.2. Endpoint characteristics.............................8
      5.4. Human Sensor Devices......................................8
         5.4.1. Endpoint characteristics.............................8
      5.5. Non-human Sensor Devices..................................9
         5.5.1. Endpoint Description.................................9
         5.5.2. Endpoint characteristics.............................9
      5.6. Peripheral Computing Equipment and Embedded Endpoints....10
         5.6.1. Endpoint Description................................10
         5.6.2. Endpoint characteristics............................10
      5.7. Internet Infrastructure Devices..........................11
         5.7.1. Endpoint Description................................11
         5.7.2. Endpoint characteristics............................11
      5.8. Application Layer Endpoints..............................12
         5.8.1. Description.........................................12
         5.8.2. Endpoint Characteristics............................12
   6. Security Considerations.......................................12


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   7. IANA Considerations...........................................12
   8. References....................................................12
      8.1. Normative References.....................................12
      8.2. Informative References...................................13
   9. Acknowledgments...............................................13
   Appendix A. Document History.....................................14

1. Introduction

   A document entitled "Capabilities and Limitations of an Endpoint-only
   Security Solution (CLESS) [I-D. draft-taddei-smart-cless-
   introduction-00] attempts to initiate research into the limits of
   endpoint-only security solutions. The document identifies changes in
   technology, economics and protocol development that have impacted the
   provision of endpoint security.

   The CLESS introduction focuses on endpoints that are User Equipment
   rather than hosts. Even so, this encompasses an enormous variety of
   possible endpoints. CLESS takes a unified view of endpoints - seeing
   them all as one type.

   However, it seems reasonable to suggest that, in the huge variety of
   types of endpoints, there are categories of similarity.  These
   categories are important because categories of endpoint devices may
   share particular advantages or limitations for endpoint security.
   While CLESS provides a clear model for understanding some of the
   limitations of endpoint security in today's networks, it is very
   likely that more specificity is needed.

   This draft attempts to suggest a Taxonomy of Endpoints as a
   foundation for further work on CLESS.  The goal is to identify
   classes of endpoints with similar characteristics. Those
   characteristics may lead to the discovery that the devices in a
   particular category share similar characteristics for endpoint
   security.

   It is essential to understand that this taxonomy is intended as a
   foundation for work on CLESS and is not an all-purpose guide to the
   enormous breadth of devices that are or could be endpoints on public
   or private networks. Others have attempted to provide classifications
   for end devices, but they are not focused on the issues related to
   endpoint security. In addition, most are almost immediately out-of-
   date when published.

   This document takes a different approach: the taxonomy here is
   intended to support the work of CLESS and provide a classification
   system that may make it possible to group endpoints in related


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   categories for the purpose of discussing their security
   characteristics.  While a general-purpose taxonomy of Internet
   endpoints might be useful in a variety of settings, it is not the
   intended goal of this document.

   In addition, this document does not attempt to assess and document
   the endpoint security characteristics of each part of the taxonomy.
   The work of identifying advantages and limitations of specific
   classes of endpoints is envisioned as future work on CLESS.

2. Conventions used in this document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

3. Problem Statement

   CLESS attempts to provide an analysis of the current state of the
   provision of endpoint security. It does that by providing a
   provisional definition of an endpoint and then examining the
   advantages and limitations of providing security at that endpoint.

   The original approach to CLESS divides the universe of endpoints into
   User Equipment (UE) and hosts - and then focuses entirely on User
   Equipment.

   User Equipment encompasses a very broad set of endpoints.  It may be
   possible to provide a stronger set of device type groupings.
   Endpoints in the same groups may share security chrematistics that
   are particular to that group.  The fundamental question is: can a
   taxonomy of endpoint devices be created that allows for grouping of
   endpoints that have similar security characteristics?

   If it is possible to answer that question in the affirmative, then
   research can be done on the security characteristics of each category
   and influence the development of protocols that have the greatest
   impact for those type of devices.

4. The Endpoint in CLESS

   CLESS simplifies the representation of an endpoint by making the
   following generalization:






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   +------------------------------------------------+
   |                                                |
   |   Application                                  |
   |                                                |
   |------------------------------------------------|
   |                                                |
   |   OS / Execution Environment                   |
   |                                                |
   |------------------------------------------------|
   |                                                |
   |   Hardware                                     |
   |                                                |
   +------------------------------------------------+

                 Figure 1 Endpoint Generalization in CLESS

   This simplification means that there are many combinations of
   hardware, operating systems, execution environments and applications.
   It also means that any of these three layers can be an endpoint for
   the purposes of a discussion of endpoint security.

   CLESS suggests that we consider endpoints including those which have
   a variety of power, computational, storage and network capacities. It
   is possible that grouping devices with similar characteristics will
   help in identifying categories of devices that share similar endpoint
   security characteristics.

5. Taxonomy

   Others have attempted to provide general-purpose taxonomy and device
   classification guides (informative references to be provided in a
   later draft version). In some settings automated detection and
   classification of devices provides an essential step in providing
   appropriate access control and security services.

   General-purpose classification systems tend to ossify or become
   enormously complex. Classification has come from commercial entities,
   computer science organizations, the academic community and even
   regional collections of cooperating national governments.

   For the purposes of providing a taxonomy for CLESS, we limit the
   discussion to a taxonomy for endpoints only. We divide endpoints into
   nine different classes and then attempt to carefully describe the
   characteristics of devices in each class.





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5.1. Traditional and Enterprise Computing Equipment [TECE]

5.1.1. Description

   Traditional and Enterprise Computing Equipment is characterized by
   its extremely high-capacity for transactional volume, storage and
   shared user population. TECE forms the backbone of high-volume, high-
   availability transactional computing and is provided in both physical
   and virtualized forms.

   Traditional computing endpoints are shared computing environments
   characterized by centralized, shared computing. These endpoints are
   often in large scale data centers. These endpoints are capable of
   high-availability, substantial requirements for power and
   environmental control. These endpoints are also characterized by very
   complex operating systems and user environments.

5.1.2. Endpoint characteristics

   o  Cost - these endpoints are characterized by extremely high cost.

   o  Physical size - these are very large endpoints, not suitable or
      intended for use by an individual.

   o  Network link characteristics - capable of supporting extremely
      high bandwidth.

   o  User interface - very complex and shared among multiple
      individuals.

   o  Processing power - extremely high processing capability.

   o  Physical power - requires substantial provision of electrical
      power and environmental controls.

   o  Code complexity - Extremely high support for very complex code
      including parallelism, multitaxking and multithreaded execution.

5.2. Personal Computing Equipment

5.2.1. Description

   These are endpoints designed or intended to be used by an individual.
   They can be delivered as fixed, portable or virtual instantiations of
   the endpoint.  It should be noted that virtual instantiations of
   endpoints introduce complexities in defining the characteristics of
   the endpoints.  In each case, the device supports a mechanism for


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   human-interface and has the capability for both local storage and
   processing. The personal computing equipment class is also
   characterized by relatively low cost and power requirements.

   This class of endpoint is also characterized by the devices
   supporting multiple purpose use.  This class is divided into two sub-
   classes: fixed and mobile endpoints.  The mobile subclass is further
   divided into four other subclasses: laptops, tablets, intelligent
   phones, and ultraportable personal computing equipment.

   Personal computing endpoints usually have at least one, and often
   many, network links - often supporting a variety of network
   connectivity technologies.  These endpoints are also characterized by
   having a human interface - either integral to the computing device
   itself or supplied externally to the computing device.

5.2.2. Endpoint characteristics

   o  Cost - these endpoints have a huge range of costs, from extremely
      inexpensive for simple "personal computer on a board" endpoints to
      moderately expensive for specially configured laptop and fixed
      devices.

   o  Physical size - the physical size of these devices range from
      handheld to a small cabinet for fixed, desktop units.

   o  Network link characteristics - personal computing endpoints are
      often characterized by supporting multiple connectivity
      technologies.

   o  User interface - personal computing endpoints are characterized by
      having user interfaces designed for an individual. The interface
      varies from simple, text-based interaction to gesture, touch and
      voice control.

   o  Processing power - these endpoints are characterized by a
      significant range of processing power: from single CPU units to
      endpoints that can support multiple concurrent processes.

   o  Physical power - personal computing endpoints are characterized by
      using either traditional mains power or power supplied by a
      battery.

   o  Code complexity - personal computing endpoints support complex
      code and often parallel and multithreaded execution of code.




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5.3. Human Interface Devices

   TBD.

5.3.1. Endpoint description

5.3.2. Endpoint characteristics

   o  Cost

   o  Physical size

   o  Network link characteristics

   o  User interface

   o  Processing power

   o  Physical power

   o  Code complexity

5.4. Human Sensor Devices

   Description

   These are endpoints whose primary purpose is to sense, store,
   transmit or process information about a human being.  These endpoints
   are characterized as having use cases in health and wellness
   monitoring, human performance enhancement, personalized medicine and
   human safety.

   The endpoints are characterized as sensor devices with the capacity
   to sense, store and report on data collected on an individual. The
   sensor may be multimodal. These endpoints are almost always
   characterized by have a battery for power and having limited storage,
   networking and processing capabilities.

5.4.1. Endpoint characteristics

   o  Cost - Human Sensor Endpoints can range in cost from very low (for
      instance a heartbeat sensor) to quite expensive (a sensor built
      into an implanted device).

   o  Physical size - human sensors are very small and almost always
      portable.



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   o  Network link characteristics - human sensors usually have a single
      network like technology available and are capable of very limited
      bandwidth utilization on that link.

   o  User interface - human sensors have extremely limited, or no, user
      interface.

   o  Processing power - human sensors are characterized by having
      limited processing power - often incorporating only the ability to
      collect store and forward sensed information.

   o  Physical power - human sensors are characterized by being powered
      by internal batteries

   o  Code complexity - human sensors are not usually capable of running
      complex code. Often, the capability of the endpoint is to simply
      sense, store and forward data without reporting and analysis of
      that data.

5.5. Non-human Sensor Devices

5.5.1. Endpoint Description

   These endpoints are capable of sensing, storage, communication and
   possibly some computation. They are characterized by having very low
   bandwidth radios, a battery for power, sensor technology and a small
   processor.  Unlike in Section 5.4, these devices are not intended to
   sense human-related information.

   Compared with Human Sensors, non-human sensors often have a variety
   of communications technologies available - for instance, self-
   organizing into mesh networks.

5.5.2. Endpoint characteristics

   o  Cost - Non-human Sensor Endpoints can range in cost from very low
      (for instance, a simple temperature sensor) to quite expensive (a
      sensor built into an implanted device.

   o  Physical size - Non-human sensors are often small and almost
      always portable.

   o  Network link characteristics - Non-human sensors usually have a
      single network like technology available but the topology of those
      network links can be highly varied.  Quite often these devices are
      capable of very limited bandwidth utilization on the link to which
      they are attached.


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   o  User interface - non-human sensors have extremely limited, or no,
      user interface.

   o  Processing power - non-human sensors are characterized by having
      limited processing power - often incorporating only the ability to
      collect store and forward sensed information.  Some non-human
      sensors have the capability to process stored data, but usually
      this is limited.

   o  Physical power - -

   o  Code complexity - non-human sensors are not usually capable of
      running complex code. Often, the capability of the endpoint is to
      simply sense, store and forward data without reporting and
      analysis of that data.

5.6. Peripheral Computing Equipment and Embedded Endpoints

5.6.1. Endpoint Description

   These are endpoints that are "embedded" in devices that may have a
   different primary function. An example is a network endpoint in a
   printer that supports remote access, configuration and printing.
   Another example is an endpoint in an appliance that has a different
   primary function (for instance, a refrigerator).

   In either case, the endpoint is characterized as being added to
   another system, machine or peripheral.

   These devices are characterized as being specialized for their
   particular use case and function. Their specific characteristics
   often depend upon the system, device or peripheral in which they are
   being hosted.  As an example, the embedded endpoint gets its physical
   power and networking capabilities from  the device in which it is
   connected.

5.6.2. Endpoint characteristics

   o  Cost - almost never available as a standalone device - instead,
      always embedded into the peripheral or system which is hosting it.

   o  Physical size - almost always very small - to be embedded into
      some other system or device.

   o  Network link characteristics - dependent on network services
      available from the host device and not always IP-based.



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   o  User interface - almost always provided by the "hosting" device.
      Many embedded endpoints share a user interface with the
      configuration and control tool for the underlying device.

   o  Processing power - usually limited and constrained by the use
      case. Some embedded endpoints provide remote access to the
      underlying resources provided by the processor.

   o  Physical power - generally supplied by the "host" system or
      device.

   o  Code complexity - limited and almost always constrained by use
      case.

5.7. Internet Infrastructure Devices

5.7.1. Endpoint Description

   Internet Infrastructure endpoints are the physical components that
   are used to deploy a network. There is a huge variety of these
   devices, but they all share two common properties: they are building
   blocks of the underlying network infrastructure and they also can be
   endpoints of a network conversation.

   But, there's an important question here. CLESS specifically rules out
   network infrastructure in its discussion.  Should the taxonomy for
   CLESS incorporate endpoints that are part of the network
   infrastructure?  Said a different way: is network infrastructure out
   of scope for CLESS?

5.7.2. Endpoint characteristics

   TBD, depending on the answer to the question in section 5.7.1

   o  Cost

   o  Physical size

   o  Network link characteristics

   o  User interface

   o  Processing power

   o  Physical power

   o  Code complexity


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5.8. Application Layer Endpoints

5.8.1. Description

   A significant trend in the contemporary public Internet is to have
   applications act as completely independent agents - a situation where
   the application itself provides the necessary infrastructure (for
   instance, domain name resolution) to provide services. An example
   would be a web browser that independently resolved domain names and
   established secure communication channels independently.

   The traffic between the application and the servers it uses might not
   be available for analysis by security software. As a result,
   application-based endpoints would have the characteristic of having
   to provide security services (for instance, traffic security or
   malware detection) for itself.

   This type of endpoint also has the characteristic of potentially
   having adverse impacts on other applications running on the same
   platform. For example, if several applications are provisioning their
   own infrastructure services, then those services are being duplicated
   on that platform. For security related infrastructure there would be
   no common, platform-wide approach to securing the applications or the
   traffic generated between the application and external servers.

5.8.2. Endpoint Characteristics

   TBD

6. Security Considerations

   INFO (REMOVE): Every draft MUST have a Security Considerations
   section.

   TBD, descriptive

7. IANA Considerations

   This document has no requirements or actions for IANA

8. References

8.1. Normative References

   [1]   Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
         Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.



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   [2]   Crocker, D. and Overell, P.(Editors), "Augmented BNF for Syntax
         Specifications: ABNF", RFC 2234, Internet Mail Consortium and
         Demon Internet Ltd., November 1997.

   [RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
             Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC2234] Crocker, D. and Overell, P.(Editors), "Augmented BNF for
             Syntax Specifications: ABNF", RFC 2234, Internet Mail
             Consortium and Demon Internet Ltd., November 1997.

8.2. Informative References

   TBD

9. Acknowledgments

   This document was prepared using 2-Word-v2.0.template.dot.































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Appendix A.                 Document History

    [[ To be removed from the final document ]]

   -0

   Initial Internet Draft










































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Authors' Addresses

   Mark McFadden
   Internet policy advisors ltd
   Madison Wisconsin US

   Email: mark@internetpolicyadvisors.com

   Phone: <optional>
   Email: <Your email address>







































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