Check out all of our upcoming events

Blog

Get news about our products, which events we are attending plus industry insights and commentary

Pioneering Women of Information Security: Dorothy Denning and Rebecca Bace

Written by Sarah Chandley on Thursday, 07 March 2019. Posted in Cyber

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we have chosen to honour two women who were vital to the design and development of Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). Dorothy E. Denning and Rebecca Base are information security experts and pioneers who both played significant roles in the development of IDS. As we move in to 2019, organisations like Telesoft are adapting intrusion detection systems beyond their traditional definition of simply analysing basic network behaviour (passing traffic), and matching that traffic against a library of known attack vectors. This methodology alone only provides a part of the picture.

Dorothy E. Denning and Rebecca "Becky" Gurley Bace (1955-2017)

In order to attain the full picture and provide important context around an incident and qualified threat indicator information, Telesoft have developed new techniques such as alert driven record and configurable automation. Further integration with Anomaly Detection Tools provides defenders with a clearer picture of known, potential and unknown threats. Configurable automation is important because different things are important to different cyber security teams. IDS must continue to evolve to ensure they remain fit for purpose in today’s world of rapidly expanding data rates, hyper connectivity and a highly evolved cyber threat landscape.

The continued importance and relevance of IDS in today’s network security infrastructure is only possible because of people like Dorothy Denning and Rebecca Bace. While working at SRI International in the 80’s, Dorothy along with Peter Neumann created an IDS model that used statistics for anomaly threat detection which is still in use today. The SRI Intrusion Detection Expert System (IDES) ran on Sun workstations and tracked both user and network level data. It combined a rule-based Expert System to detect known types of intrusions with a statistical anomaly detection component based on profiles of users, host systems, and target systems.

In 1989 Rebecca Bace who had been working at the NSA for a number of years, began an assignment with the National Computer Security Centre (NCSC). Rebecca served as Program Manager for intrusion detection research, specifically on transferring research into the relatively new commercial cyber security products market. In 2000 Rebecca published a seminal text on intrusion detection, outlining its definition, history, importance, what types of IDS’s have been developed over the years, ways to do it, how to make it work in the real world and legal issues associated with it.

Both women played a huge part in shaping the cyber security industry that we know today. Dorothy continues her work in information security and cryptography in academe and government, research in to ‘hacktivism’ and  her writings, which included accurate predictions about the internet, privacy and anonymity online. Rebecca finished up her time working with the NSA, NCSC and Department of Defence where she played a pivotal role in catching of Kevin Mitnick and set up her own cyber security consulting company. Then entering the world of venture capitalism, she provided expert advice to a generation of security start-ups such as Qualys, Sygate, and Neohapsis, and secured seed funding for computer security labs at Purdue University and others, paving the way for the next generation of cyber security professionals.

About the Author

Sarah Chandley

Sarah Chandley

Sarah is an experienced B2B technology marketing professional, creating content for the Cyber Security, Telco and Government Infrastructure sectors. 

Information cookies

Cookies are short reports that are sent and stored on the hard drive of the user's computer through your browser when it connects to a web. Cookies can be used to collect and store user data while connected to provide you the requested services and sometimes tend not to keep. Cookies can be themselves or others.

There are several types of cookies:

  • Technical cookies that facilitate user navigation and use of the various options or services offered by the web as identify the session, allow access to certain areas, facilitate orders, purchases, filling out forms, registration, security, facilitating functionalities (videos, social networks, etc..).
  • Customization cookies that allow users to access services according to their preferences (language, browser, configuration, etc..).
  • Analytical cookies which allow anonymous analysis of the behavior of web users and allow to measure user activity and develop navigation profiles in order to improve the websites.

So when you access our website, in compliance with Article 22 of Law 34/2002 of the Information Society Services, in the analytical cookies treatment, we have requested your consent to their use. All of this is to improve our services. We use Google Analytics to collect anonymous statistical information such as the number of visitors to our site. Cookies added by Google Analytics are governed by the privacy policies of Google Analytics. If you want you can disable cookies from Google Analytics.

However, please note that you can enable or disable cookies by following the instructions of your browser.