Security without Obscurity: A Guide to Confidentiality, Authentication, and Integrity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Security without Obscurity

A Guide to Confidentiality, Authentication, and Integrity, 1st Edition

By J.J. Stapleton

Auerbach Publications

355 pages | 78 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-05-02
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The traditional view of information security includes the three cornerstones: confidentiality, integrity, and availability; however the author asserts authentication is the third keystone. As the field continues to grow in complexity, novices and professionals need a reliable reference that clearly outlines the essentials. Security without Obscurity: A Guide to Confidentiality, Authentication, and Integrity fills this need.

Rather than focusing on compliance or policies and procedures, this book takes a top-down approach. It shares the author’s knowledge, insights, and observations about information security based on his experience developing dozens of ISO Technical Committee 68 and ANSI accredited X9 standards. Starting with the fundamentals, it provides an understanding of how to approach information security from the bedrock principles of confidentiality, integrity, and authentication.

The text delves beyond the typical cryptographic abstracts of encryption and digital signatures as the fundamental security controls to explain how to implement them into applications, policies, and procedures to meet business and compliance requirements. Providing you with a foundation in cryptography, it keeps things simple regarding symmetric versus asymmetric cryptography, and only refers to algorithms in general, without going too deeply into complex mathematics.

Presenting comprehensive and in-depth coverage of confidentiality, integrity, authentication, non-repudiation, privacy, and key management, this book supplies authoritative insight into the commonalities and differences of various users, providers, and regulators in the U.S. and abroad.


Jeff's extensive practical experience in applying information security and his expertise in cryptographic standards makes this book a must-read for the information security professional. Security without Obscurity: A Guide to Confidentiality, Authentication, and Integrity deserves a place in your reference library.

—Ralph Spencer Poore, CFE, CISA, CISSP, CHS-III, PCIP, ISSA Distinguished Fellow, ISSA Honor Roll

Having worked at the same consulting firm and also on a project with author J.J. Stapleton (full disclosure); I knew he was a really smart guy. In Security without Obscurity: A Guide to Confidentiality, Authentication and Integrity, Stapleton shows how broad his security knowledge is to the world. When it comes to the world of encryption and cryptography, Stapleton has had his hand in a lot of different cryptographic pies. He has been part of cryptographic accreditation committees for many different standard bodies across the globe. … Those looking for a highly technical overview, interoperability guidance, and overall reference will find the book most rewarding. … One of the ways Stapleton brings his broad experience to the book is in the many areas where he compares different types of cryptosystems, technologies and algorithms. This enables the reader to understand what the appropriate type of authentication is most beneficial for the specific requirement. … For anyone looking for an authoritative text on how to fully implement cross-platform security and authentication across the enterprise, this is a valuable reference to get that job done.

—Book review by Ben Rothke, writing on

View the full review at:

… the author is well qualified to assay the vital information technology field of computer network security … The text is peppered with instructive figures and tables … very clearly written …

—John Maxymuk for ARBAonline

Table of Contents


About This Book

Audience for This Book

Guide to This Book


Standards Organizations

ISO TC68 Financial Services

ASC X9 Financial Services

Standards Depreciation

Risk Assessment

Threat Analysis

Vulnerability Analysis

Probability Analysis

Impact Analysis

Control Adjustments

Example Assessment


Data Classification

Data Groups

Data Tagging

Data States

Data in Transit

Encryption Methods

Encryption Methods 2

Encryption Methods 3

Data in Process

Data in Storage

Data Encryption

Session Encryption

Field Encryption

Data Tokenization

Data Encryption Keys


Authentication Factors

Single-Factor Authentication

Multifactor Authentication

Multisite Authentication

Knowledge Factors

Person Entity (PE) Authentication

Nonperson Entity (NPE) Authentication

Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA)

Zero Knowledge (ZK) Authentication

Possession Factors

Hardware Objects

Data Objects

Software Objects

One-Time Passwords (OTP)

Biometric Factors

Biometric Technology

Biometric Enrollment

Biometric Verification

Biometric Identification

Cryptography Factors

Symmetric Cryptography

Asymmetric Cryptography

Cryptographic Authentication

Cryptographic Protocols

Signature Synonyms

Handwritten Signatures

Dynamic Signatures

Digital Signatures

Electronic Signatures



Integrity Check Value (ICV) Description

ICV Composition

Integrity Check Points

Data Integrity States

Data in Transit

Data in Process

Data in Storage

Integrity Check Methods

Longitudinal Redundancy Check (LRC)

Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC)

Hash and Message Digest

Message Authentication Code (MAC)

Hashed Message Authentication Code (HMAC)

Digital Signature

Time-Stamp Token (TST)


Technical Considerations

Cryptographic Considerations

Operational Considerations

Legal Considerations


Technical Considerations

Privacy Data Elements

Cross-Border Jurisdictions

Cryptographic Considerations

Operational Considerations

Roles and Responsibilities

Security Policy

Legal Considerations

European Union (EU) Privacy Directive

Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

United Kingdom Data Privacy Act (DPA)

United States Privacy Laws and Guidelines

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)—Privacy of Consumer Financial Information

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Federal Privacy Act

Key Management

Cryptographic Algorithms


Message Authentication Code (MAC)

Hashed Message Authentication Code (HMAC)


Digital Signature

Key Transport

7 Key Agreement

Summary of Algorithms

Cryptographic Modules

Common Criteria

NIST Cryptographic Modules

ANSI Tamper Resistant Security Modules

ISO Secure Cryptographic Modules

Key-Management Life Cycle

Cryptography Risks

Life-Cycle Phases

Life-Cycle Controls

Cryptographic Architecture

Security Policies, Practices, and Procedures

Key Inventory

Network, Data, and Key Diagrams

Public Key Infrastructure

Certificate Authority

Registration Authority


Relying Party



About the Author

Jeff J. Stapleton has over 30 years experience developing and assessing payment systems and security techniques, including cryptography and biometrics. His career includes the major card brands (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover) for payment systems and security assessments; big-four accounting firm experience performing security assessments of applications, systems, and products; working with large and medium-sized financial institutions providing risk assessments and security compliance audits; and developing policies, practices, and procedures for security systems.

Jeff has participated in developing ISO and X9 security standards for over 25 years within the financial services industry. For the first five years, he participated on several X9 workgroups and has been an industry liaison and U.S. expert several times for various ISO workgroups. In addition, he has been chair of the X9F4 Cryptographic Protocols and Application Security Workgroup for 15 years. His experience includes participation on several X9 and ISO workgroups and development of over three dozen ISO and X9 standards. Some of the standards have multiple parts, which add to the overall count.

Jeff has published articles in various information security journals, IEEE papers, PKI Forum notes, and is a contributing author to several books on biometrics and cryptography. He is also a patent holder for cryptographic solutions.

Jeff has also authored various white papers for customers on debit card payments, key management, data loss prevention (DLP) solutions, and format-preserving encryption (FPE). He is a CISSP® and former Certified TG-3 Assessor (CTGA®) and PCI Qualified Security Assessor (QSA®). The CTGA and QSA are only viable for security consultants in active practice. He has also been a frequent public speaker at information security conferences, seminars, and webinars.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Information Technology
COMPUTERS / Security / General