Security+ Interoperability Agreements

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If you plan to take the Security+ exam, you should have a good understanding of interoperability agreements. For example, can you answer this question:

Q. Your organization is considering storage of sensitive data in a cloud provider. Your organization wants to ensure the data is encrypted while at rest and while in transit. What type of interoperability agreement can your organization use to ensure the data is encrypted while in transit?

A. SLA

B. BPA

C. MOU

D. ISA

The answer this Security+ interoperability agreements practice question is at the end of the post.

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Interoperability Agreements

There are multiple instances where an organization works with another organization as a third party and it can bring up a variety of security issues. A third party is an entity that isn’t directly involved in activities between two primary parties.

In many situations, it’s appropriate to use a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to ensure that third parties understand their responsibilities. This can be a completely separate agreement, but is more commonly embedded as a clause in a contract with the third party.

In addition to NDAs, organizations often utilize different interoperability agreements to identify various responsibilities. These include ISAs, SLAs, MOUs, and BPAs.

Interconnection security agreement (ISA)

An ISA specifies technical and security requirements for planning, establishing, maintaining, and disconnecting a secure connection between two or more entities. For example, it may stipulate certain types of encryption for all data in transit.

Service level agreement (SLA)

An SLA is an agreement between a company and a vendor that stipulates performance expectations, such as minimum uptime and maximum downtime levels. Organizations use SLAs when contracting services from service providers such as Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Many SLAs include a monetary penalty if the vendor is unable to meet the agreed-upon expectations.

Memorandum of understanding (MOU)

An MOU expresses an understanding between two or more parties indicating their intention to work together toward a common goal. It is similar to an SLA in that it defines the responsibilities of each of the parties. However, it is less formal than an SLA and does not include monetary penalties. Additionally, it doesn’t have strict guidelines in place to protect sensitive data.

Many times, MOUs are used in conjunction with ISAs. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-47, “Security Guide for Interconnecting Information Technology Systems,” includes more in-depth information on MOUs and ISAs.

Business partners agreement (BPA)

A BPA is a written agreement that details the relationship between business partners, including their obligations toward the partnership. It typically identifies the shares of profits or losses each partner will take, their responsibilities to each other, and what to do if a partner chooses to leave the partnership. One of the primary benefits of a BPA is that it can help settle conflicts when they arise.

Remember this

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) defines responsibilities of each party, but it is not as strict as a service level agreement (SLA) or interconnection security agreement (ISA). If the parties will be handling sensitive data, they should include an ISA to ensure strict guidelines are in place to protect the data while in transit.


Q. Your organization is considering storage of sensitive data in a cloud provider. Your organization wants to ensure the data is encrypted while at rest and while in transit. What type of interoperability agreement can your organization use to ensure the data is encrypted while in transit?

A. SLA

B. BPA

C. MOU

D. ISA

Answer. D is correct. An interconnection security agreement (ISA) specifies technical and security requirements for secure connections and can ensure data is encrypted while in transit.

None of the other agreements address the connection.

A service level agreement (SLA) stipulates performance expectations of a vendor.

A business partners agreement (BPA) is a written agreement for business partners.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) expresses an understanding between two parties to work together.

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Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-401) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Click here if you're looking for SYO-501 Practice Test Questions

Simulated Performance-based Questions

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Simulated performance-based questions included with all

packages that include practice test questions.

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

Simulated performance-based questions included with

all packages that include practice test questions.

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