Layer 8

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Layer 8 is used to refer to "user" or "political" layer on top of the OSI model of computer networking.[1][2]

The OSI model is a 7-layer abstract model that describes an architecture of data communications for networked computers. The layers build upon each other, allowing for abstraction of specific functions in each one. The top (7th) layer is the Application Layer describing methods and protocols of software applications. It is then held that the user is the 8th layer. Network appliances vendor like Cyberoam claim that Layer 8 allows IT administrators to identify users, control Internet activity of users in the network, set user based policies and generate reports by username.

According to Bruce Schneier and RSA:

  • Layer 8: The individual person.
  • Layer 9: The organization.
  • Layer 10: Government or legal compliance[3]

Since the OSI layer numbers are commonly used to discuss networking topics, a troubleshooter may describe an issue caused by a user to be a layer 8 issue, similar to the PEBKAC acronym, the ID-Ten-T Error and also PICNIC.[4]

Political economic theory[5] holds that the 8th layer is important to understanding the OSI Model. Political policies such as network neutrality, spectrum management, and digital inclusion all shape the technologies comprising layers 1-7 of the OSI Model.

An 8th layer has also been referenced to physical (real-world) controllers containing an external hardware device which interacts with an OSI model network. An example of this is ALI in Profibus.

A network guru T-shirt from the 1980s shows Layer 8 as the "financial" layer, and Layer 9 as the "political" layer.[6] The design was credited to Evi Nemeth.

Similar pseudo-layers in the TCP/IP model[edit]

In the TCP/IP model, the 4-layer model of the Internet, the 5th layer is analogously sometimes described as the political layer (and the 6th as the religious layer). This appears in RFC 2321,[7] which is a humorous April Fools' Day RFC published in 1998.

Other uses[edit]

OSI user layers
  • Linux Gazette carries a regular column called Layer 8 Linux Security.[8]
  • Layers 8, 9, and 10 are sometimes used to represent individuals, organizations, and governments for the user layer of Service Oriented Architectures. See OSI User Layers figure for details.
  • User-in-the-loop is a serious concept including Layer 8 as a system level model.
  • In 2016, a company shipped a product called Layer8 to "bridge the universal divide between PC users and IT managers".[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gregg, Michael (2007-05-01), "OSI: Securing the Stack, Layer 8 -- Social engineering and security policy", TechTarget, (Registration required (help)) 
  2. ^ "The Layer 8* Initiative". North Carolina State University, Information Technology Division. 2005-01-05. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2018-05-10. 
  3. ^ Farquhar, Ian (2010-12-07). "Engineering Security Solutions at Layer 8 and Above". Archived from the original on 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2018-05-10. 
  4. ^ "Layer 8 Performance Issues". Apposite Tech. 2017-10-30. Retrieved 2018-05-10. 
  5. ^ Mosco, Vincent (1996), The Political Economy of Communication: Rethinking and Renewal, SAGE Publications, Inc, ISBN 0-8039-8560-6 .
  6. ^ "ISC 9-Layer OSI Model Cotton T-Shirt". ISC. 2015-01-14. Retrieved 2018-05-10. 
  7. ^ RFC 2321
  8. ^ Kachold, Lisa (July 2009). "Layer 8 Linux Security: OPSEC for Linux Common Users, Developers and Systems Administrators". Linux Gazette. No. 164. 
  9. ^ "OctoInsight's Layer8 technology helps rebranded company surge". Prnewswire. 2016-06-09. Retrieved 2018-05-10.