Tag Archive: ISO
About every two years, I indulge myself with a new laptop. This time, I waited almost three years and will be retiring my old Dell XPS M1330 for a new Alienware M15x. I wanted raw horsepower for virtual machines in a laptop format and was not as concerned about battery life (since I carry an iPad for notes and email) or weight since I travel with a Targus TSB700 rolling backpack.
I started collecting all of the software I needed to rebuild my system and realized I have a quite a few solutions to install in order to meet my day-to-day work requirements. This includes everything from Microsoft Office 2010 and Nero 10, to all the solutions eEye offers and of course, gigabyte upon gigabyte of virtual machine sessions. This made me think about how many of these solutions are now bundles and suites compared to the standalone products of years ago. MS Office 2010 contains all the programs I need from word processing to presentations, and Nero, all the tools I could ever need to create promotional DVDs, website videos, and even system backups. As these tools add more features, they cover additional areas required by me for daily work in lieu of even more and more point solutions.
As solutions add more features, consider this example: a recent presales Request For Proposal (RFP) queried all the different regulatory standards and assessment standards we are able to support. These include out-of-the-box assessments, dedicated reports, flexible dashboards and best practices to help automate these processes. After a few minutes of digging around, I compiled this short list (not really short):
- SCAP – Security Content Automation Protocol
- CVE – Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures
- CVSS – Common Vulnerability Scoring System
- OVAL – Open Vulnerability and Assessment Language
- XCCDF – The eXtensible Configuration Checklist Description Format
- CCE – Common Configuration Enumeration
- CPE – Common Platform Enumeration
- STIG – Security Technical Implementation Guides
- IAVA – Information Assurance Vulnerability Alert
- FDCC – Federal Desktop Core Configuration
- USGCB – The United States Government Configuration Baseline
- CIS – The Center for Internet Security
- PCI – Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council
- HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
- GLBA – The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act
- SOX – Sarbanes-Oxley Act
- ITIL –Information Technology Infrastructure Library
- COBiT – Common Objectives for Information and related Technology
- FERC-NERC – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
- ISO – International Organization for Standardization
- MASS 201 – Commonwealth of Massachusetts 201
- NIST 800-53 – Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations
- BugTraq – Bugtraq
I realized after creating the list, that while many vendors offer point solutions for some of these standards and regulations, eEye offers all of these in one solution: Retina. For the same reason we use MS Office as a comprehensive tool for daily operations, Retina provides a single comprehensive tool for unified vulnerability management and meets the most common regulatory standards facing businesses today.
Now, if I had to go back and find point solutions for each, my cost would skyrocket and my learning curve would ramp up exponentially. I have seen companies use one solution for PCI and another for Configuration Compliance and Benchmarks (FDCC, CIS, USGCB, etc.). And many use a third solution for internal vulnerability assessment (rarely the same vendor due to cost), a fourth for patch management, and maybe even a fifth for any government requirements like STIGS and IAVAs or special projects.
There are many standards out there and so many different requirements, it is no wonder that security costs are rising and users are required to work harder to meet these regulations. To address this problem, eEye can provide a solution to these initiatives in a single tool and lower the cost of ownership. Wouldn’t you benefit from a single tool that can solve these requirements verses the alternatives?
In recent years there have been an increasing number of legislated regulatory mandates with which organizations must comply with to prove the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information stored in their systems and provided through external parties. After reading various whitepapers, websites and other articles that loosely use the terms “PCI, HIPAA, SOX, CIS, NIST, ISO, CIS, COBiT, FISMA, and FDCC”, heads can start spinning. Like many of our customers and Retina users, I am not an auditor or a lawyer, but am constantly bombarded with these acronyms on a weekly basis. The acronyms listed above can be loosely broken down into three categories, or sets of instructions, which help organizations meet their compliancy and security goals: Regulations, Frameworks and Benchmarks.
In some cases the lines between the three can be blurry, but understanding their intent and relationship to one another can help you understand how these pieces can fit together to support an overall security and compliance program.
Regulations are legal restrictions created, governed and publicized by government administrative agencies. Regulations typically do not prescribe detail on how to perform, configure, or manage IT systems, but they clearly indicate the goals a security and compliance program must meet. Examples of these regulations are Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, GLBA and Basel II (Europe). Several states are now requiring compliance to the Data Security Standard (DSS) . This standard outlines a set of international security requirements for safeguarding cardholder data. To comply with PCI DSS, organizations must also perform steps as known as validation requirements , which includes a requirement of quarterly scanning by a PCI approved scanning vendor.
Frameworks provide a defined support structure in which a project can be organized and developed. Frameworks are designed to provide a complete security program for an organization. These frameworks may be implemented to support the goals of multiple regulations, and often recommend that hardening best practices, or benchmarks, be used for technical protections. Examples of frameworks include: ITIL, CobiT and COSO, NIST 800-53, and ISO 17799 / 27002.
Benchmarks are often used to measure and monitor common elements related to the security and IT infrastructure known as “general computer controls”. Benchmarks outline a set of criteria (some of which may be mandatory), voluntary guidelines, and best practices. Whereas frameworks offer nonspecific goals, benchmarks offer prescriptive guidance over tests and settings that should be used to harden the IT environment and protect IT assets against specific risks. Examples of standards include vendor/customer best practices, CIS, FDCC, and DISA checklists.
The task of demonstrating adequate implementation, management, and monitoring of computer and detailed security controls is a challenge. Given the demands of our customers, we have enhanced the Retina scan engine and will soon be releasing a configuration compliance module that will provide drag and drop functionality for over 50 benchmarks spanning Microsoft, CIS, NIST, FDCC and others. This will allow customers to automate the vulnerability and compliance scanning over general computer controls that may be shared across multiple regulations and laws. This will allow organizations to monitor compliance to meet internal security goals. We will be also releasing reporting packs that include SOX, HIPAA, PCI, GLBA, NIST, FERC, MASS 201 that will map the controls being monitored back to the regulations and laws for which our customers need to report.