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A Basic Guide to SCAP

Posted March 24, 2011    Morey Haber

The Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP, pronounced S-cap) is a suite of open standards that when referenced together, deliver an automated vulnerability management, measurement, and policy compliance evaluation for network assets. The first version of the suite specification focused on standardizing communication of endpoint related data and to provide a standardized approach to maintaining the security of enterprise systems. It provides a means to identify, express and measure security data in standardized ways such that products from multiple vendors can consume or produce SCAP content for correlation of security information. Each standard within the specification is individually maintained and provides revisions and updates independent of the SCAP specification.

Version 1.0 of SCAP includes the following standards and versions:

The draft version of 1.1 of specification expands the specification to include Open Checklist Interactive Language (OCIL, pronounced  O-sil) and changes specification to adhere to version 5.8 of the OVAL specification. OCIL is a new component that defines a framework for expressing a set of questions a user must answer and corresponding procedures to interpret responses to these queries.  OCIL was developed as a supplement for IT security checklists and is not restricted to IT security alone. It allows an assessment to occur and vital information entered that not can be observed electronically (i.e Is there a lock on the server rack door?). This information is then stored with the results to obtain a better picture of the assets security.

The two most common implementations of SCAP (so far) are for vulnerability assessment and configuration compliance. Using OVAL definitions, an SCAP compatible (certified) solution can ingest an XML file with vulnerability signatures or configuration benchmark checks and perform a local or network based assessment for systems that are non-compliant. The product will store the results of the scan in OVAL results and XCCDF results format and have references to CVE, CCE, CPE, and CVSS in the result XML file using standard nomenclature to describe the finding. Essentially, this process defines the check types and definitions using OVAL, and how those checks should be applied and reported using XCCDF, and that the contents of the results all contain the same parameters regardless of product. This makes interoperability between SCAP certified products possible for OVAL content creation to reporting on the end results and storage in a database.

eEye’s Retina solutions are SCAP Certified. If you are looking for a solution that can communicate vulnerability and configuration information in a standard format, please click here. Our solutions are enabled to solve the problems SCAP was designed for.

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Additional articles

6

A Quick Look at MS14-068

Posted November 20, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

Microsoft recently released an out of band patch for Kerberos.  Taking a look at the Microsoft security bulletin, it seems like there is some kind of issue with Kerberos signatures related to tickets. Further information is available in the Microsoft SRD Blogpost So it looks like there is an issue with PAC signatures.  But what…

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Password Game Show

Managing Shared Accounts for Privileged Users: 5 Best Practices for Achieving Control and Accountability

Posted November 20, 2014    Scott Lang

How do organizations ensure accountability of shared privileged accounts to meet compliance and security requirements without impacting administrator productivity? Consider these five best practices…

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Triggering MS14-066

Triggering MS14-066

Posted November 17, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

Microsoft addressed CVE-2014-6321 this Patch Tuesday, which has been hyped as the next Heartbleed.  This vulnerability (actually at least 2 vulnerabilities) promises remote code execution in applications that use the SChannel Security Service Provider, such as Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). The details have been scarce.  Lets fix that. Looking at the bindiff of schannel.dll, we see a…

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