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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Configuration Compliance and Regulatory Reporting

Posted September 9, 2010    Brad Hibbert

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.

Get more information regarding eEye’s Compliance and Regulatory solutions >>

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BeyondTrust Webcast: Darren Mar-Elia’s 4 Active Directory Change Scenarios to Track

Posted August 20, 2014    Chris Burd

In our latest webcast, we joined Darren Mar-Elia, CTO at SDM Software, to discuss best practices for Active Directory (AD) change management. Here are some key takeaways from the presentation, followed by a link to a full-length video of the presentation. Mar-Elia kicks things off with a critical insight: that the best AD change management…

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New IT Security Best Practices for Maintaining “Business as Usual” Despite Evolving Threats

Posted August 13, 2014    Morey Haber

It’s time to get back to business. Here in the U.S., summer vacations are wrapping up and businesses are looking forward to closing out 2014. Over the past year, we’ve seen several incidents that warrant changes in the ways consumers make purchases and businesses conduct transactions. Consider last week’s theft of a whopping 1.2 billion…

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Retina Vulnerability Audits – August 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted August 12, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

The following is a list of Retina vulnerability audits for this August 2014 Patch Tuesday: MS14-043 - Vulnerability in Windows Media Center Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2978742) 34924 – Microsoft WMC Remote Code Execution (2978742) MS14-044 - Vulnerabilities in SQL Server Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2984340) 34915 – Microsoft SQL Server Multiple Vulnerabilities (2984340) – 2008 34916 –…