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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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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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Why big data breaches won’t always be so easy

Posted September 19, 2014    Byron Acohido

This blog post is republished with the permission of ThirdCertainty. See the original post here. – By: Byron Acohido, Editor-In-Chief, ThirdCertainty Some day, perhaps fairly soon, it will be much more difficult for data thieves to pull off capers like the headline-grabbing hacks of Home Depot and Target. That’s not a pipe dream. It’s the projected outcome…

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8 Reasons Your Privileged Password Management Solution Will Fail

Posted September 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Leveraging complex, frequently updated passwords is a basic security best practice for protecting privileged accounts in your organization. But if passwords are such a no-brainer, why do two out of three data breaches tie back to poor password management? The fact is that not all privileged password management strategies are created equal, so it’s critical…

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You Change Your Oil Regularly; Why Not Your Passwords?

Posted September 11, 2014    Chris Burd

There are many things in life that get changed regularly:  your car oil, toothbrush and hopefully, your bed sheets.  It’s rare that you give these things much thought – even when you forget to change them. But what if you’re forgetting something that can cost you millions of dollars if left unchanged for long periods…

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