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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.

Customized Reporting: Just The Way You Like It

Posted May 9, 2011    Morey Haber

A solution can never have too many reports or can it ? I have seen products that have hundreds of reports and the titles and descriptions vary in just subtle ways using words like “sort by” or “group by”. Finding the one you need and that meets your business requirements can be a challenge and normally requires a trial and error process of running them and seeing if the results meet your expectations. Often however, there are some attributes that fall short and you are left feeling less than fully satisfied. Sound familiar?

One of the more common items we see in Requests For Information (RFI) is the need for customizable reporting to overcome these problems. Users in general want access to the raw data without going directly to the database and have a solution for building a custom report that looks and operates like any canned report the product provides. The customizable report needs to have the ability to:

• Plot the data on a variety of graph types from line, bar, area, spline, pie, etc.
• Choose the time range to for consideration
• Choose both the x and y axis from all applicable data sets
• Filter the data based on the results collected
• Sort the data on any column in the customized report
• Save the customized template for later use or export to another system

These sound reasonable; right? Well in reviewing the tool sets from my competitors I have found very few, if any, that actually allow detailed customizable reporting let alone to the granularity we just outlined. So how do most people get the reports they need? If the vendor publishes the database schema or the user is amicable to writing scripts, then using third party tools, and some labor, is the only way to extract the information you need.

If you are new to Unified Vulnerability Management or do not want to build your own custom reports from scratch, you should consider Retina CS and Retina Insight. Retina Insight contains a feature called the “Pivot Grid” that allows you to build custom historical reports based on almost every piece of data collected by the solution. In fact, it allows you to build reports and charts exactly the way you want them in order to meet virtually any business requirement. Consider the sample screenshot below:

Key systems have been filtered (and masked in the sample) in the database using a simple UI filter and a step chart created summarizing the total number of vulnerabilities compared to which are zero days (1 for True) and which are published and patchable (0 for Zero Day False). Essentially, the user has created a custom chart far beyond a standard VA plot to highlight which critical systems have zero day threats and how they compare to the total number of published and patchable vulnerabilities per system. If this was a sensitive environment housing (PHI, PAN, etc.)  information I would be thinking in the back of my mind about Advanced Persistent Threats since many of the vulnerabilities (and a few distributed zero day vulnerabilities) are systems that are critical to my business and how I can mitigate both types promptly regardless of patch availability. 

Customizable reporting can be performed just the way you like it within eEye solutions. For more information on Retina Insight, please click here. eEye has taken years of experience and recommendations from our clients and built a Unified Vulnerability Management solution that can meet your customized reporting and vulnerability assessment needs. Now is the time to look at eEye.

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