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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.

Upcoming Standards – SCAP ARF Support

Posted May 31, 2011    Morey Haber

The Assessment Results Format (ARF) language is a general Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) results reporting language developed by the US Department of Defense (DoD) in conjunction with NIST and members of the SCAP vendor community. If you are unfamiliar with it, it provides a structured language for exchanging and exporting detailed, per-device assessment data between network assessment tools. ARF is intended to be used by vulnerability scanners, eXtensible Configuration Checklist Description Format (XCCDF) scanners, and other tools that collect detailed configuration data about IP enabled devices.

Simply, Asset Reporting Format (ARF) is a data model to express information about assets, and the relationships between assets and how to generate reports from the data. The standardized data model facilitates the reporting, correlating, and interoperability of asset information throughout environments and toolsets. ARF is a vendor neutral technology and one of the emerging standards for SCAP support. 

So why is this so important ? Consider the following use cases:

  1. Report the results of an assessment using SCAP content using a data stream defined by NIST 800-126. This provides a vehicle for SCAP scans to report data regardless of technology used to perform the assessment or configuration audit.
  2. Report the results of any device in a standard format by platform, configuration, patches, and/or vulnerabilities when no SCAP content is available. This provides a standardized reporting output from any tool, vulnerability assessment scanner  or even an asset inventory tool in the same format.
  3. Report the operational context metadata for any IT assets. This provides clarity into the assets operational runtime parameters and software in the same format.
  4. Collect all asset data in a central location and provide situational awareness reports based on any context.

The primary intent is to allow tools to become “best of breed” but allow the output to be generated in a single format such that data warehousing, reporting, and information integration can be achieved without supporting custom connectors and various proprietary data feeds. 

eEye’s Retina Network Security Scanner has already taken the first step to achieving this vision. Version 5.12.0 and higher now supports the ability to export SCAP content in ARF. When the draft specification of ARF 1.1 becomes certified eEye looks to incorporate the other use cases into the product and allow transparency for all exported data regardless of scan type. 

ARF is an emerging data standard that will enhance third party integrations and allow collaborative results to be shared and reported on between tools and vendors. eEye looks forward to this emerging data standard and our initial support of the draft specification. For more information on eEye and our support for SCAP or ARF, please click here.

Additional articles

CyberResiliency

6 things I like about Gartner’s Cyber Resiliency Strategy

Posted August 27, 2015    Nigel Hedges

There were 6 key principles, or recommendations, that Gartner suggested were important drivers towards a great cyber resiliency posture. I commented more than once during the conference that many of these things were not new. They are all important recommendations that are best when placed together and given to senior management and the board – a critical element of organisations that desperately need to “get it”.

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powerbroker-difference-1

Why Customers Choose PowerBroker: Flexible Deployment Options

Posted August 26, 2015    Scott Lang

BeyondTrust commissioned a study of our customer base in early 2015 to determine how we are different from other alternatives in the market. What we learned was that there were six key differentiators that separate BeyondTrust from other solution providers in the market. We call it the PowerBroker difference,

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Mac-Security-Enterprise

On Demand Webinar: Security Risk of Mac OS X in the Enterprise

Posted August 20, 2015    BeyondTrust Software

In the last several years, Mac administrators have come to realize that they may be just as vulnerable to exploits and malware as most other operating systems. New malware and adware is released all the time, and there have been serious vulnerabilities patched by Apple in the past several years, some of which may afford attackers full control of your systems.

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