A byte of compliance

April 2010 Information Security

Protecting sensitive information today is part of the whole process of securing companies’ IT infrastructures. Unfortunately, with the myriad threats facing companies from external and internal sources, whether driven by corporate espionage, identity theft or plain greed, securing your infrastructure is a never-ending and always-evolving task.

To add to the stress those responsible for risk management are under, best practices and legislation regarding corporate governance have added more to the task as companies need to be able to justify their security processes according to strict global standards. An almost impossible task in an environment of budget cuts and a scarcity of skills.

To make this task less daunting, and to assist in automating as much of it as possible in order to allow human resources to focus on value-adding work, Bytes Systems Integration (BSI) has announced its appointment as the Tripwire reseller in southern Africa.

According to BSI’s Dereck Sigamoney, Tripwire helps companies improve their IT security in accordance with international standards, such as PCI, NERC, CIS, and HIPAA, for example, based on the configuration each business determines it needs to comply to. The system accomplishes this by constantly and unobtrusively monitoring the company’s IT environment according to the standards specified, pointing out areas of non-adherence as they are discovered. The system also tracks changes made to IT systems in order to ensure that changes are legitimate and do not leave the company open to attack.

Dereck Sigamoney
Dereck Sigamoney

Tripwire also runs configuration assessments on servers to ensure they are configured to the appropriate standards. For example, a mail server needs to be able to send and receive data from the Internet with ease, but it also needs to be configured to prevent unauthorised users from accessing other people’s e-mail or even exploiting the system to gain access to the IT infrastructure. With updates and new malware hitting companies at a rapid rate, monitoring and assessing the potential vulnerabilities on their servers is not something IT staff can easily do manually. Tripwire automates the process and continually checks that standards are being maintained.

Apart from configuration monitoring, the system also offers the ability to manage file and log data to ensure they are not manipulated to hide illegal activities.

Should some security breach occur, Tripwire’s Log Centre will be able to trace the incident to its root cause as the system records every event. An analysis of the log will clearly highlight the event and assist in preventing future breaches. And for organisations wary of auditors checking their security processes, the Tripwire Log Centre stores all the raw activity information that happens on the infrastructure it protects, allowing for a complete audit trail of any event to be generated if required.

Sigamoney notes that local companies, apart from financial organisations or those with international parents, have been slow in meeting global compliance and governance standards. With more local governance pressure and not-so-subtle international pressure, these companies have realised they need to look to technology to assist them in meeting and maintaining international standards.

Tripwire is an out-of-the-box solution that installs agents on corporate IT systems which then automatically and continually records changes in the environment. Users are alerted to any non-compliance and can quicky rectify the situation with remediation guidance from Tripwire. For companies with their own governance processes already in place, Tripwire can be customised to incorporate these requirements into global standards and report on the business’s adherence to them as well.

For more information contact Dereck Sigamoney, Bytes Technology Group, +27 (0)82 673 4546, [email protected]





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