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A2040-924 - Assessment- IBM WebSphere Portal 8.0 Migration and Support Instructions - Dump Information

Vendor : IBM
Exam Code : A2040-924
Exam Name : Assessment- IBM WebSphere Portal 8.0 Migration and Support Instructions
Questions and Answers : 68 Q & A
Updated On : April 18, 2019
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A2040-924 Assessment- IBM WebSphere Portal 8.0 Migration and Support Instructions

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A2040-924 exam Dumps Source : Assessment- IBM WebSphere Portal 8.0 Migration and Support Instructions

Test Code : A2040-924
Test Name : Assessment- IBM WebSphere Portal 8.0 Migration and Support Instructions
Vendor Name : IBM
Q&A : 68 Real Questions

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IBM Assessment- IBM WebSphere Portal

IBM Unveils New choices for sooner and greater Secured path to Hybrid Cloud | killexams.com Real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12, 2019 (Canada NewsWire by means of COMTEX) -- tools and features designed to assist companies set up new applications across hybrid cloud environments with protection and effectivity

IBM suppose -- IBM IBM, -0.66% nowadays introduced new hybrid cloud choices to aid organizations migrate, integrate and manipulate functions and workloads seamlessly and with security across any public or deepest cloud and on-premises IT ambiance.

The IBM Institute for enterprise cost estimates that with the aid of 2021, 98 p.c of companies surveyed plan to adopt hybrid architectures, but simply 38 percent may have the strategies and tools they need to function that environment(1). The process today is difficult since it is largely manual with predominant protection implications and a scarcity of consistent management and integration equipment.

As part of ultra-modern news, IBM is launching new hybrid cloud equipment and functions designed to aid enterprises navigate the complexities of this new landscape:

-- New IBM Cloud Integration Platform designed to cut back time and complexity to launch new services and applications across cloud environments in a constant and comfy method. -- New IBM features designed to suggest on holistic cloud ideas. -- New IBM features designed to simplify the administration of materials across cloud environments. -- New functions designed to supply trade-main safety for information and functions within the public cloud.

"At Aetna, a CVS health business, we see hybrid cloud as an integral part of our transformation event," talked about Claus Torp Jensen, Chief know-how Officer, Aetna. "We need to use the most effective functions from quite a lot of cloud providers to create a seamless buyer event and digitalize underlying company procedures. For that, we are taking an API-centric approach to integration and making sure that every one of our APIs are comfortably available across our hybrid cloud ecosystem."

New Cloud Integration Platform Designed to Dramatically cut back Coding Time, Complexity

The IBM Cloud Integration Platform is designed to securely join applications, software and functions from any dealer in spite of even if these methods are on-premises, in a public cloud or a private cloud. The platform brings collectively a finished set of integration equipment in a single construction ambiance. it will probably assist increase productiveness because integration experts can write, test and relaxed code once, keep it within the platform and reuse it - an onerous assignment that once monopolized their time. this can assist organizations reduce the time and value of integration with the aid of 1/three, while staying inside their exciting necessities for safety and compliance(2).

Integration is essential as enterprises optimize enterprise tactics and create extra personalized client experiences. however, integration is fitting increasingly advanced as a result of many corporations surveyed are already using between two to fifteen distinct clouds and want to set up new cloud services akin to AI, analytics and blockchain to dwell forward of the competitors(three).

With the IBM Cloud Integration Platform, businesses can rapidly deliver to market new capabilities while releasing up integration specialists to focal point on the more complex, gadget-degree integrations.

"Most significant businesses have facts and workloads spread across dissimilar public and personal clouds, SaaS and on-premises environments - every so often as a result of their enterprise manner infrastructure, however also for compliance, regulatory and facts privacy motives," referred to Denis Kennelly, regular supervisor, cloud integration, IBM. "The problem in this environment is to beat information and know-how siloes to promptly set up new business services and applications with protection. nowadays, we're launching new capabilities designed to help unleash the entire power of the hybrid cloud."

learn more about the new IBM Cloud Integration Platform through visiting: www.ibm.com/cloud/integration/platform

New end-To-conclusion IBM Hybrid Cloud services

IBM is launching new IBM functions for Cloud method and Design, a comprehensive set of services designed to advise valued clientele on the way to architect the correct holistic cloud method from design, migration, integration, street mapping and architectural services to navigating their experience to cloud. IBM features is establishing dedicated groups of consultants who're certified experts within the latest functions and technologies across assorted cloud systems. groups will use open and comfortable multicloud concepts, drawing upon IBM's experience in IT transformation and collaboration with an ecosystem of cloud companions. the brand new features leverage IBM's trade-main Cloud Innovate formulation, computerized choice accelerators and IBM Cloud garage method to help valued clientele with co-introduction and scaled innovation in application development, migration, modernization and management.

constructing off of a fresh partnership enlargement announcement with ServiceNow, IBM is also introducing new IBM functions for Multicloud management to provide a single gadget to assist businesses simplify the administration of their IT substances throughout varied cloud providers, on-premises environments and private clouds.

The start of IBM services for Multicloud administration contains three layers designed to provide a single administration and operations system:

-- business management - purposes that provide digital service ordering, modern provider administration, and price governance to aid manipulate spend; -- Orchestration - an automation layer that helps enable functions of differing types, from diverse vendors to be integrated quite simply and made obtainable to patrons; -- Operations - a layer that helps permit infrastructure and operations administrators to display screen and retain methods, together with legacy infrastructure, deepest cloud, public cloud and container environments.

in addition, it comprises a unified, self-provider event to users to facilitate faster and less demanding access to cloud capabilities by way of an environment integrated with the ServiceNow Portal to configure and purchase cloud features and solutions from dissimilar cloud providers. It also offers performance administration functions and offers the skill to display screen and manage the health of the cloud.

"As we grow our digital enterprise, moving our applications to the cloud is crucial to help modernize our techniques and carry even improved experiences for our shoppers. Adopting the appropriate strategy and migration strategy to cloud has to be seamless and requires an figuring out of our IT panorama," noted Sarp Uzkan, vice chairman, IT, Tribune Publishing. "IBM cloud advisory capabilities and tools offered an in depth assessment that determined no longer only which functions would be top-quality to move to the cloud but a robust business case that might meet our needs and enabling us to explore the choicest approach for relocating to the cloud."

learn more concerning the new IBM features via traveling: http://www.ibm.com/blogs/cloud-computing/2019/02/12/new-ibm-features-multicloud-world/

industry-leading security for facts and purposes within the Public Cloud

safety continues to be a correct difficulty throughout all industries and markets when deploying apps and records in hybrid cloud environments. in an effort to lower threats, organisations need to the capacity to offer protection to information at each stage of its adventure, effortlessly control entry and identity and gain visibility into the protection posture for all of their functions.

IBM is launching the IBM Cloud Hyper offer protection to Crypto carrier, which is designed to deliver business-main security on the general public cloud and is made feasible by using bringing IBM LinuxONE into IBM's international cloud information centers. This provider will supply encryption key management with a committed cloud hardware security module (HSM) constructed on the only FIPS a hundred and forty-2 level four-based technology offered by a public cloud provider(4).

here is a part of the IBM Cloud Hyper give protection to family of functions, which is already presenting enterprises like DACS and Solitaire Interglobal with business-main safety and resiliency for their applications. To supply excessive stages of protection across each public and private clouds, IBM is also announcing massive enhancements to IBM Cloud inner most on Z.

be taught greater about IBM's new capabilities in cloud protection with the aid of touring: https://ibm.com/blogs/bluemix/2019/02/cloud-safety-correct/


-- Video: How IBM Hybrid Clouds pressure Innovation whereas Managing Complexity -- weblog: New IBM capabilities help businesses manipulate the new multicloud world -- weblog: The State of IBM Cloud security: IBM feel 2019 -- weblog: The better of IBM Z and LinuxONE in the Public and personal Cloud -- blog: A "Kubernetes everywhere" method: construct & set up commercial enterprise-Scale up to date purposes for Hybrid Cloud

About IBM believe:At believe 2019, IBM will define new choices, customer engagements, partnerships, expertise breakthroughs and developer equipment that underscore how IBM and partners are altering the way the area works. For greater counsel, consult with the IBM feel 2019 Newsroom: https://newsroom.ibm.com/consider. observe the convention on Twitter at #think2019 and @ibmlive, and go to https://www.ibm.com/events/feel/ for the full agenda and reside streaming agenda.

IBM's statements involving its plans, instructions, and intent are discipline to alternate or withdrawal with out note at IBM's sole discretion. information related to talents future products is supposed to define our usual product course and it's going to not be relied on in making a paying for choice. The counsel mentioned regarding talents future items is not a commitment, promise, or criminal obligation to bring any material, code or functionality. assistance about knowledge future products may additionally not be integrated into any contract. The construction, unencumber, and timing of any future aspects or performance described for our items is still at our sole discretion.

Footnotes1. IBM Institute for company value: Assembling Your Cloud Orchestra, October 20182. in line with client adventure and total financial have an impact on methodology developed through Forrester analysis, Inc. (the total financial influence of an API administration answer, February 2017) 3. IBM Institute for company price: Assembling Your Cloud Orchestra, October 20184. presently accessible in beta, deliberate for widely wide-spread availability March 2019

Media Contact:Sarah MurphyIBM Media members of the family srmurphy@us.ibm.com

View normal content material to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ibm-unveils-new-offerings-for-faster-and-extra-secured-route-to-hybrid-cloud-300794061.html

supply IBM

View original content material to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2019/12/c3736.html

source: IBM

source: believe 2019

Copyright (C) 2019 CNW group. All rights reserved.

IBM Buffs office and WebSphere Portal | killexams.com Real Questions and Pass4sure dumps


IBM Buffs place of work and WebSphere Portal IBM this week announced new and up-to-date items in its workplace family unit of collaboration items, together with 19 function-based built-in applications for medium and small enterprise valued clientele. The company also referred to it's going to deliver advert hoc net conferencing as a provider for valued clientele starting in December.

The options supply customizable company features for specific industries or classes of company tasks and operations – all developed the usage of IBM workplace products and selected third-birthday celebration purposes.

even though possibly a cliché through now, IBM officials also continued to emphasize the modifications between a “community-delivered” collaboration ambiance and one based essentially on own computer systems – primarily Microsoft’s view. “[With Workplace Solutions] you do not need to have Microsoft workplace,” says Larry Bowden, vice president, of IBM workplace utility solutions.

IBM designed the options by using researching the job roles required for performing typical units of initiatives or operations inside a collection of vertical markets. on the equal time, it considered a way to implement horizontal business roles inside typical businesses’ IT environments, together with procurement, finance and administration, consumer service, and human supplies. the new workplace options provide built-in software sets that meet at that nexus; for example, systems to give branch banking or retail store management functions.

“They’ve taken classes out of IBM’s services neighborhood and . . . they have designed these packages to make those individuals with the key business roles more effective,” says Robert Mahowald, analysis manager at IDC. That may still, the reasoning goes, make these organizations that undertake those solutions more a hit.

since the solutions and IBM workplace items help industry necessities, including Java and XML, other items will also be integrated with different techniques as neatly. IBM office comprises Lotus place of work, WebSphere Portal, Lotus Notes and Domino, and WebSphere Everyplace, in response to the business’s internet site.

“Our focal point is on organizational productivity,” says Bowden, adding, “Having a aggressive side isn't pretty much as good as having a sustainable aggressive part.”

in fact, implementing total built-in methods in response to the features that a company needs to function as neatly as the roles of the americans who perform the crucial initiatives, and offering that to consumers in an answer package it truly is the next best thing – or so IBM officials hope – to a turnkey solution, offers that sustainable part, enterprise executives put up.

The options don’t do every thing. Implementation details continue to be however IBM’s intent is to take a part of the pain out of the method for small and medium-sized businesses that don’t have a division dedicated to proposing IT. “Why don’t we get you 70 p.c of ways?” asks Bowden rhetorically.

in a single of IBM’s demonstration eventualities, a bank branch teller receives a huge check and wishes to achieve the approval of a client service adult, and also needs to clear the deposit for regulatory compliance and auditing. The branch banking solution offers job roles for three distinctive worker task sets to meet the mandatory enterprise features. certainly, the new office options encompass greater than 30 job capabilities or worker roles, company spokespeople referred to.

among the areas the place IBM is offering new office solutions are: retail, electronics, manufacturing, finance, telecommunications, executive, lifestyles sciences, healthcare and car businesses. additionally, the enterprise has updated its branch Banking answer in addition to its company Controls and Reporting answer (now at edition 2.5).

essentially, although, IBM is taking a a bit different tack on coopetition. To companies like Oracle, SAP and PeopleSoft, “They’re asserting, ‘we’re going to give the plumbing for you,’” says IDC’s Mahowald, leaving a part of the pie for other players.

IBM will also begin providing on demand net conferencing subsequent month, officers mentioned. “if in case you have a browser and a mobile, that you may install a web convention,” Bowden says. “instead of purchasing the software from us, you could simply purchase the carrier.” This comes as a direct try and take company faraway from Microsoft’s reside meeting, says Mahowald.

moreover, IBM also introduced a brand new product in the place of work household. IBM place of work features categorical v2.0 is a fresh product designed for small and mid-sized businesses and departments in tremendous firms. It contains crew collaboration, document administration, web varieties, assignment lists, and portal services as neatly consumer customization aspects. IBM office capabilities specific additionally integrates with the person's existing applications and statistics, in addition to email, calendar and tackle publication, and offers more than a few collaboration tools including built-in fast messaging. it will ship in December, officials observed.

at last, IBM debuted the newest free up of WebSphere Portal – version 5.1 – which adds virtual portals, enterprise process workflow aspects, and better content material management capabilities. edition 5.1 might be purchasable by way of the end of November.

The company will announce pricing for the entire items and services when the items are available, company officials said.

in regards to the creator

Stuart J. Johnston has coated know-how, primarily Microsoft, for the reason that February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, advice Week, and notebook World, in addition to for commercial enterprise Developer, XML & web functions, and .internet magazines.

Collaboration with IBM WebSphere Portlet manufacturing facility and IBM WebSphere Portal | killexams.com Real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

This chapter introduces you to two powerful application items which are desirable for enforcing a portal. The IBM WebSphere Portlet manufacturing unit gives a building environment for growing the applications for a portal. The IBM WebSphere Portal presents the tools for constructing and managing a portal and presents the internet hosting/runtime atmosphere for a portal.

This chapter is from the publication  what's a Portal?

A portal is a website that presents users a single element of entry to a company's materials and functions, requiring only one login to the web page. It gives users customized interaction with the elements and capabilities, provides role-based access, and makes it possible for users to choose their event and customise their own views of the web site.

clients include personnel, company companions, suppliers, and valued clientele. "business's resources and features" refer to purposes, content, company tactics, and individuals.

as an example, here are some features of a portal for a laptop company.

  • using one login, personnel can entry applications from all departments, together with human components and technical guide.
  • An instance of a personalised utility is giving a different bargain price to purchasers in response to their profiles. An instance of personalized content is displaying distinctive news to business companions than suppliers.
  • An example of function-based mostly access is barely enabling personnel who're managers to see and to use the approved rate application.
  • clients can add applications to their views, organize purposes, and personalize the look of applications (for example, colour).
  • primary Portal Terminology




    To an end consumer, a portlet is a window on a portal site that displays counsel or offers a feature. To a developer, it's an software.

    Portlet application

    A portlet application is a group of related portlets that share the same supplies. as an example, these are images, houses, files, and classes.

    Portal web page

    A portal page incorporates one or more portlets.

    Portal web page

    A portal web page is constructed with portal pages.

    IBM WebSphere Portlet manufacturing facility

    IBM WebSphere Portlet factory gives a swift building device, WebSphere Portlet manufacturing facility clothier, to simplify and accelerate the introduction of portlet purposes. WebSphere Portlet manufacturing facility designer, hereafter referred to as Portlet factory fashion designer, is a graphical device it's a plug-in to Eclipse-based mostly integrated development environments (IDEs).

    With Portlet factory dressmaker, you create tasks, below which you increase models the usage of builders and generate the ensuing portlet purposes from those fashions. customarily, no coding is required.

    it's price mentioning that IBM WebSphere Portlet factory will also be used as a development tool for creating Java 2 Platform, enterprise version (J2EE) web purposes, although internet purposes are not the center of attention of this chapter. The advantage is that you would create one model and use the equal model to generate each an internet and a portlet utility.

    IBM WebSphere Portlet manufacturing unit basic concepts and Definitions
  • Builder
  • A WebSphere Portlet manufacturing unit utility is made from builders. A builder is a application automation element that generates fundamental utility code. It has a simple wizard-like user interface for a developer to deliver inputs. according to the inputs, the builder generates code, together with JavaServer Pages (JSPs), Java courses, and Extensible Markup Language (XML) files. each builder presents the characteristic of an application design pattern, such as exhibiting a listing of facts from a backend facts save. The IBM WebSphere Portlet factory product ships with greater than one hundred sixty able-to-use builders on the time of writing this chapter and helps the advent of new builders. Builders are applied the use of Java and XML.
  • model
  • Builders are assembled into models. A model is a made of a couple of builder calls. web and portlet functions are generated from models. A smartly-designed software makes use of a mannequin to supply information (a provider provider mannequin) and a special model to display the records (a provider purchaser/presentation mannequin).
  • IBM WebSphere Portal

    IBM WebSphere Portal has a complete set of portal capabilities to bring enterprise-to-enterprise (B2B), enterprise-to-client (B2C), and company-to-worker (B2E) portals. The capabilities include framework services, integration capabilities, content capabilities, and collaboration features.

    Portals developed the usage of IBM WebSphere Portal are at ease, personalised, and role-primarily based with a unified person adventure. These portals join people, purposes, enterprise approaches, and content (document and different varieties) so users can work productively and be more satisfied.

    IBM WebSphere Portal utility helps make it handy to create and preserve a portal. it is also quicker. With a wealthy, responsive consumer interface in keeping with internet 2.0 facets, groups can give self-provider, collaboration, business intelligence dashboards, and more for their personnel, companions, suppliers, and consumers. because of this, they can respond right now to company alternatives and pressure enterprise success.

    IBM WebSphere Portal basic ideas and Definitions
  • Portal server runtime
  • The portal server runtime is the execution environment for the portlets. it is also referred to as the portlet container. it's a J2EE application that runs on the IBM WebSphere software Server.
  • Portlet versus servlet
  • Portlets will also be administered while the Portal Server is operating. as an instance, that you could install/get rid of portlet applications and create/delete portlets and portlet settings. Portlets are greater dynamic than servlets. Portlets may additionally now not ship error directly to browsers, ahead requests, or write arbitrary markup to the output movement.
  • Portal web page layout
  • The portal web page design defines the variety of content areas within the web page and the portlets displayed inside each content area.
  • subject matters
  • themes represent the standard look and believe of the portal, including shades, photographs, and fonts.
  • Skins
  • skin refers back to the look of the enviornment surrounding an individual portlet. each portlet can have its personal skin.
  • IBM WebSphere Portal Key Capabilities

    IBM WebSphere Portal has a extensive set of capabilities. It provides you with a runtime server, functions, tools, and a lot of other features. It is not the intention to list the entire capabilities right here, however let's analyze just a few key ones.

  • Composite utility and mashup framework
  • A composite utility is a group of connected and integrated features that guide a business process. users opt for components and common sense from two or more functions to build a totally new utility. that you could derive that IBM WebSphere Portal itself is a security-prosperous composite software/view that assembles and grants capabilities in the sort of portlets within the context of a enterprise process.
  • internet 2.0 assist
  • are living textual content items "one-click" access to significant aiding assistance that "pops up" on the web page whereas executing a business system.
  • relaxation (Representational State transfer) features further open the portal platform to composite mashup purposes with functions feeds from other internet functions.
  • customer side Aggregation reduces server-facet processing, which dramatically improves conclusion-person performance.
  • Single signal-on (SSO)
  • The foundation for seamless, comfortable digital-id-primarily based access to distinct commercial enterprise functions, programs, and networks.
  • function-based mostly entry
  • presents advanced handle over access to counsel, content, and functions based on clients' roles and responsibilities in the corporation.
  • Personalization
  • enables a portal or site to select which content material may still seem for a specific consumer.
  • content material administration
  • offers enterprise users the means to create and manipulate portal content material without tips know-how (IT) intervention or support.
  • Collaboration
  • enables clients to share assistance and collaborate within the context of an utility by which they're working. offers access to collaboration tools together with rapid messaging, internet conferencing, and group workspaces.
  • Search
  • features encompass advanced search, search aspects, search services, search scopes, search collections, including customized hyperlinks, summarizer, and search the usage of distinct languages that the product helps. There are search services that come with IBM WebSphere Portal, and you'll add one or more. with the aid of adding customized hyperlinks, clients can do direct search using general search engines like google and yahoo.

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    GRC Tools Help Manage Regulations | killexams.com real questions and Pass4sure dumps

    A decade ago, regulated industries were the rare exception; today, the industry that isn't regulated is the exception....

    In fact, most firms have multiple sets of regulatory requirements they need to address.

    As the regulatory burden increases, businesses are finding themselves in an increasingly complex ecosystem of governance--we audit our contractors and clients to ensure their compliance to our security requirements, and the firms we service audit us.

    As we implement security controls related to compliance, as well as controls contractually required of us by our clients, we put into production an ever more complicated laundry list of security controls to manage. Making risk decisions in this hive of controls, regulation and contractual obligations is nigh onto impossible.

    IT governance, risk and compliance (GRC) tools promise to help us meet these challenges. They promise to help us make smarter risk decisions, manage our compliance efforts and govern everything about our security program, from security awareness to technical controls.

    GRC is the latest information security buzzword, but marketing hype is doing a disservice to this array of products that address an organization's policy governance, risk management and compliance needs. Most deliver only part of the picture they promise, and every tool in this market has its own focus, areas of maturity and strategies for solving the same business challenges.

    To help you figure out what approaches might be right for your organization, Information Security took a close look at three GRC products that are very different in focus, coverage and technology: Archer Technologies' SmartSuite Framework 4.1, Symantec's Control Compliance Suite 8.60 and Modulo's Risk Manager 5.0

    Our goal was to create tests that address the promise of GRC while not favoring any particular technical strategy for getting there. We wanted to test the heart of GRC, the products' ability to:

  • Author, distribute and map policy and controls to the governing regulation, as well as to keep track of exceptions to those policies/regulations (compliance)
  • Assess the proper technical and non-technical operation of controls, and to mitigate/remediate areas where controls are lacking or not operating properly (governance)
  • Assist in quantification, analysis and mitigation of risk within the firm (risk)
  • Purchasing a GRC product is difficult, so we designed a flexible testing approach tied to real-world deployment scenarios to account for the range of corporate requirements, the expansive nature of the products and their varying levels of maturity. To do this, we foremost wanted to create a set of hypothetical scenarios that simulate how most organizations would typically use and deploy GRC products. We drew on real-life experiences and pain points to create regulatory, oversight and technical challenges, such as any organi- zation might face, and how the products might solve these challenges in a typical deployment context. Specifically, our goal was to test the "promises" of GRC (see "'Promising' Products").


    We evaluated how these GRC products might facilitate compliance efforts by determining how they can help organizations understand, record and document where and how they meet specific regulatory requirements. How do they help you author policy, map regulatory requirements to policy, and, in turn, map specific technical controls to that policy? We also looked at the ability to create highly granular policies. For example, can you map a specific technical control on a particular server all the way back to the driving requirement for that control?

    We created test policies and attempted to link those policies to both the regulatory requirements as well as technical controls used to implement the governing policy. In other words, can you actually use the tool to track compliance activities, track the implementation of technical controls specifically required by the regulation, and track the operation of those controls in the field.

    Risk management

    Analyzing business risk is tough enough, but regulatory requirements add a layer of complexity that is fueling the market for specialized tools. Think of your own environment, where the data required to determine what risk applies to a particular set of devices, applications or processes is probably spread throughout the company.

    For example, in order to understand what risk applies to a legacy system that doesn't support a particular control, you need to know what the system does, how it's used, what compensating controls might be in place and what systems are dependent on it. Typically, that means getting data from the business, IT, external parties (such as service providers) and the compliance department.

    A tool that can automate this process and preserve the information gathered in a central repository is essential to conduct formal risk analyses. To this end, we looked at the ability of the products to help gather data about particular systems/processes and their relative risk, evaluate that risk and put it in context. A key related area is the products' ability to record and track areas of the firm where technical controls could not be implemented, as well as features that analyze the level of risk associated with those exceptions.

    Technical controls

    Finally, we considered how products manage the many technical controls that firms might be interested in from a compliance and governance perspective. We assumed from the get-go that different products would have varied ways to monitor controls. For example, a product might use an agent on the remote host to periodically poll the device, and/ or import data from other sources, such as vulnerability assessment tools to gain information about the status of system and application controls. The bottom line: Does the product provide enough information and the right kind of information to be of real use?

    Archer focuses primarily on the non-technical aspects of GRC. The core of the product is a central framework within which a customer can use various modules that target the issues that an information security practitioner might experience within a regulated industry. For example:

  • Policy Management addresses the need of information security practitioners to author, organize and publish policy.
  • Vendor Management provides tools to manage vendor relationships and track adherence to contractual obligations.
  • Incident Management allows you to manage the workflow associated with a security breach.
  • There's no installation to speak of, as the recommended customer interface is a Web portal for an ASP-type service offering. (Customers can also choose to host the product.)

    Admins use their interface to create users and groups, modify roles, permissions and security parameters of the system, manage content, or change the appearance of the portal. However, the real magic happens within the customizable interfaces for the installed modules.

    Archer's strengths

    Policy management is a real strong suit. To test how SmartSuite would be used in an actual organization, we wanted to create policy we could tie to the regulatory requirements of our hypothetical company.

    However, we didn't need to. Archer ships with a stock policy that is pre-mapped to a large number of regulatory frameworks. Given Archer's roots in the financial services sector, we were not surprised to see some relatively specific requirements such as FTC 16 CFR Part 314 (GLBA) and the FFIEC Information Security Booklet. We were, however, pleasantly surprised to also find more general guidance, such as COBIT and ISO 17799 (although they still need to update the numbering), as well as specific guidance for other regulated industries, such as HIPAA for healthcare and PCI for retail.

    Although the stock policies are quite comprehensive, most firms will need to modify them to reflect their own requirements. We found this process a bit counterintuitive. The editing function allows you to directly modify the policy supplied by Archer, but you're better off avoiding that and using Archer's somewhat kludgy alternative.

    The problem is that Archer's periodic updates to the stock policy (as well as the mapping to the regulatory frameworks) will overwrite any custom changes you make to the stock policy directly. Archer recommends that instead of modifying its policies, you create a new policy statement with customized text, link it to the stock policy, and update your firm's views to display the new statement. The stock statements live on--just out of view of the users.

    The upshot is you will need to periodically revisit your custom policy to ensure that it reflects updates, such as changes to regulatory requirements.

    Nevertheless, exceptions are easy to create and relatively straightforward. You simply select a control to associate with the exception and enter information along with compensating controls to address the issue. The workflow allows exceptions to go from user entry to information security review and keeps track of approvals and timeframe for expiration.

    The risk management feature is straightforward. You assign risk to entities entered via the asset module and score them according to a number of different risk vectors. For example, we used the asset module to create a new application and assigned an initial business criticality weight as well as risk profile (high, medium or low.) From there we were able to apply questionnaires to the asset to determine how it performed relative to items of interest, such as whether cryptography was employed.

    These questionnaires targeted specific controls that have an impact on the overall risk of the application and include factors like vulnerabilities, cryptographic controls, access control, and so on. The responses to the questionnaires fit directly into the overall risk ascribed to the application. The workflow ensures that appropriate personnel review the submission and are alerted if it is completely noncompliant.

    In navigating and using SmartSuite, we found the Archer community to be head and shoulders above what you typically get with a vendor knowledge base or other support portal. The community allows users to interact with each other, ask questions of the Archer engineering team, and receive extensive training on use and configuration of the product.

    Archer's weaknesses

    While the product was very strong in policy and risk management, the more technology-centric pieces are not as automated as the other products. There's no autodiscovery function--you add assets by submitting a spreadsheet. While this will satisfy the needs of many organizations, larger firms with extensive asset inventories may find this process error-prone and difficult to maintain.

    Monitoring technical controls is also less automated than some of the competition. Archer provides instructions on how to create linkages between automated vulnerability assessment tools (e.g., Qualys), but automated vulnerability assessments may not give you the whole picture. There's little out-of-the-box integration of additional tools, such as other vulnerability assessment scanners, IPSes, SIEMs, etc., but you can use the flexible API to allow custom data consumption applications to be written using feeds from files/databases, etc.

    One nice feature lets you correlate information from a number of threat publication sources, such as Verisign iDefense and Symantec DeepSight, in addition to custom entry of threat data.

    While Archer is heavy on policy management, Control Compliance Suite 8.60 (CCS) has a deep focus on the management and monitoring of technical controls, providing quite a bit of functionality to assist in tasks like network discovery, automated validation of host technical configuration, and so on.

    The software can be installed in standalone or enterprise mode, depending on whether you intend to host the database on the same box as the information server or use a different box for the database. Additionally, enterprise mode is required if you intend to make use of the Web portal integration with Microsoft IIS. We installed the product in enterprise mode, as this allowed access to the Web portal and supported a remote database and remote data collection.

    Symantec's strengths

    At first, we were a bit skeptical about the policy creation interface (not the prettiest interface we've ever seen), but using it to write policy was straightforward despite the initial awkwardness.

    We were able to author policy, import existing policy from Microsoft Word documents and approve publication to the CCS Web portal. The tool supports a policy authorship workflow in much the same way Archer does, allowing us to defer publication until approval and to keep a recorded archive once a new version is created.

    Surprisingly, we found ourselves missing the kind of stock policy supplied by Archer. Symantec has a number of sample policies (templates), but we found that importing our own policies or creating new policies from scratch using the policy import and creation tools took less time than customizing the templates.

    One feature that really stood out was the flexibility provided to map policy to the compliance frameworks and regulations CCS provides. The mechanism is a mapping editor that's reminiscent of the relationship manager feature of Microsoft Access. Though it took us a while to figure out how to use it, the mapping editor provides tremendous flexibility in making connections between policy, framework and regulatory items. The ability to see these relationships visually had a definite "cool factor." Of course, while this is a flexible approach, it requires a bit of manual interaction to maintain. An enterprise seeking to make heavy use of the policy portion of this tool would require more ramp-up time to get ready for full deployment.

    CCS is very strong on technical controls. The product ships with a large number of technical standards packs that can be used as a benchmark against which to compare devices that it is aware of. The standards packs draw on familiar source material, such as NSA configuration guides and the CIS configuration benchmarks.

    The technical information-gathering feature supports a very large number of devices for remote profiling. CCS can use an agent or agentlessly retrieve data across a diverse range of platforms, such as various Windows versions and multiple flavors of Unix and Linux.

    The product also ships with many benchmark standards to evaluate against, to ensure that appropriate patches are applied and that appropriate configuration steps are taken.

    CCS also ships with network mapping capability that allows automatic discovery of devices, which can then be imported into the risk management and asset management view.

    We expected CCS to perform very strongly in technical controls validation, but were unprepared for the product to perform equally well in policy and risk management. We were pleased to see the range of technical standards and regulatory frameworks that the product ships with: multiple versions of COBIT (both 3 and 4), FDA regulations, FISMA, HIPAA, NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corp.) guidance and NIST SP 800-53 were all included.

    Symantec's weaknesses

    While CCS is heavy on governance and technical compliance, we found the risk piece difficult to use. Technical risk is assessed directly within the CCS console via evaluation of technical security controls; for the less technical areas, the product leverages customized questionnaires.

    CCS allowed us to import Symantec's questionnaires using content packs or create our own. We used the tool to create an ad hoc vendor evaluation, and found the process painful.

    Each questionnaire is represented as a tree view to which questions are added. Questions can require single or multiple-choice answers, or written responses. Creating a questionnaire required us to manually enter a large number of customized answers (the templates, which were fine for yes/no questions, rarely supplied the answers we needed).

    Once the questionnaire was complete, we used a wizard to assign weights to each of the questions and answer choices. All told, the process took us about an hour to create a 20 questions. If you're planning to make extensive use of this functionality, we recommend using the content packs that supply stock questionnaires rather than creating customized questionnaires from scratch.

    Many vendors in the GRC space try to take the "boil the ocean" approach by being everything to everybody. Not Modulo. It doesn't have the compliance-framework creation and policy-centric features of Archer, or the technical control validation capabilities of Symantec. Instead, Modulo's aptly named Risk Manager focuses almost exclusively on the risk aspects of the GRC equation. The functionality within the other areas of GRC serves only to support the risk management mission.

    Risk Manager does not have a Web front end (although you can submit questionnaires via the Web), and relies on a number of client-side applications to implement various features.

    The installation process gave us quite a bit of trouble initially. Insufficient RAM on the first few lab machines we attempted to install caused the installer to fail (the test machines had double the memory requirements specified in the manual). However, with some coaching from the Modulo engineers--followed by a hardware upgrade beyond the recommended requirements--we completed the installation.

    Modulo's strengths

    Risk Manager allows enterprises to categorize themselves into one or more "organizations" that are represented by a tree view in the client. It auto-populates this view by importing information from a variety of sources, such as Active Directory, asset spreadsheets/ databases and manual entries.

    Its real power lies in its ability to categorize every asset in the organization--processes, applications, technical components and facilities--associate a risk level to each, and keep track of the controls that are implemented on an asset-by-asset basis. The tool also facilitates keeping track of personnel associated with the assets and threats to it.

    Risk information is collected using one or more questionnaires applicable to different assets, based on their categorization. For example, data centers can be assigned one or more data center-specific questionnaires to appropriate personnel. Risk Manager gathers information about all the assets in a particular scope and quantifies the associated risk, keeping track of controls' status on an asset-by-asset basis.

    You can link evidence with particular answers as well. For example, to support a response to a questionnaire about authentication, you can attach evidence in the form of policy, an export of the appropriate group policy objects governing password characteristics, and so on.

    This ability to associate evidence with questionnaires should please auditors, who require proof of a particular control, rather than simply validating that a governing policy exists.

    Auditors will also appreciate the ability to generate remediation plans for particular assets based on the results of the questionnaires. The remediation guidance provided for each of the assets in scope is concise, yet thorough.

    Risk Manager facilitates governance of vendors and external relationships in a way the other products do not. For example, Risk Manager ships with the ability to perform a risk assessment using the Financial Institution Shared Assessments Program Standardized Information Gathering questionnaire. It also allows you to create "perimeters" (nodes on the organizational tree) for vendors and third parties. While the other products can be configured to do similar things, native support for FISAP out of the box is a real plus for organizations who use Risk Manager in an auditing context.

    Other questionnaires can be assigned to assets within the vendor perimeter. This enables you to keep track of assessments performed of a particular vendor, the evidence collected during the assessment, the vendor's compensating controls, etc.

    Modulo's weaknesses

    Risk Manager has a few rough edges. First and foremost, the lack of a fully functional Web interface is a significant drawback. While questionnaires can be submitted over the Web, a portal view of the application (including a Web-enabled dashboard) was a sorely missed feature and would provide quite a bit of benefit.

    Additionally, installation was challenging; the application has very specific installation prerequisites, and any failure of the installation process (due, for example, to lack of a prerequisite, insufficient memory or a populated database instance) resulted in an error message that required technical support to interpret.

    Further, the product appears to be difficult to customize. For example, some of the built-in databases (such as the threat database) are static, precluding user customization.

    One size doesn't fit all

    Each of the products we looked at interprets governance, risk and compliance in a different way and has a feature set tailored to its vision. Archer emphasizes regulatory compliance, most useful for the compliance or security group in a heavily regulated industry. Modulo focuses on risk management, which is of special value to the auditor or consultant out in the field validating organizational compliance to controls. Symantec focuses on technical control validation, most useful to information security technical personnel.

    But in order to know how the vendor interprets the GRC vision, you must look beyond the marketing. All of these products are marketed similarly; they get coverage from analysts in the same reports and they're lumped together in the industry press. But they're really very different.

    What does that mean to the industry? Maybe we should start segmenting the GRC market to reflect the fact that these products aren't the same. What does it mean for GRC vendors? Maybe it's not a threat if your product doesn't do exactly the same thing as the other guy's product. And what does that mean for the consumer? It means you need to be extra careful before you buy: Make sure your vendor's vision of the market aligns with yours, and that the product you're buying does what you think it will.

    Four steps to sound security vulnerability management | killexams.com real questions and Pass4sure dumps

    The numbers tell you what you already know -- you're neck deep in a rising flood of new security vulnerabilities. Carnegie Mellon's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) reported 2,437 computer vulnerabilities in 2001, more than double the previous year's total. That's an average of about 10 every working day -- a lot to read about, much less deal with.

    "Dealing with security vulnerabilities presents real problems," says Claxton Francis, director of information systems for the New York-based nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "I have to spend time each day reviewing the latest issues and evaluating the level of exposure to decide whether to deal with the problem immediately or wait for the next scheduled maintenance window."

    It's not impossible to sift through this flood of information, find what's relevant to your organization and take swift action to prevent intrusions -- if you have a plan. The template is simple, but the devil is in the details of your environment. Broadly speaking, there are four steps to sound vulnerability management:

  • Inventory your systems. Know exactly what you're running so you know exactly what to worry about.
  • Manage the flow of information. Determine which information resources help you focus exclusively on the vulnerabilities that affect your systems.
  • Assess the information. Evaluate the actual risk to your organization's systems security.
  • Plan for response. Develop standard procedures to translate information into action.
  • Don't assume that large enterprises solve the problem simply by throwing people at it. No matter what the size of your organization, vulnerability management isn't simply a matter of resources -- it's about process. For example, one large international conglomerate (200,000-plus employees) created an 80-person staff dedicated to vulnerability management and patch deployment. Despite having dedicated labs in each business unit to test patches and fixes, the company still couldn't keep up.

    The problem?

    "Prioritization," declares Bret Sigillo, a senior consultant and director of marketing for the managed services division of Predictive Systems, a security and network infrastructure consulting company hired by the conglomerate to find a way out of this quagmire. "They needed help in figuring out what problem needs their attention first."

    Implementing sound vulnerability management practices costs time and money. But you need to weigh your costs against the potential consequences of intrusions. After all, companies lost millions last year to attacks that exploited known vulnerabilities. Code Red and Nimda cost companies worldwide an estimated $2 billion in damaged computing resources and downtime, according to Computer Economics. More than 600,000 servers were infected by Code Red, although the vulnerabilities it exploited had been published and a patch was available about a month before the worm was released. The patch for Nimda was available up to a year before it made its debut, but the worm still infected 160,000 hosts at its peak. Effective vulnerability management could have saved much of the cost of these and other viruses, worms and electronic exploits.

    Figure 1: Vulnerability Explosion The number of computer vulnerabilities reported to Carnegie Mellon's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) more than doubled from 2000 to 2001. 1. Inventory Your Systems

    To get what you need, you have to know what you've got. Identifying deployed technologies yield the first cut at the security vulnerabilities that place your organization at risk. For many organizations, this alone is a major project, as their networks have grown without adequate documentation.

    Here are the keys to taking stock of your systems:

    Classify your network assets by platform. That's the first thing you'll look for when a new vulnerability is reported. Conduct and maintain a complete inventory of the hardware and software, including the versions of software and firmware and any patches or upgrades that have been installed. For example, if a vulnerability affecting only older versions of Sun Solaris is announced, you need to know which -- if any -- of your Solaris systems are vulnerable.

    Determine risk potential. Identify the business exposure of each technology on your network. Think about the impact on your business if each of these elements was compromised or made unavailable. Which systems and software make up the critical core of your network?

    Know what defensive tools you have in place. There are many kinds of defenses you can deploy, such as router filters, system logging and intrusion detection systems.

    Many corporations use system and network vulnerability scanners to identify known bugs and holes in their infrastructure. Extensible yet easy-to-use software scanners are available from vendors such as Internet Security Systems, Foundstone, BindView, Symantec, Harris and others. These scanners probe for vulnerabilities using a database of already-catalogued system weaknesses. While this approach allows users to survey systems for hundreds of vulnerabilities, these products won't detect newly discovered holes until database signatures have been updated.

    Regardless of whether you use a vulnerability scanner, maintaining an up-to-date inventory of your systems is the first critical step in knowing what to do when the next Big Vulnerability is publicized.

    "The inventory process is still an issue for many organizations," says David Goldsmith, New York regional director of professional services for information security firm @stake. "The problem scales with the size of the organization -- if your network is small, manual systems may work well. But as the size of your network increases, collecting and maintaining the inventory data becomes a major undertaking, requiring automated tools.

    2. Manage the Flow of Information

    Finding security information on the 'Net isn't a problem -- a search of "computer security advisories" turned up about 62,000 pages in Google's Web index. But what about getting information that's relevant to your systems and software in a timely and practical manner without being overwhelmed? Now that's a problem.

    Once you have an inventory, you can begin to filter vulnerability reports. If you're an all-Microsoft shop, Solaris and Linux vulnerabilities are only of passing interest. If your e-business is supported by an HTTP Web Server and WebSphere application server, alerts about IBM are a top priority. You have options for getting the information you need, with a catch -- you get what you pay for. Fee-based services provide a level of customized information and timeliness that free Internet services can't match. But if the cost is prohibitive, some free sites are excellent resources.

    Pay Resources

    Three of the leaders in the security intelligence industry, SecurityFocus, Vigilinx and SecurityGlobal.net, offer strong fee-based services.

    SecurityFocus' Security Intelligence Alert (SIA) service includes information on systems affected, a technical discussion and analysis of the problem and its potential impact, sample exploit code (if available) and mitigation strategies. Users decide the platforms and issues for which they will get alerts. While some of this information is available on the SecurityFocus free site, the SIA alerts include ratings of the severity, urgency, impact and credibility, as well as additional technical details.

    SIA alerts are released to subscribers about two days before the abridged free versions are posted on the SecurityFocus Web site, so timeliness is a factor. Full SIA alerts are delivered by e-mail or fax. Subscribers can receive high-priority alerts by phone or SMS message.

    Access to this enhanced information is priced at $5,900 per user per year for between 3 and 15 users.

    Vigilinx's IntelliSHIELD also allows subscribers to create profiles detailing the technologies they use. Vigilinx analysts assign each alert a severity level, which is used to determine how customers are notified (e.g., e-mail, pager). In addition to technology-based alerts, Vigilinx offers "Intelligence Bulletins," which describe security challenges posed by new technologies as well as attack trends and techniques. IntelliSHIELD also issues "Geopolitical Analysis Reports," which examine world events and their potential repercussions in cyberspace.

    The IntelliSHIELD Web-based interface also provides a central repository for information on your organization's response to vulnerabilities, offering reports on which systems have been patched and which are still vulnerable to attack. Maintaining the repository is manual, requiring users to enter in the details of fixes they have applied to systems.

    IntelliSHIELD is priced on a per-user basis, starting at $40,000 per year for six users.

    SecurityGlobal.net's SecurityTracker offers Web-based services for both end users and security services, such as managed security providers, consultants and integrators. Users can specify which systems they want to receive vulnerability notices about through an SSL-secured browser. Notices are sent via e-mail. Users can get all the information in the e-mail, or choose to receive basic information and get the full story by logging into the Web site.

    SecurityGlobal.net also sends free weekly e-mail summaries of new vulnerabilities and maintains a free listing of vulnerabilities on its Web site. End-user pricing starts at $695 per month for two users. Service provider contracts are negotiated based on the service Security-Global.net provides. Free trial subscriptions are available.

    Free Resources

    While the fee-based services offer the most timely and targeted vulnerability information, not all organizations can afford them. With some effort, free services can be used for effective information management.

    SecurityFocus and ICAT are among the leading free sources of security information. They can be valuable tools if you focus on searching for the information relevant to your systems.

    SecurityFocus is a good place to look while drinking your morning coffee, but you may have to do some work to find out what you specifically need. The site offers a number of search tools to allow users to find security information for a particular vendor or product or by the vulnerability identifiers issued by BugTraq and the CVE Project, the two major catalogers of security problems. The strategy here is to search for vulnerabilities affecting the systems in your inventory.

    The site's "Vulnerabilities" and "Advisories" sections bring together security information from all of the major vendors, security sites and researchers into an easy-to-use portal. The descriptions of vulnerabilities and solutions are brief, clear and easy to read. Links to exploits and patches are provided when available. While the alerts don't rate the relative severity of each problem, the discussion sections usually provide enough information for security pros to evaluate threats themselves.

    The ICAT Metabase is the National Institute of Standards and Technology's central index to sites containing vulnerability and patch information. If SecurityFocus is the morning paper for vulnerability management, ICAT is an annotated reference book. ICAT provides a rich set of search functions, allowing users to zero in on the vulnerabilities relevant to their systems. While the ICAT site's help file states that the database is updated "at least monthly," many notices are posted within a day or so of their announcement.

    ICAT's entries are less informative than those in the SecurityFocus database, but this is by design -- ICAT is meant to be an index, and each entry has pointers to sites where additional information can be found.

    While both SecurityFocus and ICAT do a good job of integrating large amounts of information into searchable portals, you have to be proactive. Two other free services, Cassandra and Security Alert Consensus, send customized vulnerability information, although they lack the timeliness of paid services.

    Cassandra, operated by Purdue University's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS), uses the ICAT database to provide customized e-mail notifications of vulnerabilities. Cassandra (named for the woman who warned the Trojans that bringing that cool Greek horse into the city might not be such a great idea) allows you to set up custom system profiles. You can further narrow the selection of vulnerabilities by adding keywords. For example, you might be interested in Perl vulnerabilities, but only if they mention "CGI" or "Web." When new vulnerabilities meet your criteria, you'll receive an e-mail with links to further information.

    Timeliness can be an issue, as Cassandra relies on the ICAT database, which, as noted earlier, is sometimes updated only monthly. Cassandra may be better used as a backup source of information.

    If SecurityFocus is the morning paper for vulnerability management, ICAT is an annotated reference book.

    Security Alert Consensus, a service of the Systems Administration and Network Security (SANS) Institute, provides a weekly e-mail roundup of significant security warnings, customized to your interests. However, a week is a long time in the computer security world. You can also receive news announcements about both commercial and non-commercial security tools. SANS also offers a monthly roundup of Windows-specific security information (Windows Security Digest) and a weekly summary of security news (SANS News-Bites). Like Cassandra, SANS is a good backup source of information and provides valuable background material for security professionals.

    Sharing Information: ISACs and InfraGard

    All of the information sources discussed so far are "broadcasters" -- they aggregate information and present it to subscribers. While you can tailor some of these services to show a subset of the available information, the flow is one way. Many organizations are finding value in sharing information about problems, vulnerabilities and incidents with their peers through the Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs). Each ISAC brings together a community of organizations with similar interests:

  • Financial Services
  • Energy
  • Information Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Water Industry
  • There's also a Worldwide ISAC, which is open to all companies. ISAC members exchange security information anonymously, which promotes sharing without exposure, according to Suzanne Gorman, treasurer of the Financial Services ISAC.

    "Think about it this way: A bank or brokerage house experiencing a major attack would want to know if others in their industry were also being targeted; an attack against the U.S. financial sector demands different responses than an attack on a single organization," Gorman says. "However, there's a catch -- no bank or brokerage wants to let the world know about their security problems. The ISAC provides a forum for safely and anonymously sharing information among a community of organizations who are competitors in other business situations."

    The cost to join an ISAC varies. Most charge annual fees of between $5,000 and $10,000 to fund their activities.

    Predictive Systems, which runs a number of the industry ISACs, offers a "Corporate ISAC" program to allow larger organizations to build internal information sharing and analysis centers. The Corporate ISAC program includes data feeds from Predictive's @lertnet network of industry, law enforcement and government information sources. A Web portal allows distribution of security information and tracking of fixes. Predictive's data feeds include risk ratings for each reported vulnerability, and their analysts provide additional background materials and weed out hoaxes. Pricing for the Corporate ISAC program depends on the options chosen.

    The FBI's InfraGard program offers businesses a forum for sharing information on cyberthreats and security solutions. InfraGard is run out of the FBI's 56 field offices via local chapters. As with the ISACs, InfraGard members report incidents to a central clearinghouse, which processes and distributes information.

    "The purpose of InfraGard is to get private sector companies talking to each other about physical and cyberthreats," says Thomas J. Van Nuys, supervisory special agent in charge of domestic terrorism for the FBI's Chicago field office. "The FBI provides resources and information, such as alerts from the National Information Protection Center (NIPC) and other sources. We're trying to get rid of the misconception that the FBI sits on information."

    To join InfraGard, apply at a local FBI field office. Applicants are subject to a background check. "We don't want to pass InfraGard information to terrorists or criminals," Van Nuys says.

    No matter which sources of information your organization uses, the key to making the most of them is consistent monitoring. Checking the "threat radar" for potential problems should be just as much of a part of your daily routine as checking system logs and making backups. In larger organizations, this monitoring task may be assigned to an information security department. Smaller companies may not have a full-time, dedicated security staff.

    In this case, IT management will need to decide who's responsible for monitoring security information, how it will be distributed and how it will be evaluated.

    3. Assess the Information

    Alerts -- even alerts about vulnerabilities in your systems -- don't tell you everything you need to know. Assessing the level of the threat to your organization -- hence the level of response -- must be an integral part of your vulnerability management strategy.

    Say you've spotted a potential problem while searching SecurityFocus -- a new, remotely exploitable vulnerability that could provide an attacker with root-level access to the operating system of your Apache Web server. Before you start notifying systems administrators and downloading patches, you have some analysis to do.

    The answers to the following questions determine if you should ignore a given vulnerability, put it on the "To Do" list or drop everything and ring all hands on deck:

  • Does the problem affect a technology that's in use in your organization? Having an accurate inventory of your systems and software is crucial to answering this key question. If the answer is no, you can resume your daily routine.
  • If the vulnerable technology is in use on your network, are you running the problem version (or component)? In many cases, vulnerabilities are specific to certain revisions of software or affect optionally enabled components. You may be running a version -- older or newer -- that isn't vulnerable. Or, it may affect a version that you haven't deployed but are planning to roll out.
  • What business resources are at risk? If a vulnerability is relevant to your network, determining which systems are potential targets is vital. If "core" systems such as your firewall, DNS, mail or key business servers could be affected, the risk is more severe than if a seldom-used FTP server is a potential target. Your risk assessment should also consider the location of the affected server. For example, is it a bastion host in the DMZ or a database in the private network?
  • Can the vulnerability be exploited remotely? A security problem that can be exploited by an anonymous attacker over the Internet is much more of a threat for most organizations than one that requires physical access to a system console.
  • What's the potential result of a successful attack? Some vulnerabilities allow an attacker to access, modify or delete confidential information. Others can crash a server or use it to stage an attack on third parties. Still others reveal non-critical data. You need to consider the applications running on the vulnerable server, the network resources available to it and the data stored on it. Having customers' credit card information at risk of disclosure is probably more serious than having your Web site DoS'd.
  • How common is the platform being threatened? A vulnerability in Windows 2000 or the IIS Web server is much more likely to draw the attention of attackers than a flaw in, say, an ERP application. While security through obscurity isn't a solution, it may buy your organization time to implement fixes.
  • Are exploit tools and scripts available for the vulnerability? Let's face it -- many so-called crackers are nothing more than script-kiddies looking for point-and-click attacks. On the other hand, if a vulnerability requires a high skill level to exploit, the universe of potential attackers is smaller.
  • What steps can you take/have you taken to mitigate the risk? Some vulnerability announcements are accompanied by patches. Others include instructions for bolstering defenses until the vendor releases a fix or work-around.
  • A buffer overflow flaw in the Solaris and AIX server operating systems, which was announced last December, illustrates several of the points these questions raise:

  • The vulnerability affected all versions of Solaris and the  current AIX release, as well as an earlier release, potentially  impacting many systems.
  • An attacker could gain super-user or root-level privileges on  servers through the login program.
  • The vulnerability could be exploited remotely through  terminal connection programs, such as Telnet and rlogin.
  • An exploit was already public at the time of the announcement.
  • The urgency prompted CERT and Internet Security Systems  to recommend disabling default terminal connection services  and installing Secure Shell (SSH)until a patch became available.
  • 4. Plan for Response

    Your phone is ringing. It's The Boss. A new vulnerability has been reported on CNN. Systems all over the Internet are being scanned for the problem by eager script-kiddies, and a number of Web sites have been defaced. "What are we doing about this?" she asks.

    It will be a lot easier to handle the boss' call if you are practicing good vulnerability management -- chances are, you've already dealt with the problem or determined it has no impact on your network. That kind of peace of mind depends on implementing the last part of your vulnerability management process: the action plan for response. The template for this plan should include the following:

  • A brief description of the problem/vulnerability.
  • An inventory of the systems affected by the vulnerability.
  • A description of the business systems and processes threatened by the problem.
  • Contact names and numbers for the administrators and line business managers of affected systems.
  • The ultimate fix for the problem (e.g., a patch or major  configuration change).
  • The transitional fix for the problem (e.g., temporarily turning off the vulnerable service).
  • The plan for implementing the temporary fix -- with a rollback plan in case of problems.
  • The plan for testing the permanent fix.
  • The plan for implementing the permanent fix -- with a rollback plan in case of problems.
  • Prioritizing use of organization resources is crucial, says @stake's Goldsmith. "You need to look at your business needs and the characteristics of the vulnerability. If you are dealing with a remotely exploitable bug, you might want to schedule your business-critical Internet-facing systems for patching first to reduce the overall risk level as quickly as possible."

    Different courses of action are possible in each case, depending on the available options, urgency of the problem and available resources:

    Apply a patch. Most vendor-supplied vulnerability alerts will include software patches or upgrades to eliminate the security problems. It may be tempting to just apply the patch, but hasty action can lead to further headaches. Vendors are usually under a lot of pressure to get security patches out as quickly as possible and may not have fully tested them. A buggy patch could convert a potential threat into a real problem. Microsoft, for example, had to replace several flawed patches last year -- twice in one case, because the replacement patch was also flawed.

    Patching presents system administrators and business managers with a number of thorny issues. The problem system may become more vulnerable while it's being worked on. Many patches require systems to be rebooted -- and managers may be reluctant to make their key systems unavailable during the business day. Deploying a patch on a large number of systems -- say, all of your desktops -- may be disruptive. Plus, the presence of patched and unpatched systems on the same network may lead to incompatibility issues. Several vendor tools automate the deployment of patches and fixes to address this potential problem.

    In the most extreme cases, patches to fix one security issue may cause another, more serious (and undocumented) vulnerability. "Sometimes you can kill the patient with the medicine," says the NRDC's Francis.

    The two keys to successfully deploying patches are (1) testing the new software in an environment similar to your production networks before rolling it out, and (2) getting cooperation from the line business managers whose departments are affected by the update. For many organizations, predeployment testing is a particular problem, since it requires additional time, people and technology. As systems grow more complex, developing plans that test all of an application's functions becomes more difficult and time-consuming. Many organizations have chosen to compromise, using limited deployment of patches for serious issues in production.

    While most security vulnerabilities will be remedied with a patch or software update, there are other actions you can take to reduce your risk until new software can be properly tested and deployed:

    Turn off vulnerable services at the host level if they aren't needed.

    Hopefully, you hardened your systems a long time ago, perhaps when you installed them. However, unneeded services can be overlooked. For example, the infamous IIS Remote Data Service vulnerability found in 1998 uses a feature providing access to SQL databases from Microsoft's IIS Web server to execute privileged commands. Many Webmasters who didn't need to access SQL data could have avoided defacements of their sites simply by turning this feature off.1

    Adjust system configurations to remove the vulnerability. You may be able to mitigate risk by changing the way a vulnerable service is configured. For example, a recently reported vulnerability in Lotus' Domino Server allowed nonprivileged users to access a file called the Web Administrator Template and gain super-user access to the server. The problem could be easily fixed by changing the permissions on the offending file or removing it from the publicly accessible part of the server.

    Adjust firewall rules to prevent access to vulnerable systems or services. Sometimes, unpatched systems can be protected by blocking access to the vulnerable service at the perimeter of your network until fixes can be made. Of course, this won't repel the inside attacker, and shutting down external access to vulnerable services may not be practical -- an SMTP server becomes pretty useless if it can't accept mail from the outside world.

    Use other perimeter defenses. The last few major Internet-wide security events (Nimda, Goner) used e-mail as a significant transport vector. Many organizations filter e-mail attachments with suspicious file types (like .scr or .vbs). Another approach to this problem is to drop messages with content that matches known infected messages. For example, the message carrying the Goner virus had a number of signatures to key on -- the file attachment named "Gone.scr" and distinctive phrases, such as "I'm in a hurry."

    As networks get more complex, with new and upgraded software adding functionality, each day will bring new vulnerabilities to check out. Many of these vulnerabilities will spawn potentially dangerous exploits, making a coherent, consistent vulnerability management strategy an even more vital part of your security toolkit.

    About the author:Al Berg, CISSP, is a contributing editor for Information Security and a technical director in the corporate information security department of a firm providing data processing services to the financial industry. He has written numerous articles on information security and lectured worldwide on infosec topics.

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    Calameo : http://en.calameo.com/books/00492352677926460606b

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    IBM A2040-924 Exam (Assessment- IBM WebSphere Portal 8.0 Migration and Support Instructions) Detailed Information


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