Security gets nFX attention

As a concept Security Information Management (SIM) has proven to be a great way to push the development of security solutions but now users want to know just how much real value those solutions can deliver, something that netForensics says was the driver behind its latest product.

The company's nFX Open Security solution, scheduled for introduction today, puts the focus squarely on such things as better compliance reporting, using correlation technology to improve risk evaluations, and getting better performance and efficiencies out of their SIM infrastructure.

"One of the questions CIOs are asking now is 'How secure are we today?', the kind of request for quantitative data that was impossible to meet in the past," said Eddie Schwartz, senior architect for netForensics. "But the industry is being pushed closer to enabling security SLAs (service level agreements), so now it's definitely about being able to measure threats."

For government agencies the single, biggest demand is for tools that can assure compliance with regulations such as The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) which mandates yearly security audits, Scwhartz said.

That naturally leads to other needs, such as knowing which computing and network assets are vulnerable to which threats and what the vulnerabilities are of the highest value assets.

Open Security produces reports for both operational level users and agency executives that address the particulars of specific regulations such as FISMA, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, showing vulnerabilities as well as trends over time that indicate how well any initiatives to counter threats have performed.

It also allows users to group assets that are relevant to particular regulations, and to produce reports that highlight the vulnerabilities of each asset in the group as well as the vulnerability of the group as a whole.

Administrators can fine-tune their implementation of Open Security and conduct capacity planning through a new dashboard feature.

Schwartz expects that this and other correlation features will prove one of the bigger draws for Open Security.

"Customers tell us they want to see real-time comparisons between vulnerabilities and threats as well as a greater degree of integration with other systems, such as HP OpenView," he said. "The trend now is to continuous monitoring and real-time assessment of vulnerabilities.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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