A recipe for locking down systems

Security experts and business managers in federal agencies could have a better sense of which information systems in their organizations are highly vulnerable to cyberthreats and cyberattacks if new wares from several security management vendors live up to their expectations.

The vendors provide software that correlates data from devices such as firewalls and intrusion-detection systems and translates the information into meaningful reports and analyses that can be used to thwart intruders and cyberattacks.

Now the vendors are extending the reach of their wares by giving a broader set of users such as business managers, information technology administrators and security auditors information that links security data with business assets.

To that end, ArcSight Inc. unveiled ArcSight 3.0 software, which offers a new feature called Enterprise Impact. The software takes data generated by security devices and puts it into business-relevant intelligence that the security group and business managers can understand and put into action.

Intellitactics Inc. rolled out the fifth generation of its Network Security Manager, introducing more business assurance and automatic alert features and an incident response portal, so security teams can respond to attacks faster and in a more coordinated fashion.

Meanwhile, netForensics Inc. introduced a new user-based visualization capability, providing out-of-the-box security views for business users, security analysts and IT administrators. Users can focus on the most critical security threats first based on their job functions, according to Niten Ved, president and chief operating officer at

netForensics.

Most security event management vendors are being pushed by users to provide more asset clarification features, said Mark Nicolett, vice president of Gartner Inc.'s research division.

"Knowing quite a bit about the state of an asset helps the seecurity people do their job," Nicolett said. If a system has a security vulnerability that a particular cyberattack exploits, then the security operators know that system should receive priority. But if a system is not vulnerable to the attack, then it would receive a lower priority, he said.

Understanding the business use of the asset, such as what applications are running on the attacked server, is useful so intelligible reports can be generated for the business areas, Nicolett said.

With ArcSight's enterprise impact feature, business managers don't necessarily need security expertise to understand the status of certain systems. Through a browser or Web portal, they can view what's happening in real time with the supplier portal or inventory system.

The assurance level management feature in Intellitactics' NSM 5.0 allows users to define the areas and assets that are high priority. Additionally, an automatic alert assessment feature gives security operators the ability to quickly assess whether security alerts are actually threats.

Large government agencies struggle with the data overload generated by security devices and need tools that can aggregate large volumes of data, said Ray Hicks, director of security at Northrop Grumman Corp., who uses an earlier version of Intellitactics NSM to protect a large government client's network.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group