Pedestal upgrades auditing software

New automation capabilities in Pedestal Software's audit and compliance software could help information security managers reduce security vulnerabilities caused by misconfigured systems.

SecurityExpressions 3.1 enables information technology managers to secure enterprise servers and desktop systems by ensuring that system configurations comply with security best practices. They can apply and monitor customized policies or deploy predefined ones from organizations such as Microsoft Corp., the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Security Agency, and the SANS Institute. Managers can also customize these predefined policies.

Additionally, SecurityExpressions lets IT managers audit any networked Microsoft Windows or Unix system for compliance from a centralized management console without putting agent software on each system.

The auditing software now ships with a Windows 2003 systems security policy file so users can bring desktops and servers running Windows 2003 into compliance with the Windows Security Operations Guide, according to Bill Andrews, Pedestal's vice president of marketing.

The product also includes a new benchmarking feature that offers a single measurement of audit compliance status that can be easily communicated to senior management. For example, the Web server is 83 percent compliant. SecurityExpressions also provides notification to IT managers of audit and report completion via e-mail, Simple Network Management Protocol, Unix Syslog, Windows event log or custom scripts.

Also a query wizard, which contains a front-end interface, saves time when running queries including file list, file permissions, registry keys, users and groups.

Machine lists and host system information can be stored in a central database for use by multiple systems administrators. Plus, the product includes a Hewlett-Packard Co. policy file for auditing HP UNIX systems. SecurityExpressions uses the Advanced Encryption Standard to encrypt files. Companies can also schedule numerous audits and the tasks related to those audits.

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