Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Virtualization Authors: Clinton Wolfe, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Tim Hinds, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Security

Security: Blog Feed Post

Complying with PCI DSS – Part 3

Part 3: Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program

According to the PCI SSC, there are 12 PCI DSS requirements that satisfy a variety of security goals.  Areas of focus include building and maintaining a secure network, protecting stored cardholder data, maintaining a vulnerability management program, implementing strong access control measures, regularly monitoring and testing networks, and maintaining information security policies. 

The essential framework of the PCI DSS encompasses assessment, remediation, and reporting.  We’re exploring how F5 can help organizations gain or maintain compliance and today is Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program which includes PCI Requirements 5 and 6. 

To read Part 1, click: Complying with PCI DSS–Part 1: Build and Maintain a Secure Network and Part 2: Complying with PCI DSS–Part 2: Protect Cardholder Data

Requirement 5: Use and regularly update antivirus software or programs.

PCI DSS Quick Reference Guide description: Vulnerability management is the process of systematically and continuously finding weaknesses in an entity’s payment card infrastructure system.  This includes security procedures, system design, implementation, or internal controls that could be exploited to violate system security policy.

Solution: With BIG-IP APM and BIG-IP Edge Gateway, F5 provides the ability to scan any remote device or internal system to ensure that an updated antivirus package is running prior to permitting a connection to the network.  Once connections are made, BIG-IP APM and BIG-IP Edge Gateway continually monitor the user connections for a vulnerable state change, and if one is detected, can quarantine the user on the fly into a safe, secure, and isolated network.  Remediation services can include a URL redirect to an antivirus update server.  For application servers in the data center, BIG-IP products can communicate with existing network security and monitoring tools.  If an application server is found to be vulnerable or compromised, that device can be automatically quarantined or removed from the service pool.

With BIG-IP ASM, file uploads can be extracted from requests and transferred over iCAP to a central antivirus (AV) scanner.  If a file infection is detected, BIG-IP ASM will drop that request, making sure the file doesn’t reach the web server.

 

Requirement 6: Develop and maintain secure systems and applications.

PCI DSS Quick Reference Guide description: Security vulnerabilities in systems and applications may allow criminals to access PAN and other cardholder data.  Many of these vulnerabilities are eliminated by installing vendor-provided security patches, which perform a quick-repair job for a specific piece of programming code.  All critical systems must have the most recently released software patches to prevent exploitation.  Entities should apply patches to less-critical systems as soon as possible, based on a risk-based vulnerability management program.  Secure coding practices for developing applications, change control procedures, and other secure software development practices should always be followed.

Solution: Requirements 6.1 through 6.5 deal with secure coding and application development; risk analysis, assessment, and mitigation; patching; and change control.  Requirement 6.6 states: “Ensure all public-facing web applications are protected against known attacks, either by performing code vulnerability reviews at least annually or by installing a web application firewall in front of public-facing web applications.”

This requirement can be easily met with BIG-IP ASM, which is a leading web application firewall (WAF) offering protection for vulnerable web applications.  Using both a positive security model for dynamic application protection and a strong, signature-based negative security model, BIG-IP ASM provides application-layer protection against both targeted and generalized application attacks. 

It also protects against the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Top Ten vulnerabilities and threats on the Web Application Security Consortium’s (WASC) Threat Classification lists.  To assess a web application’s vulnerability, most organizations turn to a vulnerability scanner. The scanning schedule might depend on a change in control, as when an application is initially being deployed, or other triggers such as a quarterly report.  The vulnerability scanner scours the web application, and in some cases actually attempts potential attacks, to generate a report indicating all possible vulnerabilities. 

This gives the administrator managing the web security devices a clear view of all  exposed areas and potential threats to the website.  Such a report is a moment-in time assessment and might not result in full application coverage, but should give administrators a clear picture of their web application security posture.  It includes information about coding errors, weak authentication mechanisms, fields or parameters that query the database directly, or other vulnerabilities that provide unauthorized access to information, sensitive or not.  Otherwise, many of these vulnerabilities would need to be manually re-coded or manually added to the WAF policy—both expensive undertakings.

Simply having the vulnerability report, while beneficial, doesn’t make a web application secure.  The real value of the report lies in how it enables an organization to determine the risk level and how best to mitigate the risk.  Since recoding an application is expensive and time-consuming and may generate even more errors, many organizations deploy a WAF like BIG-IP ASM.  A WAF enables an organization to protect its web applications by virtually patching the open vulnerabilities until developers have an opportunity to properly close the hole. 

Often, organizations use the vulnerability scanner report to either tighten or initially generate a WAF policy.  While finding vulnerabilities helps organizations understand their exposure, they must also have the ability to quickly mitigate those vulnerabilities to greatly reduce the risk of application exploits.  The longer an application remains vulnerable, the more likely it is to be compromised.

For cloud deployments, BIG-IP ASM Virtual Edition (VE) delivers the same functionality as the physical edition and helps companies maintain compliance, including compliance with PCI DSS, when they deploy applications in the cloud. If an application vulnerability is discovered, BIG-IP ASM VE can quickly be deployed in a cloud environment, enabling organizations to immediately patch vulnerabilities virtually until the development team can permanently fix the application.  Additionally, organizations are often unable to fix applications developed by third parties, and this lack of control prevents many of them from considering cloud deployments. 

But with BIG-IP ASM VE, organizations have full control over securing their cloud infrastructure.  BIG-IP ASM version 11.1 includes integration with IBM Rational AppScan, Cenzic Hailstorm, QualysGuard WAS, and WhiteHat Sentinel, making BIG-IP ASM the most advanced vulnerability assessment and application protection on the market.  In addition, administrators can better create and enforce policies with information about attack patterns from a grouping of violations or otherwise correlated incidents. In this way, BIG-IP ASM protects the applications between scanning and patching cycles and against zero-day attacks that signature-based scanners won’t find.  Both are critical in creating a secure Application Delivery Network.

BIG-IP ASM also makes it easy to understand where organizations stand relative to PCI DSS compliance.  With the BIG-IP ASM PCI Compliance Report, organizations can quickly see each security measure required to comply with PCI DSS 2.0 and understand which measures are or are not relevant to BIG-IP ASM functions. 

For relevant security measures, the report indicates whether the organization’s BIG-IP ASM appliance complies with PCI DSS 2.0. For security measures that are not relevant to BIG-IP ASM, the report explains what action to take to achieve PCI DSS 2.0 compliance.

asmpci
BIG-IP ASM PCI Compliance Report

Finally, with the unique F5 iHealth system, organizations can analyze the configuration of their BIG-IP products to identify any critical patches or security updates that may be necessary.

Next: Implement Strong Access Control Measures

More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter Silva covers security for F5’s Technical Marketing Team. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Bringing the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together, he covers training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5’s security line. He's also produced over 200 F5 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. Prior to joining F5, he was the Business Development Manager with Pacific Wireless Communications. He’s also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others. He earned his B.S. from Marquette University, and is a certified instructor in the Wisconsin System of Vocational, Technical & Adult Education.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The cloud is now a fact of life but generating recurring revenues that are driven by solutions and services on a consumption model have been hard to implement, until now. In their session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, will discuss how a top European telco has leveraged the innovative recurring revenue generating capability of the consumption cloud to enable a unique cloud monetization model to drive results.
As organizations shift toward IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection &E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships, will discuss how to cut costs, scale easily, and unleash insight with CommVault Simpana software, the only si...
Analytics is the foundation of smart data and now, with the ability to run Hadoop directly on smart storage systems like Cloudian HyperStore, enterprises will gain huge business advantages in terms of scalability, efficiency and cost savings as they move closer to realizing the potential of the Internet of Things. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Turner, technology evangelist and CMO at Cloudian, Inc., will discuss the revolutionary notion that the storage world is transitioning from mere Big Data to smart data. He will argue that today’s hybrid cloud storage solutions, with commodity...
Cloud data governance was previously an avoided function when cloud deployments were relatively small. With the rapid adoption in public cloud – both rogue and sanctioned, it’s not uncommon to find regulated data dumped into public cloud and unprotected. This is why enterprises and cloud providers alike need to embrace a cloud data governance function and map policies, processes and technology controls accordingly. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems, will focus on how to set up a cloud data governance program and s...
Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been involved at the beginning of four IT industries: EDA, Open Systems, Computer Security and now SOA.
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Every innovation or invention was originally a daydream. You like to imagine a “what-if” scenario. And with all the attention being paid to the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) you don’t have to stretch the imagination too much to see how this may impact commercial and homeowners insurance. We’re beyond the point of accepting this as a leap of faith. The groundwork is laid. Now it’s just a matter of time. We can thank the inventors of smart thermostats for developing a practical business application that everyone can relate to. Gone are the salad days of smart home apps, the early chalkb...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, representing a model of how to analyze rea...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Even as cloud and managed services grow increasingly central to business strategy and performance, challenges remain. The biggest sticking point for companies seeking to capitalize on the cloud is data security. Keeping data safe is an issue in any computing environment, and it has been a focus since the earliest days of the cloud revolution. Understandably so: a lot can go wrong when you allow valuable information to live outside the firewall. Recent revelations about government snooping, along with a steady stream of well-publicized data breaches, only add to the uncertainty
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
Docker is an excellent platform for organizations interested in running microservices. It offers portability and consistency between development and production environments, quick provisioning times, and a simple way to isolate services. In his session at DevOps Summit at 16th Cloud Expo, Shannon Williams, co-founder of Rancher Labs, will walk through these and other benefits of using Docker to run microservices, and provide an overview of RancherOS, a minimalist distribution of Linux designed expressly to run Docker. He will also discuss Rancher, an orchestration and service discovery platf...
PubNub on Monday has announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring its sophisticated real-time data streaming and messaging capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform. “Today’s app and connected devices require an always-on connection, but building a secure, scalable solution from the ground up is time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. “PubNub enables web, mobile and IoT developers building apps on IBM Bluemix to quickly add scalable realtime functionality with minimal effort and cost.”