Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Virtualization Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Ian Khan, Plutora Blog, 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
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, 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. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, will discuss IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sector...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize supplier management. Learn about enterprise architecture strategies for designing connected systems tha...
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
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...
The recent trends like cloud computing, social, mobile and Internet of Things are forcing enterprises to modernize in order to compete in the competitive globalized markets. However, enterprises are approaching newer technologies with a more silo-ed way, gaining only sub optimal benefits. The Modern Enterprise model is presented as a newer way to think of enterprise IT, which takes a more holistic approach to embracing modern technologies.
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
The Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) market will grow to $6.4B by 2018. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, will begin by walking the audience through the evolution of Workspace as-a-Service, where it is now vs. where it going. To look beyond the desktop we must understand exactly what WaaS is, who the users are, and where it is going in the future. IT departments, ISVs and service providers must look to workflow and automation capabilities to adapt to growing demand and the rapidly changing workspace model.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He discussed opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and technical point of vie...