12
Wed, Jun
4 New Articles

Do You Understand the Foundations Behind Today's Compliance Laws and Regulations?

Compliance / Privacy
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

If SOX, PCI, and COBIT are acronyms you have heard but don't truly understand, here's a primer on what they mean and how they apply to your organization.

 

Editor's note: This article has been extracted from the white paper "Laws and Regulations and Standards…Oh My!" available for free download at the MC White Paper Center.

 

When you look at all of the laws, regulations, and standards that drive security and compliance requirements, your head can start to swim.

 

First let's define two terms: information security and compliance.

  • The generally recognized definition of information security is protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.
  • According to Merriam-Webster, compliance is conformity in fulfilling official requirements.

 

Keeping these definitions in mind, let's see how these laws, regulations, and standards either drive or contribute to information security and compliance within your organization.

Payment Card Industry (PCI)

Every organization that stores credit card information has heard of the PCI's Data Security Standard (DSS). In 2006, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB formed the PCI Security Standards Council and, with minor changes, adopted the Visa PCI standard and made it the PCI Data Security Standard. The Council has turned into a consortium that includes security experts, vendors, and others interested in keeping cardholder data secure.

 

PCI DSS has to be interpreted for each operating system and technology to which it's being applied. For example, rather than specifically list the settings for an AIX system running an Oracle or DB2 database, it states that access to cardholder data be "deny by default." And, like the ISO standards, the DSS is very broad, addressing the need for an information security officer, a security policy, network security, access controls, encryption, application development security standards, testing, monitoring, incident response, and regular security assessments. The PCI DSS provides a good example of one industry's view of security best practices.

Security Isn't a One-Time Event

While compliance with PCI has caused cardholder data in most organizations to be less vulnerable, several high-profile thefts (Hannaford and Heartland Systems) have shown that PCI compliance is not sufficient in all cases to ensure the security of cardholder data. The intent of the ISO 27000 series is to establish a model for establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining, and improving an information security management system (ISMS). In other words, security management is not a one-time event. Security management is a process. Part of the ISO standard addresses the discovery of flaws and the need to continually seek ways to improve the security posture of the organization.

 

ISO 27001 addresses all parts of the organization: security policy, organization of information security, asset management, human resources security, physical and environmental security, communications and operations management, access control, information systems acquisition, development and maintenance, information security incident management, business continuity management, and compliance. Only 27001 and 27002 have been published. The others are placeholders for topics such as ISMS implementation (27003), information security management and metrics (27004), information security risk management (27005), and guidelines for organizations offering accreditation (27006).

Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT)

Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT) is a set of best practices for information technology (IT) management. It was created by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and the IT Governance Institute (ITGI) in 1996. COBIT is a methodology for evaluating and managing risk in the IT organization. So if your security policy is thorough and your COBIT process supports the requirements of your policy, your organization has a better chance of having addressed the issues that may have caused a gap in your security scheme.

 

For example, when IT is implementing a new technology or designing a new application, security can be an afterthought. Following a well-disciplined process that includes a review of the security implications of each project will help ensure security is not ignored. Then, following rigorous testing and implementation processes will ensure security remains in focus for the entire project.

Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)

Of course everyone's heard about—and most of you have been affected by—the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). It was enacted to make sure that there are sufficient controls and processes in place to ensure that corporate financial statements are accurate and reflect reality. Contrary to popular belief, SOX says absolutely nothing about IT security. However, it cannot be argued that the need for information security is at least heavily implied.

 

As COBIT gained popularity during the height of the SOX compliance push, compliance with SOX—in some peoples' minds—became synonymous with being in compliance with COBIT.

 

One requirement that more organizations are talking about is a SAS70 audit. This standard is defined through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and has been in existence for some time.  Its official title is "Reports on the Processing of Transactions by Service Organizations." SAS70 specifies audit requirements for organizations that perform outsourced services or organizations that are using outsourced services. Like SOX, the requirements for passing a SAS70 audit specify nothing specific about security requirements. While the requirement for good security practices may be implied by SAS70 (certainly, a good security scheme supports many of the SLAs outsourcers provide), it's really up to your organization's requirements of the outsourced service to impose security requirements on an outsourcer.

Impact of Regulations and Standards

Laws, regulations, standards, and audits directly impact your organization's security policy. Resist the temptation to have a security policy that is a generic template that could apply to any organization. In other words, make it meaningful for your organization so that it is an actual reflection of your organization's security requirements. While your policy will document your organization's security requirements, it's the implementation of this policy that will determine whether your organization is in compliance.

 

The white paper "Laws and Regulations and Standards…Oh My!" is available for free download at the MC White Paper Center.

Carol Woodbury

 

Carol Woodbury is IBM i Security SME and Senior Advisor to Kisco Systems, a firm focused on providing IBM i security solutions. Carol has over 30 years’ experience with IBM i security, starting her career as Security Team Leader and Chief Engineering Manager for iSeries Security at IBM in Rochester, MN. Since leaving IBM, she has co-founded two companies: SkyView Partners and DXR Security. Her practical experience and her intimate knowledge of the system combine for a unique viewpoint and experience level that cannot be matched.

Carol is known worldwide as an author and award-winning speaker on security technology, specializing in IBM i security topics. She has written seven books on IBM i security, including her two current books, IBM i Security Administration and Compliance, 3rd Edition and Mastering IBM i Security, A Modern, Step-by-Step Approach. Carol has been named an IBM Champion since 2018 and holds her CISSP and CRISC security certifications.


MC Press books written by Carol Woodbury available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

IBM i Security Administration and Compliance: Third Edition
Don't miss the newest edition by the industry’s #1 IBM i security expert.
List Price $71.95

Now On Sale

Mastering IBM i Security Mastering IBM i Security
Get the must-have guide by the industry’s #1 security authority.
List Price $49.95

Now On Sale

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:
$

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: