Tango/04 Looks for Database Changes with New Tool
October 18, 2005 Alex Woodie
Companies looking to lock down their iSeries and Windows databases as a means toward achieving regulatory compliance have a new tool from Tango/04 Computing Group to check out. The Spanish software house recently started shipping Data Monitor, a utility that keeps a trail of all changes made to specific records in sensitive tables, and sends real-time alerts to administrators when the integrity and confidentiality of data is put at risk.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The FDA’s 21 CFR Part 11. Basel II. If there’s one thing there’s no shortage of these days, it’s new laws instructing corporations and other organizations to lock down the computers holding sensitive financial and medical data.
Tango/04’s new Data Monitor is one of a slew of new tools that can help organizations to prove their data is, indeed, locked down per SOX, et al. The software works with IBM DB2 UDB for iSeries (DB2/400) and Microsoft‘s SQL Server, with support for Oracle databases in the works.
Data Monitor is a database auditing tool that keeps track of every addition, change, and deletion made to files in a database. For each database action it examines, there are several variables that can be included in the report, including a timestamp, job, user, real user (which may differ from the job user), user class, accounting code, IP address of the remote job that executes the transaction, and the name of the program and library, among others.
The new tool can be used to track fraudulent activity, or find mistakes that could open a company to actions from the government. It provides the answers to questions like: Who modified the INVOICES table between midnight and 5 a.m. last Tuesday? What changes to tables has user SMITH performed lately? What changes were performed to the CUSTOMER field without using the company’s ERP application? How many insert and delete operations were made in the EMPLOYEES table last year? Who modified the SALARIES table without being part of the Human Resources user group?
These questions can be answered by generating reports through Data Monitor. Reports meet international security standards such as ISO 17799 and COBIT, and can be distributed via e-mail as PDF, XML, HTML, or RTF formats, or published on an internal Web site.
Data Monitor does not use database triggers to look for changes. This is a key point, Tango/04 says, because triggers are resource-intensive, error-prone, and do not generate opposable logs which you can use in a trial. Instead, Data Monitor is based on data on the IBM journal receivers, which have been certified by IBM as “usable as legal proof” in the United States and other countries, according to Tango/04.
Tango/04 is selling Data Monitor as a stand alone product, or as an integrated part of its VISUAL Security Suite, with which Data Monitor shares some components, including Tango/04’s Windows Server Agent, iSeries Security Agent, Data Monitor for iSeries, iSeries SQL Monitors, and specific QSYSOPR, UIN, and QHST monitors.
Data Monitor works with OS/400 V5R1 and later, as well as Windows 98, NT, 2000, XP, and Windows Server 2003. Stand alone pricing starts at $3,000 per iSeries or Windows CPU. Tango/04 is also providing some discounts when customers buy Data Monitor as part of VISUAL Security Suite. For more information see the company’s Web site at www.tango04.com.