IBM Ships Secure Perspective for System i
May 29, 2007 Alex Woodie
IBM last week began shipping Secure Perspectives, a new security tool designed to help organizations implement tight, object-level security across their System i servers. The software, which IBM announced a month ago, is available for the System i now and will become available for other IBM platforms later this year.
For years, security gurus at IBM and other companies have been trying to convince iSeries and System i shops to get serious about security and implement tighter controls. In many cases, object-level security is the most powerful technique organizations can use to protect their System i applications and data. But the beef with object-level security has been that it can be difficult to implement and finicky to manage properly.
IBM hopes to change all that with Secure Perspective, a new tool that’s designed to allow non technical people to define and implement an object-level security policy using non technical words and phrases (i.e. “natural language” and not the cryptic commands of i5/OS). While the software still requires an administrator or programmer who is familiar with the layout of the data to “map” the terms from the policy generated by Secure Perspective into i5/OS, it puts business people–not IT people–in control of server security.
Mark Shearer, general manager IBM System i, says System i shops are looking for help to better define and manage security. “The announcement of Secure Perspective for System i reduces the need for specialized security skills. Business leaders who know how information should be protected can easily create and manage security policies for their organization.”
Secure Perspective features a browser interface that enables users to define their terms and then apply rules governing which groups (such as programmers or secretaries) have the authority to read, execute, change, or delete items in certain areas (such as the payroll file or scheduling data). The software also includes a “what if” modeler to show the user how a policy will affect the system, and generates compliance reports detailing all security policy changes and deviations.
Secure Perspective for System i is available now for $1,500 per managed processor. IBM says the tool will be made available to other platforms later this year.
For a demonstration of how Secure Perspective works, see www-03.ibm.com/systems/i/security/secureperspective/index.html.