SkyView Opens Up Security Policy Product
August 28, 2007 Alex Woodie
SkyView Partners is now shipping a new release of Policy Minder, a product it launched in 2005 to analyze and enforce security policies on i5/OS systems. With version 1.3, SkyView published an API that makes it easier for customers and other software vendors to hook into Policy Minder’s capabilities. And customers can now use Policy Minder to monitor and enforce nearly all i5/OS system settings, not just those related to security.
SkyView Partners first launched Policy Minder in the fall of 2005 to serve the growing need for tools that simplify and automate the setup and ongoing management of i5/OS security settings. With last fall’s release of version 1.2, SkyView made it easier to keep up with the constantly changing array of user profiles, objects, libraries, and commands that production System i servers see.
Now, with the delivery of version 1.3, SkyView has delivered more new features that should make it easier for IT administrators to stay on top of their continually evolving server environments.
One of the most useful new features in Policy Minder 1.3 is the documented API. With this release, all key commands in Policy Minder can be called as an API, allowing the product’s security compliance capabilities to be called from other products developed by customers and third-party software vendors.
The first vendor to utilize SkyView’s new API is Innovatum, an Atlanta, Georgia, company that develops a real-time audit change-monitoring solution for OS/400 and i5/OS called DataThread. The integration of Policy Minder and DataThread through the new API has resulted in “a high performance, real time compliance solution,” says Bill Brennan of Innovatum. “It has created a unique opportunity for us in the market.”
Policy Minder 1.3 also streamlines the handling of inactive user profiles, which, if left alone, pose a needless security risk. Setting up an automated process to deal with inactive profiles becomes very easy with this release, says Carol Woodbury, president and co-founder of SkyView Partners, which is based near Seattle, Washington. “You can set up a procedure to automatically disable profiles or remove their passwords,” she says. ” You can even setup an automated process to delete them if you wish.”
While Policy Minder’s focus remains on managing i5/OS security, the product can now control a wide swath of system settings with this release. This was a feature requested by existing Policy Minder customers, says John Vanderwall, CEO and co-founder of SkyView. “They thought it was great that we checked compliance of security system values, but said it would be nice if they could check system values that are outside the category of security system values to see if they are set to the value they want them to be set to,” he says. “It’s really not a security compliance issue as it is the fact that it seemed like it’s a logical extension of what we are doing in the product.”
This will save customers time, Vanderwall says. “Rather than telling a customer that they can run Policy Minder to check compliance with security system values, and then telling them to manually check the other values, we now can say, just check and enforce all the system values with Policy Minder,” he says. “It saves them time and effort and lets them get back to concentrating on their core business.”
Version 1.3 includes the enablement of Policy Minder’s “FixIt” function for authorization lists.
Policy Minder version 1.3 is available now. Pricing ranges from $3,500 to more than $10,000, depending on processor group and the number of LPARs. For more information, see www.skyviewpartners.com.