PowerTech Gives Compliance Tool New Smarts
August 23, 2011 Alex Woodie
IBM i shops that use PowerTech‘s Compliance Monitor to ensure their server environments are in compliance with regulations like PCI, SOX, and HIPAA won’t have to do as much babysitting of their compliance checks thanks to a new batch scheduling feature added in version 3. The new version, unveiled last week, also gets a Web browser-based GUI, support for object-level security, new reports, and a better installation process.
PowerTech first released Compliance Monitor in 2005 with the goal of helping IBM i shops satisfy the security audit components of regulations like PCI, SOX, and HIPAA and to ensure that security reports comply with industry standards like COBIT and ISO 27002. The software works by gathering data from QAUDJRN and other IBM i server sources, comparing the results against industry regulations, and generating compliance reports (in CSV, XLS, and PDF formats) that can be shared with auditors.
The most exciting new feature in Compliance Monitor version 3 is batch scheduling. Batch scheduling allows administrators to schedule Compliance Monitor to run its reports at times that are more convenient to the organization, such as after work hours. This helps to ensure that the product’s workload doesn’t interfere with production systems. The new release also has hooks to Robot/SCHEDULE, the IBM i job scheduler developed by PowerTech’s corporate parent, Help/Systems.
The capability to have compliance reports automatically distributed to recipients via email is another big new feature in version 3. The product will send the PDF, XLS, and CSV-based reports as an encrypted ZIP file as soon as they’re generated. Alternatively, they can be stored in the IFS if they’re large files. If the report is too big to send as an email attachment, Compliance Monitor will automatically send it to the IFS, and email the recipient a link to retrieve it from the IFS.
A new Web-based interface replaces the Windows-based console that was used to mange compliance reporting in previous releases of the product. PowerTech says the new interface, which runs only on Firefox and IE browsers, has the same look and feel of the old Windows-based console. This should make the transition easy, the company says.
Version 3 also introduces reporting for information relating to object-level security. PowerTech says it now offers several predefined object reports, which enables administrators and auditors to monitor commands, the IFS, job descriptions, libraries, programs, QSYS, special authorities, and subsystems.
Las Vegas casinos will appreciate several new reports that will tell whether their IBM i environment meets Minimum Internal Control Standards (MICS) for the stage of Nevada. The software now generates reports for MICS 7s, which covers failed login attempts; MICS 7e, which covers date and time changes; MICS 12c, which covers users with special authorities; MICS 27, which covers backup commands; and MICS 45, which covers changes to a production library.
Better integration with PowerTech’s Network Security tool is also a feature in Compliance Monitor 3. The software uses Network Security to detect any funny business occurring with the platform’s all-too-vulnerable exit points. This release also provides support for some of the security changes that IBM made with IBM i 6.1 and 7.1.
Last but not least, a new installation wizard should make Compliance Monitor 3 easier to install. The wizard also includes a pre-checker program that identifies anything that might prevent the software from installing or running correctly.
For more info, see www.powertech.com.