IBM Offers Free Security Check for IBM i
November 8, 2021 Alex Woodie
IBM i shops that are concerned about security – and really, who isn’t concerned about their security these days? – may be interested in receiving a free security check from the experts at IBM Systems Lab Services.
The IBM i Security Quick Check, as the free offering is called, was introduced by IBM in October as a way to help IBM i shops pinpoint the areas where their servers are susceptible to external attacks, insider threats, and malware.
The security check will let organizations know where the security vulnerabilities exist in their IBM i configurations, according to a blog post by Robert Andrews, a senior managing security consultant who specializes in IBM i for the IBM Systems Lab Services Power Systems Delivery Practice in Rochester, Minnesota.
“This service reviews over 1,000 data points on the IBM i system,” Andrews writes. “These include system-wide settings such as the network configuration and password policy, user profiles, their authority and privileges, and object-level authorities looking for unsecured files.”
IBM will check areas where security problems are prone to pop up, such as overuse of powerful user profiles like *ALLOBJ and *JOBCTL authorities. It checks for user profiles with default passwords, the security level used, whether the audit journal it turned on, and whether ROOT access to the IFS is shared.
When the security assessment is done, IBM will present the customer with an approximately 50-page report that includes the in-depth results. The customer also gets a color-coded dashboard that shows them the configuration items of the highest concern, which should be prioritized for remediation.
It’s up to each customer to remediate the poor security configuration settings in their own environments (we’re assuming the configs are not ideal, but there’s a lot of data to back up that assumption). IBM, of course, can help with fixing the bad security settings for a fee, as can many other business partners.
Every IBM i customer is entitled to an IBM i Security Quick Check, but there are some restrictions that you should know about. For starters, a customer can only get the check one time. Plus, they can only get the check for a single LPAR. If you have multiple LPARs that you want to check, IBM Systems Lab Services can definitely help, but it’s not going to be free.
By the way, IBM is not the only company offering free security scans of IBM i environments. There are several other business partners offering them for IBM i.
HelpSystems, which owns PowerTech and several other IBM i security companies, will give you a free security scan. This has been a popular offering over the years, and also gives PowerTech fodder for its annual State of Security report. Software Engineering of America (SEA), which distributed Raz-Lee Security’s IBM i security software, has also advertised free IBM i security assessments in the past. Precisely, which acquired Enforcive (formerly BSafe Solutions), also offers a free IBM i security assessment. Trinity Guard has a few different free security assessments, which you can find out about at this link.
For more info on the IBM i Security Quick Check, contact your IBM Systems Lab Services representative or go to www.ibm.biz/ibmisecurity.