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PCI DSS 1.2 Spec Released

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PCI DSS 1.2 represents an update to the original 12 requirements found in PCI DSS version 1.1.  The intent of the latest specification is to clarify existing requirements and provide clarification and flexibility in terms of interpretation of the standard.

  • Guidance around scope of PCI DSS and elaborate on segmentation of Cardholder data environment 
  • Clarification of wireless technology requirements and provide sunset date for use of WEP – All WEP implementations must be discontinued as of June 30, 2010 
  • Clarification around requirement 6.6 for web application security to remove references to source code review and add use of automated assessment tools 
  • Require employees that interact with cardholder data to review and accept security policy annually
  • Compensating controls should now be reviewed and validated annually by a qualified assessor 
  • Flexibility for incorporation of evolving technologies and threats 
  • Announcement of Quality Assurance program for assessors

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Related Coverage:
Credit-Card Security Standard Issued After Much Debate, by Ellen Messmer, Network World
Payment Card Security Toughens With DSS 1.2 Release, by Jabulani Leffall, Redmond

Hot or Not: What You Need to Know to Keep Mac OS X Secure

SC-Mag-Hot-or-Not.gifWhen it comes to security, Apple isn’t sitting still. Amol Sarwate, guest columnist for SC Magazine’s Hot or Not column looks at some of the new features inherent in OS X 10.5 that help keep the system secure. According to Apple, these security enhancements were added to 10.5, released last fall:

  • Tagging and first-run warning: Mac OS X 10.5 marks files that are downloaded to help prevent users from inadvertently running malicious downloaded applications. 
  • Runtime protection: New technologies such as execute disable, library randomization, and sandboxing help prevent attacks that try to hijack or modify system software. 
  • Improved firewall: After the new application firewall is activated, the firewall configures itself so that users get the benefits of firewall protection without having to understand the details of network ports and protocols.
  • Mandatory access control: These enforce restrictions on access to system resources. Not even a compromised "root" user can change some settings.
  • Application signing: This enables users to verify the integrity and identity of applications on the Mac. 
  • Improved secure connectivity: Virtual private network (VPN) support has been enhanced to connect to more of the most popular VPN servers-without additional software.

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Qualys Named One of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies by Inc. Magazine for the Second Consecutive Year

Inc-5000.gifThe recognition also highlights Qualys as the 25th-fastest growing security company. With 323 percent sales growth over the last three years, Qualys continues to benefit from the increased adoption of its Security-as-a-Service model by large enterprises to SMBs worldwide.

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Qualys Gets Frost & Sullivan Global Growth Strategy Leadership Award

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The Frost & Sullivan award honors Qualys for its exceptional long-term growth strategy and credits the Company as "a crucial force in furthering the acceptance of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products."

"As the market shows signs of maturity, Qualys' ability to increase market share, grow at consistently high rates and retain an astoundingly high percentage of its impressive customer base solidifies its leading role in the vulnerability management market. In a million-dollar breach reality, the reliability of QualysGuard and the appeal of its SaaS delivery model sets the company apart in a very highly-competitive market," says Chris Rodriguez, research analyst with Frost & Sullivan.

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Hot or Not: Web Application Firewalls for Security and Regulatory Compliance

SC-Mag-Hot-or-Not.gifQualys Vulnerabilities Research Lab manager, Amol Sarwate, recently discussed Web application firewalls (WAF) for security and regulatory compliance in SC Magazine’s Hot or Not feature.  In the feature, Amol provides considerations to ensure the proper WAF is chosen to fit an organizations specific needs. Readers are also pointed to the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) which provides an abundance of Web application security educational information including the top 10 most prevalent web application attacks.

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Microsoft Patch Tuesday: September 2008 Security Bulletin

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Qualys® Vulnerability R&D Lab has released new vulnerability checks in QualysGuard® to protect organizations against the 4 new vulnerabilities present in Microsoft Windows. Customers can immediately audit their networks for these and other recent vulnerabilities by accessing their QualysGuard subscription.

Microsoft released on September 9, 4 security patches to fix newly discovered flaws in Microsoft Windows. The Qualys Vulnerability R&D Lab has released the following checks for these new vulnerabilities, including:

– Microsoft Windows GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
– Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 9 Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
– Microsoft Windows Media Player Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
– Microsoft Office Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

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Related Coverage:
Patch Tuesday Addresses Eight Critical Vulnerabilities, by Jennifer LeClaire. Newfactor.com

Creating a Comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment Program for a Large Company Using QualysGuard

SANS-Reading-Room.jpgIndependent author Tim Proffitt writes his thesis, as part of his GIAC certification requirements, on how large companies should implement a Vulnerability Assessment Program using QualysGuard. The white paper is hosted in the SANS Institute Reading Room, and provided by SANS as a resource to benefit the security community at large.

In this paper Tim Profitt provides a step-by-step guide for implementing a Vulnerability Assessment Program using QualysGuard, including background and recommendations on how to:

– Create Security Policies and Controls 
– Categorize Assets  
– Discover Assets  
– Configure Hosts and Assets 
– Configure Scan Details  
– Report on Your Results  
– Rank Your Risks and Remediate 
– Handle Verification and False Positives 
– Meet  Compliance

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PCI Standard Widened for Better Security

PCI-Compliance-InternetNews.pngInternetNews.com reports on the PCI Security Standards Council latest version 1.2 of PCI Data Security Standards, or PCI-DSS available for merchant use beginning Oct. 1. The Council says version 1.2 will "not introduce any major new requirements" and will only "introduce clarifying items." The clarifications include:

  • Addition of monitoring capabilities for removable electronic media, e-mail, Web, laptops It also adds monitoring capabilities for removable electronic media, e-mail, Web, laptops and PDAS.
  • Wired Equivalent Privacy, or WEP wireless security protocol dropped in favor of the newer IEEE 802.11x standard.
  • Tightening of security requirements for employees of companies the PCI-DSS governs.
  • Security policy requiring employees to acknowledge that they have read and understood their security policy and procedures at least once a year.
  • New wireless networks implementations cannot use WEP implementations after March 31, 2009 and current implementations must get rid of WEP by June 30, 2010.

Sumedh Thakar, PCI solutions manager at Qualys, told InternetNews.com he welcomes these changes because a vulnerability scan is more doable and less expensive than going through your source code.  Instead of having to go through possibly millions of lines of source code, companies can run a scan then focus on detected vulnerabilities in the code and remedy those. Another change that Thakar likes is the Council’s formally ruling out the use of WEP, which has, since 2001, been known to be easy to crack. "The standard has always recommended that WEP not be used, but now they’re putting in a timeline," added Sumedh.

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NEW QualysGuard Log-in Page

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Qualys has implemented a new log-in page for QualysGuard. This new log-in page provides information about product enhancements, changes and updates as well as share information about new tools, tips, and techniques for using QualysGuard Vulnerability Management and Policy Compliance features.

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Microsoft Patch Tuesday: August 2008 Security Bulletin

Qualys Security Alert Podcast with Wolfgang Kandek and Amor Sarwate

Qualys® Vulnerability R&D Lab has released new vulnerability checks in QualysGuard® to protect organizations against the 11 new vulnerabilities present in Microsoft Windows. Customers can immediately audit their networks for these and other recent vulnerabilities by accessing their QualysGuard subscription.

Microsoft released on August 12, 11 security patches to fix newly discovered flaws in Microsoft Windows. The Qualys Vulnerability R&D Lab has released the following checks for these new vulnerabilities, including:

  • Microsoft Access Snapshot Viewer ActiveX Control Vulnerability
  • Microsoft Word Could Allow Remote Code Execution
  • Microsoft Excel Could Allow Remote Code Execution
  • Microsoft Office Filters Could Allow Remote Code Execution
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer Cumulative Security Update
  • More…

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Related Coverage:
Microsoft Fixes IE, Office in Big Month of Security Updates, by Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service
Microsoft Issues Massive Security Update for Windows, by Greg Keizer, Computerworld