Qualys Blog

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19 posts

Webcast Q&A: Automating the CIS Critical Security Controls

Qualys Product Management Director Tim White and SANS Institute Analyst John Pescatore did a deep dive into the Center for Internet Security’s Critical Security Controls during a recent webcast, and answered questions from audience members about these 20 foundational security practices, and about the importance of maintaining basic security hygiene.

In this blog post, we’re providing edited transcripts of their answers to all the questions, including those that they didn’t have time to address during the one-hour webcast, which was titled “Automating CIS Critical Security Controls for Threat Remediation and Enhanced Compliance.” We hope you find their explanations insightful and useful.

Webcast Questions and Answers - Automating CIS 20 Critical Security ControlsIn addition, if you didn’t catch the webcast live, we invite you to listen to the CIS controls webcast recording. We also encourage you to download a copy of a highly detailed guide that maps the CIS controls and sub-controls directly to specific features in Qualys apps.

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Countdown to GDPR: Assess Vendor Risk

To comply with GDPR, organizations typically must overhaul and update a number of internal processes and systems, but they can’t ignore a critical area: risk from vendors and other third parties such as contractors, partners, suppliers and service providers.

GDPR assess vendor riskIt’s a point that’s stressed repeatedly throughout the 88-page text of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in May 2018 and requires that organizations worldwide properly identify, track and protect their EU customers’ personal data.

In GDPR lingo, “data controllers” must vet the “data processors” they share this customer information with, and assume joint responsibility for what happens to it. In other words, you’re liable if one of your third parties gets breached for failing to adhere to GDPR requirements and as a result your customers’ personal data gets compromised.

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Q&A: Conducting Cloud-Based Vendor Risk Audits With Qualys SAQ

Q&A: Conducting Cloud-Based Vendor Risk Audits With Qualys Security Assessment Questionnaire SAQThird-party security assessments drastically reduce your organization’s risk of suffering a data breach. When carried out properly, these assessments identify poor InfoSec and privacy practices among your vendors, partners, contractors, and other third parties with access to your IT systems and data. Unfortunately, many businesses conduct these assessments manually, using email and spreadsheets, which makes them labor-intensive, slow and imprecise. This manual approach strains InfoSec teams and creates a backlog of security evaluations.

In a recent webcast, “Streamlining Third Party Risk Assessments in the Cloud,” a Qualys customer discussed how his organization tackled this challenge in a way that improved productivity, efficiency, visibility, and risk analysis. Below are the answers to the questions asked by participants during the Q&A portion of the presentation, provided by speakers Jonathan Osmolski, Manager of Enterprise Records and Information Governance at Pekin Insurance, and Hariom Singh, Director of Product Management for Qualys Security Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ).

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Save Time by Streamlining Vendor Risk Assessments in the Cloud

As your organization enthusiastically adopts cloud and mobile services from multiple new vendors, are your already-busy security and compliance teams scrambling to assess the risks of using these new providers’ products?

Are you still using a manual process for conducting these vendor evaluations, even though you’re being asked to do more of them, and to complete them more quickly?

This is an increasingly common scenario in enterprises globally, and it creates a challenge for InfoSec teams: How to do more vendor risk assessments, and faster, so that business units can deploy these new cloud and mobile services quickly and gain the desired competitive edge?

Pekin Insurance, a provider of life, business, auto, home and health coverage, found itself in this position last year: Using a manual process that taxed its InfoSec team members and didn’t scale.

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Qualys Cloud Platform 2.28 New Features

This release of the Qualys Cloud Platform version 2.28 includes updates and new features for Cloud Agent, AssetView, ThreatPROTECT, Security Assessment Questionnaire and Web Application Scanning, highlights as follows:

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Countdown to GDPR — Reduce your Risk

First discussed in the 1990s and turned into law last year, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) finally goes into effect in May 2018, imposing strict requirements on millions of businesses and subjecting violators to severe penalties.

The complex regulation is of concern not just to European businesses. It applies to any organization worldwide that controls and processes the data of EU citizens, whose privacy the GDPR is meant to protect.

A recent PwC survey found that more than half of U.S. multinationals say GDPR is their main data-protection priority, with 77% of them planning to spend $1 million or more on GDPR readiness and compliance.

“The GDPR is putting data protection practices at the forefront of business agendas worldwide,” Steve Durbin, Information Security Forum’s managing director, wrote recently.

In other words, it’s crunch time for companies that fall within the GDPR’s broad scope and that haven’t completed their preparations to comply with this regulation. Gartner estimates that about half of organizations subject to the GDPR will be non-compliant by the end of 2018. You don’t want to be in this group of laggards.

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Dynamic Questionnaire: Accelerate Quick and Efficient Responses with Question Gating

As you roll out Security Assessment Questionnaire to your vendors and internal stakeholders, it is necessary to avoid lengthy questionnaires containing many sections with questions that are not relevant to their area of work. It is important that respondents don’t get overwhelmed and spend a lot of time and effort in sifting through all the questions deciding for themselves whether a section or a question is relevant or applicable to them. Invariably, this results in delays in getting their responses back to you.

The latest version of Security Assessment Questionnaire enables you to use a gating mechanism for controlling the flow of your questionnaire. You can now decide which questions or sections a respondent can see, based on his response to a question or a combination of questions. This makes it easier for respondents to see and respond to only relevant sections and questions thereby making the entire exercise more time-efficient for them. It is also easier for you to analyze all the consolidated responses.

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Qualys Support for Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Cyber Security Guidelines

Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central banking and monetary authority, points out that the number, frequency, and impact of cyber incidents on Indian banks has increased substantially. Like their peers globally, Indian banks are committed to maintaining customer trust, protecting financial assets, and preserving their own brand and reputation as the industry will remain a top target of cybercriminals using increasingly sophisticated methods. Thus, it is urgent that banks continue to improve their cyber defenses.

In a race to adopt technology innovations, the exposure to cyber incidents/attacks has also increased, thereby underlining the urgent need to put in place a robust cyber security and resilience framework. The Reserve Bank of India has provided guidelines on Cyber Security Framework vide circular DBS.

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Qualys Cloud Platform 2.23 New Features

This release of the Qualys Cloud Platform version 2.23 includes updates and new features for AssetView, Cloud Agent, AWS Region Support, Security Assessment Questionnaire and Web Application Scanning as follows:

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Checklist: Qualys Top 10 Tips for a Secure & Compliant 2017

With 2017 still in its infancy, plenty of time remains for InfoSec practitioners to make concrete strides toward better security and compliance in their organizations. That’s why to help you start off the year on the right foot, we’ve shared best practices, ideas and recommendations in our Qualys Top 10 Tips for a Secure & Compliant 2017 blog series.

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