Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Win 2012 National Cybersecurity Innovation Award

From: SANS Intitute

The innovation:  Deploying continuous automated monitoring to radically reduce the vulnerability of confidential citizen health data, with the added innovation of generating competition among contractors to improve security.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has won a 2012 U.S. National Cybersecurity Innovation Award for using continuous automated monitoring to protect confidential citizen health data against theft and alteration.


Proactive, continuous monitoring key to thwarting cyber crime

From: GCN

By Jim Flyzik

Continuous monitoring is a critical but often misunderstood component at the epicenter of “proactive” cybersecurity.

How do we prevent malicious threats from getting into an organization’s network while allowing legitimate data to flow efficiently? How do we monitor data on our storage devices, the data at rest?  How do we audit all the devices in our network and their unique configurations?

In today’s complex technology landscape, network parameters are constantly evolving. This makes it nearly impossible for IT professionals to manage growing gaps in the infrastructure when even the smallest misconfiguration can leave the strongest defenses vulnerable to attack.


Cloud Security Alliance released SIEM guidance

From: Net-Security.org

“The purpose of this research is to define what Security as a Service means to organization and provide guidance on how these new practices should be best implemented,” said Jim Reavis, co-founder and executive director for the CSA.

“Bringing event, threat and risk data seamlessly together is the foundation of SIEM, however doing it in a services model presents a variety of new challenges. This new Guidance will go a long way to helping IT security managers, technical architects, and systems manager take a more comprehensive approach to providing SIEM as a service under a Security as a Service model,” Reavis added.


DHS Drafts Solicitation for Cyber Security Tools and Services

From: GovWin.com

by Kyra Kozemchak

In a draft solicitation issued mid-October 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) outlines 15 toolsets and 11 services areas for the new Continuous Diagnostic and Mitigation (CDM) program and for continuous monitoring as a service (CMaaS).

In June 2012, DHS outlined requirements for Continuous Monitoring. The core capabilities for continuous monitoring fell into five areas: hardware asset management, software asset management, vulnerability management, configuration management, and anti-virus. The concept of operations for the continuous monitoring program identified three approaches:

  • Internally operated services
  • Continuous Monitoring as a service (CMAAS)


IT Life: The Joy Of Log Management

From: TechWeek/Europe

Forty years at the cutting edge of log managements, has left Assuria’s Nick Connor with an abiding love of the field

Nick Connor has worked in IT for more than 40 years and is currently putting his experience to use at IT security firm Assuria. He thinks that consumerisation of IT is one of the industry’s biggest challenge, but he’s not one to shy away from demanding projects. That isn’t surprising when you consider that he wanted to be fighter pilot as a child!


Security experts cautiously optimistic on big data, automation

From: Simply Security

With new monitoring tools and automation capabilities emerging to help companies shore up security gaps, ZDNet columnist Ellyne Phneah recently urged IT teams not to forget that there is a human element at play as well. While big data and process automation can simplify operations and speed response time, relying too heavily on these innovations could allow some less conventional threats to slip through.

Gavin Reid, manager of Cisco Security Incidents and Response Team, told the ZDNet that automation tools can regulate web proxies, firewalls and antivirus programs that detect and protect against security incidents and cyber threats such as spam, drive-by downloads and more. Big data analysis can help these companies better understand where these attacks may come from and why they are happening.


Experts Offer Fed Infosec Governance Plan

From: GovInfoSecurity.com

Strengthening Government IT Security without New Laws

By Eric Chabrow

A group of highly respected IT security thought leaders is calling on the Obama administration to exercise existing powers to strengthen the processes the federal government employs to secure its information systems.

A white paper issued through the Center for Strategic and International Studies recommends that the White House Office of Management and Budget update nearly 12-year-old guidance, OMB Circular A-130, to require agencies to implement automated continuous monitoring to detect and mitigate vulnerabilities in agencies’ IT systems. The report also recommends the government grant more authority to the Department of Homeland Security to identify security controls federal civilian agencies should deploy and identity ways to have civilian and national security/defense agencies’ IT systems to work together to protect critical IT systems.


Rewrite of cyber circular aims to ‘break some china’

From: FederalNewsRadio.com 1500 AM

By Jason Miller

With Congress in a stalemate over cyber legislation, a different path to updating the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) is available.

A group of former federal cyber experts is recommending three major changes to Office of Management and Budget Circular A-130. The goal is to codify continuous monitoring, the role of the Homeland Security Department in overseeing the operational aspects of FISMA and the definitions of national security systems and major IT systems.

Current efforts only ‘marginally effective’


Possible ‘Patch’ For Policy On Protecting Government Agency Systems

From: Dark Reading

CSIS report due tomorrow will recommend revising a longtime OMB policy with ‘continuous monitoring’ of government systems and networks

By Kelly Jackson Higgins

A new national cybersecurity law may not be on the horizon anytime soon, but there could be a simpler and less politically charged way to shore up security, at least among U.S. government agencies. Former Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials and others are proposing changes to an OMB policy they say would better protect agencies from today’s advanced attacks.


DHS details services, tools needed to better defend federal networks

Editor’s Note:  A presentation on October 12, 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security at a meeting of the Internet Security and Privacy Advisory Board (ISPAB) on Continuous Monitoring-Diagnostics and Mitigation is attached here.

From: FederalNewsRadio.com 1500AM

By Jason Miller

The Homeland Security Department is asking vendors whether 15 toolsets and 11 service areas would meet agency needs in the new Continuous Diagnostic and Mitigation program and for continuous monitoring as-a-service.

DHS issued a draft solicitation, obtained by last week to companies on the General Services Administration’s Schedule 70. Federal News Radio obtained a copy of the draft.

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