Townsend Security Data Privacy Blog

The Boyd Gaming Case Study of LogAgent for IBM QRadar

Posted by Michelle Larson on Jan 22, 2016 3:00:00 PM

Collecting and Monitoring Real-time IBM i Security Events with Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar

Collecting and Actively Monitoring System Logs is Important Across ALL Operating Systems!

Because the IBM i (AS/400, iSeries) can handle multiple applications, it doesn’t log information like other systems do. The IBM i collects logs simultaneously from multiple sources and deals with large volumes: Up to 3,500 events per second…250 Million events per day!  The essence of good log security is externalizing the systems logs and collecting them in a central repository, which helps remove the risk of tampering. Close monitoring of system logs can help you detect a breach before it happens, it can be a requirement for compliance with security regulations, and it can be a very difficult, inefficient, and cumbersome process.

PDF of Boyd Gaming Case Study of LogAgent for QRadar

For years, our Alliance LogAgent solution has been helping businesses using the IBM i to collect logs from the QAUDJRN security journal, convert them to common syslog formats and then transmit to a central log server or SIEM product for collection, analysis, and alert management. Now, with Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar, deeper threat intelligence and security insights can be gained in real-time.

For example, having chosen IBM Security’s QRadar SIEM, the security team at Boyd Gaming needed a solution to collect IBM i security and application logs into a coherent strategy for log collection, analysis and alert management. Before they started using Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar, Boyd Gaming used a Device Support Module (DSM) that made copies of their security journal and sent them out over FTP to a server, where QRadar would go grab them – a very cumbersome and inefficient process. By implementing Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar, they brought their IBM i platform into a common strategy for log consolidation and analysis with the security events from other servers.

Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar does exactly what it needs to do. It was built for the IBM i and gives you the data you need,said Anthony Johnson, IT Security Engineer, Boyd Gaming.Knowing that Townsend Security worked with IBM made Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar an easy choice. By being able collect all security events and convert them to the IBM Log Event Extended Format (LEEF) made a seamless deployment.

For Boyd Gaming, getting started was very simple. With 15 installations of Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar, it only took one hour for them to get them to set up, configured, and begin collecting logs from their IBM i platform.

Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar fits the bill for everything. It is very simple to set up, minimal maintenance, and once you set it, you never have to make any adjustments – set it and forget it,finished Johnson.

Not only does IBM Security QRadar perform real-time monitoring of events across the Enterprise, it learns from the events over time in order to recognize normal patterns, detect anomalies, and better identify attacks and breaches. Combined with this intelligent platform IBM Security QRadar provides a broad set of compliance reports that are ready to use. Townsend Security’s Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar helps IBM i customers realize the full benefits of the IBM QRadar Security Intelligence solution.

For more detail, please read the whole case study on Boyd Gaming:

IBM i QRadar SIEM Case Study

Topics: IBM QRadar, IBM Security Solutions, Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar

Congratulations on taking the first step with IBM QRadar!

Posted by Patrick Townsend on Jan 20, 2016 2:55:00 PM

Now it’s time to take the next step and improve your IBM i security.

Take a victory lap, you deserve it!

IBM i Security QRadar Log Collection You deployed one of the best security applications to help protect your IBM i data - IBM Security QRadar. As a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader in SIEM the QRadar solution is proving a valuable part of your company's’ security strategy. IBM QRadar is easy to deploy, easy to use, easy to manage, and automatically learns about your environment to get better over time. Actively monitoring your network, applications and systems is one of the Top 10 security controls, and QRadar is one of the leading SIEM solutions. You deserve that victory lap!

After you take that victory lap and catch your breath, it is time to take the next step.

The NEXT STEP ???   I thought I was DONE !!!

Not quite. Like all SIEM solutions IBM QRadar works best when it gets information in real-time. When QRadar can see an authority failure, a rogue SQL statement, a change to a system value, or any other critical security event in real time it can correlate that event with all of the others from across your Enterprise. It can evaluate its likely impact and compare it with other events to understand the severity of the event. Real-time monitoring is crucial for good security.

The default Device Support Module (DSM) provided by IBM QRadar provides for a periodic, batch view of basic IBM i security events. Because it is a batch process most IBM i users only collect security events once or twice a day. There is no real-time collection available and your QRadar implementation is not functioning as well as you might like.

Fortunately, it is really easy to fix this. Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar from Townsend Security helps you take the next step by providing that real-time monitoring for your IBM i server. Running in the background, Alliance LogAgent collects security events, converts them to IBM QRadar format, and transmits them to QRadar as they happen. Attempted hacks to your IBM i server are captured when they happen, not hours later. And QRadar sees them immediately. You get better security within a few minutes of installing Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar.

In addition to real-time monitoring, you also get these critical security functions that are not included in the default QRadar DSM for the IBM i:

  • File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) for any DB2 database file on your system. You can monitor access to sensitive data on a field level.
  • System history file (QHST) monitoring for critical messages and interactive logon and logoff activity.
  • User data queue monitoring so that you can write your own security events from your RPG and CL applications.
  • Exit Point monitoring so that you can monitor and record the host server activity and send the information to QRadar.
IBM Business Partner: Certified Ready for Security Intelligence

Active monitoring with IBM Security QRadar is one of the most important things you can do. Deploying Townsend Security’s Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar will make you more secure by making QRadar better. It’s affordable and easy to deploy. You can download a fully functional evaluation and see for yourself. Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar is certified by IBM and supported by the QRadar DSM.

That next step is not a big one, but it has big benefits.


IBM i Security QRadar Log Collection

Topics: System Logging, IBM QRadar, IBM Security Solutions, Alliance LogAgent for IBM QRadar

Securing your IBM i (AS/400, iSeries) - Webinar Q&A

Posted by Michelle Larson on Dec 4, 2015 10:41:00 AM

Data security doesn’t need to be a challenge! 

Whether your data is stored within your database files or transmitted to your trading partners, using the right tools can mean the difference between meeting compliance and security best practices or suffering a data breach.  Webinar: Securing Data on Your IBM i

Townsend Security is well known for providing security solutions for a wide variety of platforms (IBM i (AS400, iSeries), IBM mainframe, VMware, Windows, Linux). Recently, our founder and CEO produced an excellent webinar on “Securing Your IBM i Using the Right Tools”. Many of our IBM i customers are under multiple compliance requirements including PCI, HIPAA, SOX, GLBA, and others which require securing data-at-rest and data-in-motion, real-time security event logging, file integrity monitoring, and two-factor authentication. The webinar covers encryption and key management as well as a number of our other auxiliary products specifically for the IBM i (AS400, iSeries) platform.

There were a number of excellent questions asked after the presentation, and the following is a brief recap of that Q&A session with links to additional information:

Q:  Can I use FieldProc to protect multiple fields in a file?

A:  The short answer is yes, encrypting multiple fields is a fully supported capability. FieldProc does allow, from both DB2 and from our solution, protecting multiple columns or fields in a DB2 file. You can define multiple fields and then enable FieldProc with one command on all those fields within our solution. People often ask if indexes can also be encrypted and yes, that is fully supported as well. There are a few limitations in legacy RPG applications, while with a native SQL application there are no limitations.

To learn more about Field Procedures on the IBM i, check out this blog:  5 Common FAQs About IBM i Encryption Using FIELDPROC 

Q: Can’t I just transfer my file from IBM i to Windows and then PGP encrypt it there?

A:  This is a great compliance question and comes up often with QSA Auditors. Yes, of course you can move a file from one machine to another using operations navigator. The problem is that it exposes data in the clear during the movement, either across the network if it is an unsecured connection or when the data lands on the other side of the transfer. Any of these exposures will likely result in an audit failure.

Good security practice, regardless of the platforms involved is:

  •   Encrypt at the Source
  •   Decrypt at the Destination

Make sure to securely move it in encrypted form and don’t let it get loose anywhere in between!

Learn more about the core components of a total encryption strategy in this blog: Secure Managed File Transfer and PGP Encryption

Q: How does key management work with older back-up copies of data that was secured with earlier keys?

A:  Any Enterprise key management solution should maintain encryption keys under policy for as long as they are needed. As you generate new keys, the older keys are retained and made available for decryption purposes, until you retire those keys. Our solution will maintain multiple versions, and doesn’t have a limit on how many keys or generations you can have of master or key encryption keys. If you have a loss or need to delete data that is out of your control, you can then delete the key. 

For more information on the full life cycle of keys, check out this blog: Why Key Management is So Critical in the Life Cycle of an Encryption Key

Q:  Your two-factor authentication product is supported in which countries?

A:  Since our 2FA solution is through TeleSign, a global company, it has a broad presence in more than 200 countries around the world and in 87 languages.  By leveraging an individual's mobile phone, a reliable means of authentication has become readily available for the IBM i platform. For example, instead of tokens, businesses can simply send an SMS or voice message that contains a one-time authentication code to the individual user’s phone. This means cyber criminals cannot log into the IBM i without physical control of the actual phone. 

This blog will outline Making a Case for Two Factor Authentication: Taking Security Beyond Usernames and Passwords

Webinar: Sec

Topics: Data Security, IBM i, Webinar, iSeries, AS/400, IBM Security Solutions