Steps to Creating a New Metrics Program

James TaralaAssurance, Governance, Metrics

Metrics definitely seem to be a buzz word in information security circles these days. It seems that I can hardly give a presentation or meet with clients without the topic coming up at some point in our discussion. But to be fair, I think these discussions are healthy and I’m glad to see so many people beginning to ask the … Read More

Basic Steps for Executive Engagement

James TaralaAssurance, Governance

Recently a met with an organization who mentioned to us that they had identified executive engagement in information security (or lack thereof) the biggest risk to their organization. It’s not to say that the organization’s executives didn’t care. The issue was that this organization had its hands in a number of other important activities, and securing the organization’s assets simply … Read More

Elements of an Information Security Charter

James TaralaAssurance, Governance, Project Management

Part of any solid project / program management effort is a program charter that defines the program in order to ensure its success. Too many times projects begin without a clear definition of success and as a result it becomes very difficult to measure success or often even to make progress on the project in any way. Information security programs … Read More

Practical Risk Assessment Tools

James TaralaRisk Assessment, Tools

In a previous blog post we cataloged a number of risk management methodologies that we’ve seen a number of organizations employ in an effort to manage the security of their information systems. A number of people have asked us though, what tools best assist people implementing those models? Are there tools available to make the process easier or do companies … Read More

Formal Risk Assessment Methods

James TaralaRisk Assessment

Many organization’s we have been speaking with lately have begun the process of risk management in an effort to formalize information assurance programs. For many organizations this is a new step and involves uncertainty. One of the biggest questions we get when talking with companies is: what risk assessment models are there to choose from? Certainly the catalog of potential … Read More

Automating Audit Baselines – A Case Study

James TaralaBaselining, Scripting, Windows Auditing

Quite a few times in this blog we’ve talked about automating audit and assessment tasks, especially as it relates to system baselines. We’ve tried quite a few times to give our readers tools for creating baselines and always hope that people will turn those baselines into automated processes that will alert them to deviations or changes to their systems. Certainly … Read More

More PowerShell Audit One Liners

James TaralaBaselining, Scripting, Windows Auditing

In our last couple posts we described how to gather a general baseline of system demographics on a Microsoft Windows system you’ve been tasked with auditing. Hopefully the posts gave everyone some ideas for the capabilities that PowerShell offers, even if the information we gathered isn’t all that exciting. In this post I thought we would show you additional examples … Read More

Using SystemInfo.exe to Baseline a System

James TaralaBaselining, Scripting, Windows Auditing

After our last post on gathering system demographics using PowerShell (specifically the Get-Object cmdlet) we had a few auditors mention to us that there are other ways to do it as well. We couldn’t agree more and we’re glad they brought it up. Microsoft seems to like to give us choices for how we perform job tasks, and this is … Read More

PowerShell Audit One Liners

James TaralaBaselining, Scripting, Windows Auditing

Over our last few posts we’ve talked a lot about using Unix BASH scripting to audit Unix systems. But we certainly don’t want our Windows friends to feel left out. The more I talk with people and listen to their security challenges, the more interest I hear about how to use PowerShell for audit or security purposes. Who knows, maybe … Read More

Audit Script to Detect Unix Operating System

James TaralaBaselining, Scripting, Unix Auditing

In the last few blog entries we have been focusing quite a bit on displaying information from a Unix system via a BASH script. One question that’s come up by quite a few people is, do these commands work on all Unix system? That’s a very valid question. It turns out that one of my favorite sayings about Unix is … Read More