Reworking Risk Policy


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Automation to the Rescue
The time and effort involved in manual policy management can make automated tools an attractive alternative, especially for large organizations.

In recent years, several vendors have come to market with policy management solutions, including Elemental Security, Solsoft and BindView (acquired by Symantec earlier this year). Most of these vendors' products couple the creation of policies with management software. Essentially, managers create the policies, and the software enforces them and measures compliance.

Elemental Security takes a host-centric view of policy management, implementing polices into servers and workstations on the network. Solsoft uses a network-centric approach by applying policies to network devices. BindView takes a host-based view, but also has an add-on component that helps write policies, push them out to users, and track user acceptance and exceptions.

Automated tools work by taking your security policies and procedures and implementing them into control points. As noted, some tools operate by controlling network devices--they convert policies into configuration criteria for network devices, such as routers. With host-based tools, policy is converted into configuration commands.

What is especially helpful about some policy management products is that they provide the templates for different standards, such as ISO 17799 and CobiT, and cross- correlate them with relevant regulations.

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With the templates provided, you can choose the policies necessary for your organization.

This was first published in June 2006

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