Week 1: The security manager's daily checklist

Here's a daily checklist for security managers.

In an effort to help busy security managers, CISSP Shelley Bard's weekly column builds on the concept of the perpetual

calendar, offering a schedule of reminders for a proactive, strategic security plan.

What
A daily checklist for security managers.

When
This is a daily responsibility, so allow time accordingly.

Why
Begin by ensuring that daily activities and processes are accounted for on a checklist. The daily list sets a foundation for the rest of the reoccurring action items. Furthermore, it will help identify reoccurring problems over time. If you have to call for diagnostic service, you'll be able to answer the question, "How long has this been happening, and when did it start?" This document also becomes a record supporting due diligence actions, which you will need should your company ever be brought to court for failing to maintain data properly.

Strategy
Click here to see the list of a security manager's typical daily actions. Add daily actions that occur in your organization that you need to monitor.

More information
Think about the status reports you frequently request from your system. Resource load? Size of audit log? Amount of free space available? Number of users logged on? Print queue loads? Running Unix utilities such as last, who, ps–ef and du (or df-k) will give you snapshots of system activity. Also, talk to other security managers -- what actions do they monitor daily?

Next week: Passwords -- Updating, selecting and recording user and administrative passwords

About the author
Shelley Bard, CISSP, is a senior security network engineer with Verizon Federal Network Systems (FNS). An infosecurity professional for 17 years, Bard has briefed and written infosecurity assessments and technical reports for the White House and Department of Defense, special interest groups, industry and academia.


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This was first published in December 2003

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