*inux Audit Reports

by Michael Willison
August 29, 2014

Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance is a substantial part of any information assurance program. The GRC requires information systems to be audited, regardless of the standard to which the audit is performed. These report provide the audit results for Unix, Unix File Contents, and SCAP Audits for Linux.

One of the initial steps in a successful GRC program is to set configuration guidelines and establish a supportable set of security policies. SecurityCenter CV can measure compliance, using audit files that cover a wide range of major regulations and other auditable standards. Tenable provides over 500 audit files, which are available for download from the Tenable Support Portal, in categories such as operating systems, applications, databases, and network devices. Tenable products can be used to audit systems based on SCAP content, and many Tenable audit policies have been certified by the Center for Internet Security (CIS). For more information on using audit files, see the Nessus Compliance Checks: Auditing System Configurations and Content document.

These report are available in the SecurityCenter Feed, an app store of dashboards, reports, and assets. These reports can be easily located in the SecurityCenter Feed by selecting category Compliance & Configuration Assessment, and then selecting tags audit and compliance. The requirements for these reports are:

  • SecurityCenter 4.8.1
  • Nessus 5.2.7
  • Compliance Data

Audit files can be customized to match the values defined in an organization’s corporate policies. The organization can review several audit files and then create a specific audit file that applies directly its policies. When an audit is performed, for each individual compliance check, Nessus attempts to determine if the host is compliant, non-compliant, or if the results are inconclusive and need to be verified manually. Unlike a vulnerability check that only reports if the vulnerability is actually present, a compliance check always reports a result. This way, the data can be used as the basis of an audit report to show that a host passed or failed a specific test, or if it could not be properly tested.

SecurityCenter Continuous View (SC CV) is the market leader in providing a unique combination of vulnerability detection, compliance auditing, and reporting. SC CV supports auditing more technologies than any other vendor including operating systems, network devices, hypervisors, databases, tablets, phones, web servers, and critical infrastructure. Nessus is continuously updated with information about advanced threats and zero-day vulnerabilities, and new types of regulatory compliance configuration audits. This makes SC CV the market-defining continuous network monitoring platform, and Nessus the market-defining vulnerability scanning for auditors and security analysts.

Unix Compliance Checks: SecurityCenter Center (SC CV) using Nessus has several built-in functions to perform Unix compliance checks. Unix compliance checks can be conducted on XML files, execute commands from the command line, and use several other methods.  There are also built-in checks such as password length, permission management and suspicious file content. Other more complex checks can use regular expressions, and other pattern matching methods are also supported. More information about audit files can be found in the Tenable Discussion Forums, Tenable Support Portal, Nessus Compliance Checks, and Nessus Compliance Reference.

Unix File Contents Compliance Checks: SecurityCenter Center (SC CV) using Nessus can perform Unix content audit checks.  The content audit checks differ from Unix configuration audit checks in that they are designed to search a Unix file system for specific file types containing sensitive data rather than enumerate system configuration settings. The content audit checks include a range of options to help the auditor narrow down the search parameters and more efficiently locate and display noncompliant data. An example of noncompliant content is PII (Personally Identifiable Information) or PHI (Protected Health Information). More information about audit files can be found in the Tenable Discussion Forums, Tenable Support Portal, Nessus Compliance Checks, and Nessus Compliance Reference.

SCAP Linux Compliance Checks: SecurityCenter Center (SC CV) using Nessus can assess Linux systems based on the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP). SCAP relies on multiple standards, which may change as threat and desktop environments evolve. Tenable was an early adopter of NIST SCAP content and is one of the first vendors to implement NIST CVSS version 2 scoring, as well as one of the first to provide SCAP testing content to customers. SecurityCenter CV 4.8 and higher have been designed to work with the official XCCDF Tier IV content used in the SCAP program. More information about audit files can be found in the Tenable Discussion Forums, Tenable Support Portal, and SecurityCenter 4.7 SCAP Assessments.