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PCI Requirement 2

by Andrew Freeborn
July 12, 2016

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) maintains, evolves, and promotes Payment Card Industry standards for the safety of cardholder data across the globe. The PCI SSC provides technical and operational requirements for organizations accepting or processing payment transactions. The guidance also applies to software developers and manufacturers of applications and devices used in those transactions.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) helps entities understand and implement standards for security policies, technologies, and ongoing processes that protect payment systems from breaches and theft of cardholder data. The standards have historically been revised on a 2-3 year cycle, but the PCI SSC is transitioning to a posture of revising the PCI DSS as required based on changes to the current threat landscape. The current standard revision is PCI DSS Version 3.2, which was released in April 2016. Any organization that handles payment card information must adhere to the PCI DSS and must demonstrate compliance annually. Tenable SecurityCenter Continuous View (CV) is able to help organizations monitor ongoing PCI DSS compliance by integrating with Tenable Nessus, Tenable Passive Vulnerability Scanner (PVS), and Tenable Log Correlation Engine (LCE).

The PCI Requirement 2 ARC analyzes policy statements related to the second PCI DSS requirement. This requirement mandates organizations to harden systems to a consistent, documented, and secure standard based on recognized industry standards. Analysts can better protect and defend the organization with consistent system and software configurations that are secured to best practice and industry standards. Default account credentials should also be changed to as complex as systems can allow. With configurations on systems set to a consistent standard across the organization, analysts can more easily see misconfigurations. Security teams can use this ARC to identify and monitor systems and accounts that are not in line with the organizational standard to adhere with requirement 2 of PCI DSS.

Organizations can configure repositories or asset lists in order to tailor the focus of the ARC. When the dashboard is added from the SecurityCenter Feed, the appropriate assets, IP addresses, or repositories can be specified. Assigning one of the options to the dashboard will update all filters in the components. By creating static or combination asset lists that include all systems in the Cardholder Data Environment (CDE), each component can be filtered to display results directly related to ongoing PCI security. Using an asset list filter will also allow traffic into and out of the CDE to be monitored. In order to accurately measure an organization’s PCI security posture, asset lists need to be applied as filters to provide results focused on the CDE.

This ARC is available in the SecurityCenter Feed, a comprehensive collection of dashboards, reports, Assurance Report Cards, and assets. The ARC can be easily located in the SecurityCenter Feed under the category Compliance. The ARC requirements are:

  • SecurityCenter 5.3.1
  • Nessus 6.7
  • PVS 5.0
  • LCE 4.8

Tenable SecurityCenter Continuous View (CV) provides continuous network monitoring, vulnerability identification, risk reduction, and compliance monitoring. SecurityCenter is continuously updated with information about advanced threats and zero-day vulnerabilities, and new types of regulatory compliance configuration audits. Tenable constantly analyzes information from our unique sensors, delivering continuous visibility and critical context, enabling decisive action that transforms your security program from reactive to proactive. Active scanning examines the devices on the network, running processes and services, configuration settings, and vulnerabilities. Periodically scanning the network, servers, desktops and applications helps prioritize security efforts to mitigate threats and weaknesses. With increasing mobile and transient network devices, it is important to have a system in place that continuously monitors traffic, devices, applications, and communications across environments. Knowing when hosts come online and taking a zero-touch approach to assess them, Tenable enables powerful, yet non-disruptive, continuous monitoring of your network.

This ARC includes the following policy statements:

  • No default account/password compliance checks failed (2.1)
    This policy statement displays the number of failed to total default account and password compliance checks. If the policy statement requirement is met, the result is displayed in green; otherwise, the result is displayed in red. Default account and password settings may include requirements to disable default accounts and limit use of blank passwords, among other things. To protect systems against unauthorized use, default accounts and passwords should be changed.
  • No systems have vulnerabilities related to default account credentials (2.1)
    This policy statement displays the ratio of systems with default account credentials to all systems. If the policy statement requirement is met, the result is displayed in green; otherwise, the result is displayed in red. Default account credentials are especially susceptible to low-skill attacks with automated tools which scan for these vulnerabilities. Default account credentials on systems like printers, out-of-band management systems, routers, and more can allow attackers additional compromise opportunities. Analysts need to ensure that these accounts are either disabled or have their passwords changed to a complex password as allowed by the system.
  • All actively and passively detected systems have been scanned for compliance in the past 90 days (2.2)
    This policy statement displays the number of systems have been audited in the past 90 days to total systems that have been actively and passively detected. If the policy statement requirement is met, the result is displayed in green; otherwise, the result is displayed in red. Systems on the network are detected both passively by PVS and actively by Nessus. Compliance scans are performed by Nessus. Non-compliant systems should be reviewed further by the organization. This policy statement helps an organization measure whether compliance scans are being performed on a regular basis.
  • No secure configuration compliance checks failed (2.2)
    This policy statement displays the number of failed to total secure configuration compliance checks. If the policy statement requirement is met, the result is displayed in green; otherwise, the result is displayed in red. Secure configuration settings may include requirements to disable unnecessary ports and other functionality, among other things. Compliance is measured against those policy checks that reference one or more of the following standards:
    • PCI DSS requirement 2.2.2 (Enable only necessary services, protocols, daemons, etc., as required for the function of the system)
    • PCI DSS requirement 2.2.3 (Implement additional security features for any required services, protocols, or daemons that are considered to be insecure)
    • PCI DSS requirement 2.2.4 (Configure system security parameters to prevent misuse)
    • PCI DSS requirement 2.2.5 (Remove all unnecessary functionality)
    • NIST 800-53 control CM-6 (Configuration Settings)
    • NIST 800-53 control CM-7 (Least Functionality)
    • Center for Internet Security Critical Security Control 3 (Secure Configurations for Hardware and Software on Mobile Devices, Laptops, Workstations, and Servers)
    • Center for Internet Security Critical Security Control 9 (Limitation and Control of Network Ports, Protocols, and Services)
    • Center for Internet Security Critical Security Control 11 (Secure Configurations for Network Devices such as Firewalls, Routers, and Switches)
    • DoD Instruction 8500.2 control ECSC (Security Configuration Compliance)
  • No external facing systems use insecure communication protocols (2.2.3)
    This policy statement displays the ratio of external-facing systems using insecure communication protocols to all external-facing systems. If the policy statement requirement is met, the result is displayed in green; otherwise, the result is displayed in red. Externally-facing systems are especially susceptible to malicious activity, and the use of insecure communication protocols dramatically increases the risk of exploitation. The number of systems using insecure communication protocols should be limited and carefully monitored to ensure data security.
  • No systems are detected using administrative accounts over the network (2.3)
    This policy statement displays the number of systems using administrative accounts over the network to total systems. If the policy statement requirement is met, the result is displayed in green; otherwise, the result is displayed in red. This policy monitors systems for the use of administrative accounts over the network, which should be limited to a defined list of systems. Any unexpected systems using administrative accounts over the network should be considered to be suspicious.
  • All actively and passively detected systems have been scanned in the last 14 days (2.4)
    This policy statement displays the ratio of detected systems that have been scanned in the last 14 days to total systems. If the policy statement requirement is met, the result is displayed in green; otherwise, the result is displayed in red. Systems on the network are detected both passively by PVS and actively by Nessus. All systems should be actively scanned by Nessus to ensure that all systems are properly identified and evaluated.
  • All actively and passively detected systems have been categorized (2.4)
    This policy statement displays the number of systems that have been categorized by operating system and type of device to total systems. If the policy statement requirement is met, the result is displayed in green; otherwise, the result is displayed in red. Systems on the network are detected both passively by PVS and actively by Nessus. Categories include Windows, Linux, and Mac hosts, firewalls, routers, switches, VPN devices, and mobile devices. Most of the systems on the network should fall into one of these categories. Any system that does not fall into one of the above categories should be further investigated.