Facebook Google Plus Twitter LinkedIn YouTube RSS Menu Search Resource - BlogResource - WebinarResource - ReportResource - Eventicons_066 icons_067icons_068icons_069icons_070

Tenable Blog

Subscribe

Comparing the PCI, CIS and FDCC Certification Standards

As a vendor, Tenable has to demonstrate compliance in many different types of categories. The Payment Card Industry, the Center for Internet Security and US government's FDCC program all have certification standards and procedures for vendors like Tenable. Since Tenable is certified in most of these these categories (we're in the process of becoming an ASV), I though it would be interesting for our blog readers to share some of our insights into the differences and misconceptions between them.

PCI

The biggest misconception about PCI is that you need to be an Authorized Scanning Vendor (ASV) to be relevant in the industry. This isn't true, otherwise you would not see the focus on PCI from other log management, intrusion detection or antivirus vendors.

Being an ASV means that you can perform a remote, un-credentialed vulnerability scan with minimal false positives and false negatives. Unlike CIS or FDCC, the ASV scanning test is a secret. There is no published list of vulnerabilities an ASV is required to find. It's also a small-scope test but does test the comprehensiveness of the scanner.

The ASV certification only tests the scanning service itself. It does not actually test the products a company sells.

FDCC

The US government's FDCC (SCAP) program involves laboratory testing to ensure that vendors like Tenable can consume XCCDF content, perform an audit and generate a compliant OVAL report.

As a vendor, we select a lab that is certified by NIST to perform this testing. We then go into the lab, train  the analysts performing the test, and then walk away. That is the coolest part. No other certification that Tenable does is as hands-off as that.

The largest misconception about the FDCC certification is that they are all the same. You can be an FDCC certified vendor just by demonstrating that you have CVE entries in your vulnerability scanner results. There are other more advanced FDCC standards, which means you can be certified that you can do the actual XCCDF based configuration auditing. FDCC only tests a product's ability to parse XCCDF content as it pertains to FDCC policies for Windows XP and Vista. It is not a generic XCCDF certification.

CIS

The last standard I'd like to talk about is being a certified CIS vendor. The CIS organization will certify specific vendor audits for technologies, but does not certify the actual product. In Tenable's case, we've been certified in performing an audit with Nessus for many different types of routers, operating systems and applications.

To get certified, we need to demonstrate that our audits can detect compliant and non-compliant settings. This data is prepared and sent to the CIS organization, where it is then reviewed.

They don't perform any actual testing and also don't dictate how the tests are supposed to be done. I like the fact that CIS does not mandate how a test is performed which means you can use scanning, a credentialed audit, an agent, a reference gold image or magic, ESP and UFOs. Compared to PCI or FDCC, these standards often dictate how to configure a scan or leverage credentials which limits a vendor's ability to innovate.

Conclusion

As security practitioners, it's important to know the major and minor differences between these standards, as they are often referenced in the marketing claims of vendors, in the media and perhaps even auditors who aren't all equally aware of the technical details. If you have feedback on this, feel free to message me on Twitter @RonGula.

Related Articles

Cybersecurity News You Can Use

Enter your email and never miss timely alerts and security guidance from the experts at Tenable.

Tenable Vulnerability Management

Formerly Tenable.io

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy.

Your Tenable Vulnerability Management trial also includes Tenable Lumin and Tenable Web App Scanning.

Tenable Vulnerability Management

Formerly Tenable.io

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy. Purchase your annual subscription today.

100 assets

Choose Your Subscription Option:

Buy Now

Tenable Vulnerability Management

Formerly Tenable.io

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy.

Your Tenable Vulnerability Management trial also includes Tenable Lumin and Tenable Web App Scanning.

Tenable Vulnerability Management

Formerly Tenable.io

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy. Purchase your annual subscription today.

100 assets

Choose Your Subscription Option:

Buy Now

Tenable Vulnerability Management

Formerly Tenable.io

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy.

Your Tenable Vulnerability Management trial also includes Tenable Lumin and Tenable Web App Scanning.

Tenable Vulnerability Management

Formerly Tenable.io

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy. Purchase your annual subscription today.

100 assets

Choose Your Subscription Option:

Buy Now

Try Tenable Web App Scanning

Formerly Tenable.io Web Application Scanning

Enjoy full access to our latest web application scanning offering designed for modern applications as part of the Tenable One Exposure Management platform. Safely scan your entire online portfolio for vulnerabilities with a high degree of accuracy without heavy manual effort or disruption to critical web applications. Sign up now.

Your Tenable Web App Scanning trial also includes Tenable Vulnerability Management and Tenable Lumin.

Buy Tenable Web App Scanning

Formerly Tenable.io Web Application Scanning

Enjoy full access to a modern, cloud-based vulnerability management platform that enables you to see and track all of your assets with unmatched accuracy. Purchase your annual subscription today.

5 FQDNs

$3,578

Buy Now

Try Tenable Lumin

Visualize and explore your exposure management, track risk reduction over time and benchmark against your peers with Tenable Lumin.

Your Tenable Lumin trial also includes Tenable Vulnerability Management and Tenable Web App Scanning.

Buy Tenable Lumin

Contact a Sales Representative to see how Tenable Lumin can help you gain insight across your entire organization and manage cyber risk.

Try Tenable Nessus Professional Free

FREE FOR 7 DAYS

Tenable Nessus is the most comprehensive vulnerability scanner on the market today.

NEW - Tenable Nessus Expert
Now Available

Nessus Expert adds even more features, including external attack surface scanning, and the ability to add domains and scan cloud infrastructure. Click here to Try Nessus Expert.

Fill out the form below to continue with a Nessus Pro Trial.

Buy Tenable Nessus Professional

Tenable Nessus is the most comprehensive vulnerability scanner on the market today. Tenable Nessus Professional will help automate the vulnerability scanning process, save time in your compliance cycles and allow you to engage your IT team.

Buy a multi-year license and save. Add Advanced Support for access to phone, community and chat support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Select Your License

Buy a multi-year license and save.

Add Support and Training

Try Tenable Nessus Expert Free

FREE FOR 7 DAYS

Built for the modern attack surface, Nessus Expert enables you to see more and protect your organization from vulnerabilities from IT to the cloud.

Already have Tenable Nessus Professional?
Upgrade to Nessus Expert free for 7 days.

Buy Tenable Nessus Expert

Built for the modern attack surface, Nessus Expert enables you to see more and protect your organization from vulnerabilities from IT to the cloud.

Select Your License

Buy a multi-year license and save more.

Add Support and Training