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Linux Audit Check Dashboards

by David Schwalenberg
September 17, 2014

Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) is a substantial part of any information assurance program.  A GRC requires information systems to be audited, regardless of the standard to which the audit is performed.  These dashboards provide the audit results for Linux, Linux 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 Continuous View (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). More information about audit files can be found in the Tenable Discussion Forums, Tenable Support Portal, Nessus Compliance Checks, and Nessus Compliance Reference.

The dashboard and its components are available in the SecurityCenter Feed, a comprehensive collection of dashboards, reports, assurance report cards and assets. The dashboard can be easily located in the SecurityCenter Feed under the category Compliance & Configuration Assessments.

The dashboard requirements are:

  • SecurityCenter 4.8.1
  • Nessus 5.2.7
  • Compliance Data

Audit files can be customized to match the values defined by an organization’s corporate policies. Audit files are easily created or modified to support the organizations existing security 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 CV is the market leader in providing a unique combination of vulnerability detection, compliance auditing, and reporting.  SecurityCenter 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 SecurityCenter CV the market-defining continuous network monitoring platform, and Nessus the market-defining vulnerability scanning for auditors and security analysts.

Unix Audit Results - SecurityCenter using Nessus has several built-in functions to perform the Unix compliance checks. Unix compliance checks can be conducted on XML files, execute commands from the command line, and 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 is also supported.

Unix File Contents Audit Results - SecurityCenter 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 non-compliant content is PII (Personally Identifiable Information) or PHI (Protected Health Information).

SCAP Linux Audit Results - SecurityCenter 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 the SCAP audit files can be found at SecurityCenter 4.7 SCAP Assessments.