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PCI Network Security

by Andrew Freeborn
July 5, 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 organizations with technical and operational requirements for organizations accepting or processing payment transactions, and for 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 their 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 released in April 2016. Any organization that handles payment card information has to comply with 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 Network Security dashboard provides security teams with detailed insight into their organization and PCI compliance posture. Vulnerabilities and events are filtered to identify specific network security concerns. Detailed information about protocol, port, and wireless usage is presented. Indicator matrices alert to the detection of specific event types and vulnerabilities. By effectively monitoring the network for specific concerns, security teams can better ensure network integrity and security.

Tenable can monitor network connections not only from an internal perspective, but external connections as well. For internal connections, organizations can deploy PVS to passively monitor network activity. PVS can also be placed at the network boundary to capture external network traffic for analysis. Organizations can deploy LCE to systems in the organizations to collect and analyze information as well as have network devices and firewalls direct syslog and other log information to LCE. LCE correlates the information from all sensors to produce intelligent and actionable data. Analysts can see all of the data from LCE, PVS, and Nessus with a single “pane of glass” with SecurityCenter CV.

With this dashboard, organizations can assess their level of adherence with PCI DSS requirements focusing on awareness of network security. The PCI requirements covered within this dashboard are highly focused on the goals of PCI security requirements 1 and 2. The goals of these two requirements address network security within the cardholder data environment. The dashboard also covers additional PCI security requirements such as 4.1, 6.4, 9.9, 10.3, 10.5, 11.1, and 11.4 to provide analysts with additional PCI security requirement coverage.

Organizations can configure repositories or asset lists in order to tailor the focus of the dashboard. 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 dashboard is 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 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 Passive Vulnerability Scanner (PVS) performs deep packet inspection to enable discovery and assessment of operating systems, network devices, hypervisors, databases, tablets, phones, web servers, cloud applications, and critical infrastructure. Tenable Log Correlation Engine (LCE) performs deep log analysis and correlation to continuously discover and track systems, applications, cloud infrastructure, trust relationships, and vulnerabilities. By integrating with Nessus, PVS, and LCE, SecurityCenter CV’s continuous network monitoring is able to detect systems and vulnerabilities across the enterprise.

This dashboard contains the following components:

  • Monitor Security Solutions - Activity in Last 72 Hours: This component assists in monitoring security solutions
  • PCI Monitoring - Top 25 Detected Network Device Changes: This table component lists the top 25 detected network device changes monitored by LCE
  • Wireless Detections - New Wireless Access Points and SSID: The New Wireless Access Points and SSID indicates on triggers from active and passive detection type plugins, by plugin ID, and vulnerability text
  • Web Services Indicator - SSL Plugins: All the plugins that refer to SSL or certificates have been grouped into these indicators
  • Firewall Status - Firewall Event Summary: This component displays the top 50 normalized firewall events by event count for firewalls from vendors such as Cisco, Juniper, Palo Alto, Fortinet, and many more
  • Passive Network Forensics - Suspicious Activity Over Last 72 Hours: This matrix presents indicators of suspicious events that have occurred in the last 72 hours, including intrusions, potential data leaks, potentially unwanted long-term activity, threatlist activity (interaction with known botnets), crowd surges, suspicious proxy activity, suspicious server activity, and other suspicious host activity
  • Predicting Attack Paths - Vulnerabilities by Common Ports: This component contains six columns that enumerate the number of hosts with vulnerabilities on a specific port
  • Detect Suspicious Activity - Alerts in Last 72 Hours: This matrix presents warning indicators for potentially suspicious network activity detected in the last 72 hours, such as targeted intrusions (intrusion attacks that targeted systems and ports likely to be exploited by the attacks), botnet activity, and long-term activity
  • Wireless Detections - Networks with Wireless Access Points/SSID: The Networks with Wireless Access Points/SSID table displays detections by count of Wireless Access Points detected by active scanning, and presents the count by Class C address space
  • CSF - Suspected Wireless Devices: Along with wireless devices, many stand-along devices today include wireless access capabilities such as printers, digital cameras, and more