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PCI Vulnerability Management Program Dashboard

by Andrew Freeborn
June 21, 2016

PCI Vulnerability Management Program Dashboard

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, released in April 2016. Any organization that handles payment card information has to comply with the PCI DSS and must demonstrate compliance annually. Tenable's Tenable.sc is able to help organizations monitor ongoing PCI DSS security by integrating with Tenable Nessus, Tenable Nessus Network Monitor (NNM), and Tenable Log Correlation Engine (LCE) to provide detailed and insightful data about the organization.

Organizations may have many vulnerabilities with varying levels of severity and exploitability. Depending on the context of the vulnerability such as the location of the system containing the vulnerability and protection mechanisms around the system, a high severity vulnerability may be mitigated down to a lower severity. However, analysts need to know about the vulnerabilities in order to make educated recommendations. With accurate and concise knowledge, analysts can determine how best to address each vulnerability within the context of the organization’s standards.

With this dashboard, organizations can assess their level of adherence with requirements found in the “Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program” section of the PCI DSS. The components in this dashboard are focused on PCI requirements 5, “Protect all systems against malware and regularly update anti-virus software or programs” and 6, “Develop and maintain secure systems and applications”. The components in this dashboard cover sub-requirements such as 5.1, 5.2, 6.2, 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6 that focus on specific vulnerabilities detected in the organization.

Depending on the size of the organization, a total view of vulnerabilities can make the task of remediating vulnerabilities or mitigating the risk seem overwhelming. The components in this dashboard provide specific insights into vulnerabilities, such as whether or not there were exploitable vulnerabilities detected within the last 24 hours. Analysts have views of vulnerabilities across multiple frames of reference in time, along with the typical view of vulnerability severity level. The top vulnerabilities on the network are shown, which can help the organization focus on remediating or mitigating the greatest risks to better secure the network. These views into the data, along with other relevant snapshots into the organization, allow better informed decisions regarding next steps to be made. As organizations strive to abide by PCI requirements, components in this dashboard can help them to see how they fare in terms of system and network vulnerabilities.

Asset lists can be applied to this dashboard in order to more effectively tailor the focus toward systems of particular concern. 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 Tenable.sc Feed, a comprehensive collection of dashboards, reports, Assurance Report Cards, and assets. The dashboard can be easily located in the Tenable.sc Feed under the category Compliance & Configuration Assessments. The dashboard requirements are:

  • Tenable.sc 5.3.1
  • Nessus 8.5.1
  • NNM 5.9.0
  • LCE 6.0.0

Tenable.sc Continuous View (CV) provides continuous network monitoring, vulnerability identification, risk reduction, and compliance monitoring. Tenable.sc is continuously updated with information about advanced threats and zero-day vulnerabilities, and new types of regulatory compliance configuration audits. Tenable Nessus Network Monitor (NNM) 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, NNM, and LCE, Tenable.sc CV’s continuous network monitoring is able to detect systems and vulnerabilities across the enterprise.

This dashboard contains the following components:

  • CSF - Best Practice Compliance Indicators: The Best Practices Compliance Indicator component uses results from the compliance audit to trigger on specific plugin keywords for best practice configuration guidelines
  • Vulnerability Top Ten - Top 10 Most Vulnerable Hosts: This component shows the top ten hosts with exploitable vulnerabilities of high or critical severity
  • Understanding Risk - Remediation Opportunities: This table displays the top remediations for the network
  • Track Mitigation Progress - Vulnerability Summary by Severity: Tenable.sc records when vulnerabilities are discovered, when patches are issued, and when vulnerabilities are mitigated. This component assists in tracking vulnerability mitigations.
  • PCI Monitoring - Vulnerabilities By Age: The “PCI Monitoring - Vulnerabilities By Age” matrix component displays an overview of vulnerabilities over time
  • Application Development Summary - Vulnerability Summary: This component displays various application development technologies by row, and enumerates any found vulnerabilities across the columns
  • OWASP Top 10 - Top 10 Indicators: This component provides a detailed analysis of the OWASP Top 10 most critical web application security flaws
  • PCI Monitoring - Antivirus Detection: The “PCI Monitoring - Antivirus Detection” matrix component contains a summary of the status of anti-virus clients on hosts in the organization
  • Compliance Summary - CIS, DoD & NIST Bar Ratio: This component displays a summary of CIS, DOS, NIST, and other government audit standards organizations, providing a host count, and ratio bars for each severity level
  • PCI Monitoring - Top Failures and Manual Checks: The “PCI Monitoring - Top Failures and Manual Checks” table lists the configuration checks that failed or require manual verification on the greatest number of hosts
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