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Virtual HyperVisor Audit Check Dashboards

by Cody Dumont
September 23, 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 VMware vCenter/vSphere & Citrix XenServer. 

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.

Citrix XenServer Audit Results - SecurityCenter CV using Nessus can audit XenServer hypervisors using the APIs published for Citrix XenServer and other vendors who create their own versions of XenServer based on open sourced code. This capability allows customers to harden the virtualization layer of their infrastructure.  Too often, organizations forget to harden infrastructure, and this feature fulfills a critical component in a complete security program.  Tenable blogged about this in 2013: Nessus Configuration Checks Available for Citrix XenServer. 

VMware vCenter/vSphere Audit Results - SecurityCenter CV using Nessus can audit VMware vCenter/vSphere hypervisors using the VMware SOAP API to audit ESX, ESXi, and vCenter software. Three new customizable compliance audit files are now available on the Tenable Support Portal.  The VMware-hardening Compliance Audit contains industry-standard recommendations used to harden VMware infrastructure. The Tenable vCenter/vSphere Best Practices Configuration Audit uses the VMware API to go beyond the hardening guidelines provided by VMware. There is additional information that Nessus is able to audit and report on that is useful to VMware administrators. For example, Nessus can report if VMware Tools is installed, the heartbeat settings on VMs, Guest operating system listings, overall VM status, floppy/CD-ROM drives connected, and iSCSI device status.  The DISA VMware ESXi/vCenter 5 STIG Audit implements the majority of the recommendations provided by recent version of the DISA VMware ESXi/vCenter 5 Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG).  Tenable blogged about this in 2013: Nessus VMware vSphere/vCenter Audits Now Available