[ISN] Evans touts Energy IT security standard

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Tue Sep 23 2003 - 22:33:48 PDT

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    By Michael Hardy 
    Sept. 23, 2003
    A coalition of government agencies has created a security 
    configuration benchmark for two Oracle Corp. products that could 
    provide a governmentwide model for future contracts. 
    The benchmark is a compilation of more than 250 security configuration 
    recommendations to guide agencies and Oracle in implementing the 
    products, said Karen Evans, chief information officer for the Energy 
    Department who was recently picked to head the Office of Management 
    and Budget's e-government efforts. 
    Energy led development of the benchmark for Oracle Database versions 
    8i and 9i on the Microsoft Corp. Windows and Unix operating systems, 
    Evans said.
    The idea is to standardize installations so that security features 
    that can vary will remain constant from one to the next.
    In order to have easy installation, "a lot of security features are 
    turned off" by default, Evans said. The question that information 
    technology leaders face, and which the benchmark answers, is which 
    ones need to be on and how they should be configured. In some cases, 
    like Energy's Oracle relationship, vendors might ship products already 
    set according to the benchmark.
    Energy developed the benchmark with the Homeland Security Department, 
    National Security Agency, General Services Administration and the 
    Defense Information Systems Agency. The Center for Internet Security 
    aided in its development and is now working on a scorecard for 
    agencies to use in assessing whether their own systems comply with it.
    "Every time we can raise the security bar, every time we can raise the 
    awareness of people, we should recognize that," said Bob Lentz, 
    director of information assurance at the Defense Department at a Sept. 
    23 ceremony to announce the benchmark. 
    Evans said the benchmark can now be incorporated into governmentwide 
    enterprise licenses.
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