Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Tool to plan security requirements of any BI Solution

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While going through a book, I just skimmed through a chapter that described various measures to plan for security requirements of a Business Intelligence solution. One of the recommendation was use of MSAT tool. So I thought of mentioning it on this blog. This tool is not designed to work with SSIS, SSAS and SSRS security in specific. But seems to be a useful tool in environments where compliance is a big consideration, for example - security consideration is a big concern on any project associated with a financial domain client. I am not sure how useful it would be for BI projects, but this seems to be a useful document to produce for quality and audit perspective, especially security audits like BS7799.

Following is an excerpt from the Microsoft Security Assessment Tool home page:

MSAT consists of over 200 questions covering infrastructure, applications, operations, and people. The questions, associated answers, and recommendations are derived from commonly accepted best practices, standards such as ISO 17799 and NIST-800.x, as well as recommendations and prescriptive guidance from the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Group and other external security sources.

The assessment is designed to identify the business risk of your organization and the security measures deployed to mitigate risk. Focusing on common issues, the questions have been developed to provide a high-level security risk assessment of the technology, processes, and people that supports your business.

Beginning with a series of questions about your company's business model, the tool builds a Business Risk Profile (BRP), measuring your company’s risk of doing business due to the industry and business model defined by BRP. A second series of questions are posed to compile a listing of the security measures your company has deployed over time. Together, these security measures form layers of defense, providing greater protection against security risk and specific vulnerabilities. Each layer contributes to a combined strategy for defense-in-depth. This sum is referred to as the Defense-in-Depth Index (DiDI). The BRP and DiDI are then compared to measure risk distribution across the areas of analysis (AoAs)—infrastructure, applications, operations, and people.

In addition to measuring the alignment of security risk and defenses, this tool also measures the security maturity of your organization. Security maturity refers to the evolution of strong security and maintainable practices. At the low end, few security defenses are employed and actions are reactive. At the high end, established and proven processes allow a company to be more proactive, and respond more efficiently and consistently when needed.

Risk management recommendations are suggested for your environment by taking into consideration existing technology deployment, current security posture, and defense-in-depth strategies. Suggestions are designed to move you along a path toward recognized best practices.

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