Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Standards and Guidelines in relation to information security.

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Requirements were established in December 2004, and apply to all Members, merchants, and service providers that store, process or transmit cardholder data. As well as a requirement to comply with this standard, there is a requirement to independently prove verification.

ISACA was established in 1967 and has become a pace-setting global organisation for information governance, control, security and audit professionals. Its IS Auditing and IS Control standards are followed by practitioners worldwide and its research pinpoints professional issues challenging its constituents. CISA, the Certified Information Systems Auditor is ISACA's cornerstone certification. Since 1978, the CISA exam has measured excellence in the area of IS auditing, control and security and has grown to be globally recognized and adopted worldwide as a symbol of achievement.

The CESG IT Health Check scheme was instigated to ensure that sensitive government networks and those constituting the GSI (Government Secure Intranet) and CNI (Critical National Infrastructure) were secured and tested to a consistent high level. The methodology aims to identify known vulnerabilities in IT systems and networks which may compromise the confidentiality, integrity or availability of information held on that IT system. In the absence of other standards, CHECK has become the de-facto standard for penetration testing in the UK. This is mainly on account of its rigorous certification process. Whilst good it only concentrates on infrastructure testing and not application. However, open source methodologies such as the following are providing viable and comprehensive alternatives, without UK Government association. It must also be noted that CHECK consultants are only required when the assessment is for HMG or related parties, and meets the requirements above. If you want a CHECK test you will need to surrender your penetration testing results to CESG.

BS 7799 Part 1 was a standard originally published as BS 7799 by the British Standards Institute (BSI) in 1995. It was written by the United Kingdom Government's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and after several revisions, was eventually adopted by ISO as ISO/IEC 17799. ISO/IEC 17799 was most recently revised in June 2005 and was renamed to ISO/IEC 27002 in July 2007. The BS 7799-2 focused on how to implement an Information security management system (ISMS), referring to the information security management structure and controls identified in BS 7799-2, which later became ISO/IEC 27001. The 2002 version of BS 7799-2 introduced the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) (Deming quality assurance model), aligning it with quality standards such as ISO 9000. BS 7799 Part 2 was adopted by ISO as ISO/IEC 27001 in November 2005. BS7799 Part 3 was published in 2005, covering risk analysis and management. It aligns with ISO/IEC 27001.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1996. Administrative Simplification (AS) provisions of HIPPA, require the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers. The AS provisions also address the security and privacy of health data. The standards are meant to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation's health care system by encouraging the widespread use of electronic data interchange in the US health care system.

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