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Bundle Aims To Simplify Regulatory Compliance for SMBs

NetIQ will ship this month a bundle of existing management tools that aims to help small and medium-sized businesses meet regulatory compliance requirements for recent laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA acts.

The NetIQ Security Compliance Suite, to be available in both standard and enterprise editions, combines the latest version of the company’s Vulnerability Manager product with components of its Security Manager package.

“A lot of our SMB customers want to use multiple [NetIQ] products in the security and vulnerability management areas,” says Bob Tesh, senior marketing manager for the systems management software developer.

The entire package is based around Vulnerability Manager 5.5, the most recent release of NetIQ's flagship policy compliance and vulnerability management product. It provides tools for configuration management, vulnerability assessment, and vulnerability notification and advisory functions as well as policy and regulatory compliance auditing. In addition, it provides tools for patch management and remediation.

Besides Vulnerability Manager, the standard edition of the Security Compliance Suite includes the Log Manager module from NetIQ’s Security Manager. The log management module provides the ability to collect, consolidate and analyze all audit logs using a central user interface.

“Regardless of the type of regulation, there are not enough details [about what constitutes compliance to a particular act] to give somebody in an IT department the knowledge to establish a compliance policy,” says Tesh. “We’ve developed this package in order to make it easier for them to go forward in their compliance efforts.”

The bundle’s policy compliance capabilities can be used to assess all systems configurations for compliance with policies. It includes built-in templates to enable customers to assess and report compliance with multiple regulations, including Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), according to a company statement. Configuration and vulnerability assessment functions help to make sure that systems are up to date with all the latest security patches and have not been compromised.

NetIQ just released Vulnerability Manager version 5.5 in late April. The update features new reporting capabilities for Microsoft’s Internet Information Services and SQL Server. A new “delta” reporting capability lets users compare two reports run at different times and identify differences between previous and current configurations.

The enterprise edition of NetIQ’s Security Compliance Suite includes the standard edition, and also adds real-time security monitoring via the Incident Manager module of Security Manager. It also provides capabilities for monitoring and generating alerts to policy changes, user account changes and suspicious network activity.

Both editions of the suite run on Windows Server 2003 or on Windows 2000 Server (Service Pack 2 or later). The standard edition costs $20,000 for a 25 server license pack. The enterprise editions is $28,000.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.