CA revises mainframe security management products

CA on Monday announced revisions to three well-established identity and access management software products for mainframe z/OS customers.

The focus of the changes is on increasing efficiency and reducing costs, said Lina Liberti, vice president of security management marketing at CA. Two of the new products, eTrust CA-Access Control Facility 2 Security r9 and eTrust CA-Top Secret Security r9, protect mainframe data sets from unauthorized access. The revisions allow more detailed security controls and longer passwords, as well as more detailed auditing and reporting on Multilevel Security data sets, she said. Both products, which have been on the market for 20 years, start at US$26,000 and replace versions announced in early 2005.

The third revision is eTrust Cleanup 2.2, which is designed to make it easier to run consolidated reports of user IDs and profiles for a department or zone on a mainframe, Liberti said. Pricing starts at US$62,500 per CPU. Cleanup is especially important to mainframe customers, since mainframes are sometimes decades old and may contain user authorizations for people who have left the organization, she said. "This way, you can get rid of unused authorizations," Liberti said.

Customers had asked for improvements to all three products to help them prove compliance with federal guidelines such as the Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, she said.

Joanne Kelly, senior information security analyst and consultant at Boston University (BU) in Boston, is a current user of Top Secret and Cleanup and is looking forward to the revised products, although she has not yet tested them.

The BU mainframe contains more than half the university's business data and all of its student grades, she said. "We have to keep that stuff secure. Both products have absolutely paid back their cost. We've had ROI a million times over." Kelly said the administration of security on the z/OS mainframe is simple compared to running security on Windows platforms.

The CA releases continue a trend in the industry to provide management security that extends from the desktop to the mainframe, said analyst Rich Ptak of Ptak, Noel & Associates.

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