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Audit and Compliance

Achieving compliance requires overcoming the complexity of auditing dozens or hundreds of deployed applications. And equally importantly, your compliance solution should also allow your business to grow naturally, without artificial restrictions.

Ensuring the safety of sensitive data in accordance with compliance regulations isn’t a technology problem – it’s a people problem. Ultimately, every compliance violation can be traced back to the specific actions of a particular user: an employee, contractor or remote vendor involved in the collection, storage and transmission of sensitive data. Unfortunately, most companies have zero visibility into what users are actually doing with this information once they access it, dramatically increasing the risk of data breaches and compliance violations.

The bottom line of most compliance requirements is: Make sure that you know every action that people do which impacts sensitive data. Having a log of every database query from the main user application is meaningless if there are also custom utilities that access the data from another direction. ObserveIT solves this dilemma with a simple and straightforward solution: visually recording of all user activity on any server or workstation. No matter what applications or resources the user accessed, ObserveIT tracks exact actions and provides textual user activity logs for reporting and alerting.


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Whether your compliance requirements are for financial data protection, medical patient privacy, government oversight inquiry or 3rd party outsource compliance, ObserveIT gives you the coverage and ease of use that you need to audit users.

From an audit and compliance perspective, here’s a generalized list of how we map to standards (e.g. required by HIPAA, NERC, FFIEC, FISMA, FERPA, PCI, SOX).

  • Identity, Audit and Authenticate Administrator and 3rd Party Access
  • Assign a Unique ID to each person and Authenticate access to systems
  • Control and Audit of all privileged users access 
  • Logging, monitoring user access
  • Track and Monitor all Access
  • Access Policy and reporting for Forensics and Investigations on incidents
  • Continuous Security Training Awareness with Recording Message
  • Remote Access Session Monitoring and Authentication to Servers
  • Logging Access, Alert on Unauthorized Access to Sensitive systems
  • Ports and Services Monitoring, Logging All Server and user activity
  • Incident Response with Session Replay on Event logs

Here’s how ObserveIT addresses specific compliance regulations:

HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

 “Requirement 160.308 – Compliance Reviews”

•ObserveIT provides pre-built and customizable compliance audit reports that are easily accessible by compliance auditors. The reports, which can be automatically sent via email, include textual summaries of user actions linked to session video replay.

•With ObserveIT, every application automatically has a compliance audit log component, regardless of the application’s origin. ObserveIT offers the flexibility to deploy new and updated applications at any time, without the need to deploy new audit protocols. 

 “Requirement 164.306 – Security Standards”

•ObserveIT offers a ‘just-in-time policy messaging’ feature that delivers important messages and updates about corporate policies generally, or for specific applications and servers. This ensures that all users have read and agreed to the relevant security policies and procedures before logging on, and are aware of both general and specific policies.

“Requirement 164.308 – Administrative Safeguards”

•ObserveIT offers a feature that identifies individual users logging in to servers using generic ‘administrator’ or other shared accounts. When logging into a server using a shared-user account, ObserveIT presents a secondary identification window, where that user must sign in with their second set of credentials in order to access the server. Video recordings and activity logs are then tied to that specific user. 

 “Requirement 164.312 – Technical Safeguards”

•ObserveIT captures a detailed textual log along with visual recordings of every user action, with logs generated for every application, including those without their own internal logs. By showing the exact user actions – not just the results – IT auditors can easily review files opened, windows viewed and other specific UI activities.

“Requirement 164.414 – Administrative Requirements and Burden of Proof”

•ObserveIT requires individual credentials to log onto a server or network, ensuring that all visual recordings and textual user activity logs are tied to specific users, providing visibility into who is doing what and when. 

PCI DSS: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard 

“Requirement 6: Develop and Maintain Secure Systems and Applications”

•ObserveIT monitors and records all user activity in your network, and generates a comprehensive, searchable audit log tied with a video recording of every user action.

•With ObserveIT, every application has a compliance audit log component, regardless of that application’s origin. It also offers the flexibility to grow and deploy new applications at any given time, without needing to deploy new audit protocols. 

“Requirement 8: Assign Unique ID to Each Person with Computer Access”

•ObserveIT requires individual credentials to log onto a server or network, ensuring that every action will be recorded. All visual and textual metadata logs are tied to the specific user, providing visibility into who is doing what and when. 

“Requirement 10: Monitor Access to Network Resources and Cardholder Data” 

•ObserveIT offers a feature that identifies users within generic ‘administrator’ users or shared accounts. When logging into a server using a shared-user account, ObserveIT offers a secondary identification window, where that user must sign in with their second set of credentials. Video recordings and logs are then tied to that specific user accordingly. 

•ObserveIT monitors all user activity. This provides an unequivocal audit trail of user activity and bulletproof evidence as to who worked on what servers. Because of this, you can easily conduct root cause analysis to find changes or use the advanced keyword search, which allows you to search by applications, user names, windows, text typed and more. 

“Requirement 12: Maintain Policy that Addresses IT Security for all Personnel”

•ObserveIT offers a ‘just-in-time policy messaging’ feature that delivers important messages and updates about corporate policies generally, or for specific applications and servers. This ensures that all users have read and agreed to the security policies and procedures before logging on, and are aware of either general or specific policies.

SOX: The Sarbanes–Oxley Act 

“SOX Section 404 – Evaluate Company-Level Controls”

•ObserveIT requires individual credentials to log onto a server or network, ensuring that every action will be recorded. All visual and textual metadata logs are tied to the specific user, providing visibility into who is doing what and when. 

•With ObserveIT, every application has a compliance audit log component, regardless of that application’s origin. It also offers the flexibility to grow and deploy new applications at any given time, without needing to deploy new audit protocols. 

“SOX Section 404 – Perform a Fraud Risk Assessment”

•ObserveIT monitors all user activity. This provides an unequivocal audit trail of user activity and bulletproof evidence as to who worked on what servers. Because of this, you can easily conduct root cause analysis to find changes or use the advanced keyword search, which allows you to search by applications, user names, windows, text typed and more. 

•ObserveIT provides pre-built and customizable compliance audit reports that are easily accessible for compliance auditors, with automated canned reports sent via email, periodic and customized reports, textual summaries and full video replay. 

“SOX Section 404 – Evaluate Controls Designed to Prevent or Detect Fraud”

•ObserveIT provides flexible alert generation based on robust combinations of user profiles, key actions and client locations. 

•ObserveIT captures a detailed textual log plus visual recordings of every user action, with logs generated for every application, including those without their own internal logs. Showing exactly what the user did – not just the underlying results – IT auditors can track files opened, windows viewed and other specific UI activity.

“SOX Section 404 –Management’s Competency, Objectivity and Risk”

•ObserveIT offers a ‘just-in-time policy messaging’ feature that delivers important messages and updates about general corporate policies, or for specific applications and servers. This ensures that all users have read and agreed to the security policies and procedures before logging on, and are aware of either general or specific policies.

FISMA: Federal Information Security Management Act

“Perform a gap analysis to establish security controls baseline.”

•ObserveIT captures a detailed textual log along with visual recordings of every user action, with logs generated for every application, including those without their own internal logs. By showing the exact user actions – not just the results – IT auditors can easily review files opened, windows viewed and other specific UI activities.

•ObserveIT offers zero-gap recording of all Windows and Unix/Linux sessions via  any remote connection protocol or local console. 

“Perform a risk assessment of security controls.”

•ObserveIT’s threat detection console and customizable recording policies greatly increases the chances of identifying and stopping potential problems before they even start. 

•Identify, asses, correct, and prepare for future incidents using ObserveIT’s searchable logging capabilities and video summaries. All visual and textual metadata logs are tied to individual users, even when using shared login accounts, providing visibility into all past and present events. 

“Create a security system plan and documentation.”

•ObserveIT offers a ‘just-in-time policy messaging’ feature that delivers important messages and updates about corporate policies generally, or for specific applications and servers. This ensures that all users have been informed of, and have agreed to, the relevant security policies and procedures before logging on. This feature can also deliver critical information to remote users each time they log on.

“Perform an audit of the security controls to determine effectiveness.”

•ObserveIT provides an unequivocal audit trail of user activity, along with bulletproof evidence as to who did what on which servers. This dramatically eases root cause and forensic analysis. The system’s advanced keyword search makes it easy to discover specific user actions based on application name, user name, window title, text typed/pasted and more. 

“Monitor security controls on a continual basis.”

•With ObserveIT, every application automatically has a compliance audit log component, regardless of the application’s origin. ObserveIT also offers the flexibility to deploy new and updated applications at any time, without the need to deploy new audit protocols. 

NERC: North American Electric Reliability Corporation

“Requirement CIP-002 RI: BES Cyber System Identification and Categorization”

•ObserveIT requires individual credentials to log onto a server or network, ensuring that every user is authorized, and all actions will be recorded. All visual and textual metadata logs are tied to the specific user, providing forensic evidence as to who did what and when. 

 “Requirement CIP-003: Security Management Controls”

•ObserveIT offers a ‘just-in-time policy messaging’ feature that delivers important messages and updates about corporate policies generally, or for specific applications and servers. This ensures that all users have read and agreed to the security policies and procedures before logging on, and are aware of either general or specific policies.

•Also deliver critical information, monitor, and record remote users each time they log on. 

“Requirement CIP-004: Training and Personnel Security”

•Identify, asses, correct, and prepare for future incidents using ObserveIT’s capabilities which monitor and record all user activity in your network, and generates a comprehensive, searchable audit log tied with a video recording of every user action.

•With ObserveIT, every application has a compliance audit log component, regardless of that application’s origin. Therefore, ObserveIT provides an unequivocal audit trail of user activity and visibility as to who worked on what servers. 

“Requirement 164.414 – Administrative Requirements and Burden of Proof”

•ObserveIT offers a feature that identifies users within generic ‘administrator’ users or shared accounts. When logging into a server using a shared-user account, ObserveIT offers a secondary identification window, where that user must sign in with their second set of credentials. Video recordings and logs are then tied to that specific user accordingly. 

HOW OBSERVEIT HELPS

ObserveIT can help any organization satisfy its HIPAA, NERC, FFIEC, FISMA, FERPA, PCI, SOX requirements within minutes. With detailed logs and visual recordings of all user activity—on any server, workstation or application—ObserveIT exceeds the strictest interpretation of regulatory requirements with conclusive evidence for compliance auditors. With ObserveIT, audit reports can be completed in a fraction of the time, with the ability to instantly search, analyze and view video-like playback of any session. 

Covering every application, from day one

Compliance officers spend too much time collecting long lists of each and every application that is deployed, in hopes of assuring that every app has a compliance audit log component. ObserveIT eliminates this matrix coverage dilemma! All activity is recorded, without concern of application origin. Instead of wondering about apps, you simply cover all apps when you audit Citrix, SSH, TS and RDP connectivity.

Grow without constraints

Your goal is to grow and become more profitable. Compliance requirements should not interfere with this primary goal. But in reality, business expansion is restricted by statements such as "We can't deploy this new customer application yet, because we don't have an audit system for it." By adopting ObserveIT as your compliance solution today, you answer your current needs, plus you create flexibility to grow and deploy new applications immediately, with no development and adoption of new audit protocols

Easy reporting reduces auditing costs: No more lengthy data collection

ObserveIT gives you immediate access to any user activity, via detailed reports and online video replay. Preparing for audit review is a snap, with automated report generation, plus you can provide convincing evidence of validity and thoroughness with full replay.

Guaranteed authenticity

ObserveIT's security infrastructure coupled with undeniable video replay eliminates any doubt about the source of user activity. All data is encrypted and stored in a secure SQL database, ensuring that ObserveIT is also covered by your database security protocols.

Know the name of that 'administrator'

Telling an external auditor that a specific data access was valid because the user is "an administrator" is a very weak argument. Compliance regulations require that you know the precise identity of each person accessing your sensitive data. ObserveIT's demand-response user identification ties each administrator login to a specific identity.


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