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September 14, 2010
By S.L. Sweet

A Retailer's View of Security Information Management

If your company accepts payment cards, it can be hard to keep up with the data storage and log review requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). For device log data, the standard requires storage for at least one year, with the most recent 90 days of data retrievable immediately. This applies to all of the systems within your cardholder data environment and particularly your point-of-sale systems that need daily review for potential security breaches.

It's easy to see that if you have multiple stores, each generating hundreds or potentially thousands of log events every day, the amount of data to be stored and reviewed means significant challenges on your internal resources.

The first challenge is to your budget; as it can be expensive to continually invest in storage systems and their associated back-end infrastructure. The second challenge involves your personnel: How can they find the time to perform the daily log reviews or maintain event correlation and analysis software?

To help address these challenges, managed service providers offer a number of solutions, which include newer Security-as-as-Service (SaaS) offerings, with security information management as a key component.

In SaaS solutions, data storage is typically hosted by a provider like MegaPath and accessed over the network cloud. Instead of making capital and operational investments in your own data storage infrastructure, you pay a simple monthly fee. Reporting and analysis software is included in the service for performing the PCI DSS-mandated daily reviews. These capabilities, as well as additional security management services for retailers, will be available from MegaPath beginning in Q4 of this year.

As the economy improves and the volume of customer transactions increase, you'll need to handle an ever-growing volume of data. If you have been thinking about expanding your storage infrastructure and staffing levels to keep up, it's time to take a closer look at SaaS and security information management.

What are your challenges in managing security information?

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