In one way, mainframe environments are just like server environments; they are increasingly exposed to the Internet. In a more important way, though, they are different -- they have more complex security requirements than many server systems. Security intelligence -- a single view of threats, automated assistance, deeper experiential insight, and real-time detection -- is the component that allows these two factors to meet and merge into a meaningful solution.
Here are two painlessly short articles that can jumpstart your journey into understanding and implementing an intelligent security policy and mechanism tailored to meet the complex requirements of the mainframe environment:
Understanding the shifting nature of malicious attacks on and vulnerabilities of your enterprise mainframe or hybrid system, especially as your organization implements new technologies -- cloud computing, response-based workload resource balancing, mobile access, big data handling, social collaboration -- is just the beginning of establishing a comprehensive security policy for your mainframe-oriented environment. In "Creating the ultimate security platform," IBM explains how System z can deliver proactive protection for data, web, cloud, mobile, and enterprise environments on mainframe systems.
This whitepaper starts by detailing how mainframe security requirements have changed in the Internet era. Originally, mainframes were isolated from outside influences, but now many are just as connected to the web as a typical smartphone; the difference is that it is relatively easy to secure the simple environment of a phone, but not so easy with the complex architecture of a mainframe.
The paper describes how security intelligence, consistent, normalized analysis of disparate data to recognize and block attacks, takes an "umbrella" approach to security (from network intrusion prevention all the way to endpoint management) in order to create a complete picture of the infrastructure and the attacks and vulnerabilities that threaten it. The security intelligence approach, optimized for the way a contemporary computer system is used, replaces the traditional "security only at the obvious vulnerable points" way of protecting your mainframe.