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Comment Re:PCI DSS Compliance (Score 1) 25

The key things are:

1. software that monitors every file change on the system, dll's exe's running apps, running services
2. software that monitors all event logs and emails you when certain patterns emerge such as brute force attempts
3. spending months turning off a gazillion group policy settings, or cisco settings to harden kit
4. Nessus is very good at flagging up open ports / (such as Avira's remote management ports for example), or the fact your not using ldaps for your domain

That is not checking boxes, and that is required to get a certificate
That being said there are different auditors and from a higher management point of view it's going to pay to go with the ones that cause the least amount of hassle
The last auditors we had included an ex police officer and a pro sys admin, the ones we're currently with also study our cisco configs for the switches and the firewalls to generate reports on advisories for stuff to change.

Comment Re:PCI DSS Compliance (Score 4, Informative) 25

Being an admin myself that's had to lock down kit for PCI DSS standards, these work a little differently

1. First you need to be audited by an external auditor that provides the certificate
If you don't follow the rules then no certification, bribes don't work ether, and most of these guys are really thorough.

2. The network needs to be seperated into DMZ and Protected zones, the credit card data only exists within the Protected zone and there's no direct contact from that zone to the internet, it has to go through a hardware firewall via the DMZ to get to the outside.

3. Typically you install software such as NNT or Tripwire, this monitors every change on the box from dll's being replaced to the smallest change such as Antiirus updates. Filtering and managing this can be a full time job as an admin, usually the software has stuff inbuilt to filter down av updates for example.

4. Next you usually have a set of reports usually built into the same monitoring software that run against all the hardware and check a large number of security settings, most of these can be setup via GPO's some can actually lock it down to the point where the hardware becomes unusable so it can be a comprimise sometimes.

5. Section 10 means that all event logs from all devices need to be captured into a database, this also has a reporting mechanism setup for example if someone tries to brute force the firewall within x minuites or so. minimum storage time is 12 months, also there should be off site backups

6. Every month windows updates need to take place, every 3 months there needs to be scans via software such as Nessus internally, external scans usually via the auditor. Every 6 months a review of the firewall rules, updates to all the software such as cisco firmwares etc.

7. 2 factor authentication is mandatory (yubikey and a password), all access to the kit should also be ip restricted.

8. All code is audited, software devs have to go on training courses, read up on security standards (try googling secure string in C#, or wasp)

The paperwork is horrendous, but it's far from checking boxes, a lot of work has to go into hardening kit for the PCI DSS complaince.
Most of the settings you have to change on the kit to harden it usually originate from ether Nessus scans or the complaince reports run from the monitoring software and there's a lot of it.

Comment PCI DSS Compliance (Score 2) 25

One question to ask is, were Talk Talk PCI DSS 3.1 Compliant?
Were they using software for change control, and logging of device event logs?

If your storing credit card data, then these standards require you to use software that recomends locking down kit, and logging via event logs to see who's broken in etc
Also to get the certified you need to be audited by an external auditor, have monthly updates, 3 monthly scans, 6 monthly sotware updates etc.
I can't help but think with all these break ins, it's just piss poor admin / or cheapness that's at fault

Comment Nessus already shows this (Score 1) 60

One of the things I've setup in the past
is a server environment with PCI DSS compliance

by default comms between internal servers and the wsus server are also not protected via ssl
(since you'd need to install the certs for the wsus onto the client machines if it's self signed)

one of the first things I turned on was SSL WSUS Support
(along with SSL Active directory, and SSL everything else)

If your doing your job properly when it comes to securing environments
usually you'll install a piece of software like tripwire or NNT or Nessus
part of which checks over all the settings, like group and local policy, with port scans
to list all the crap to be turned off or changed (wsus ssl in the group policy was at the top of the list btw)

Comment Magnetic Field? (Score 1) 136

I always thought the main issue with life on mars was the lack of a magnetic field
On earth we have a big lump of metal spinning at the core, this generates the field needed to protect us from the solar wind
but in the case of mars it's theorised that this isn't the case

without a magnetic field, this means more solar wind
lots of radiation goodness and thinner atmosphere since the solar wind blasts the edge of the atmosphere away from the planet, similar to constantly thinning it out
also less pressure equals liquids boiling off, which is probably why all the water is ether only frozen or underground

although I'd admit if they did get something to grow there it'd be fun to see all the fallout style mutations cropping up at the poles

Comment Re:.Net / Typescript (Score 1) 536

The way I see it historically there were large differences between what you could do with VB.Net and C#
but with each newer framework those differences have become less and less to the point where it's now just a question of syntax
since both compile down to IL anyways

Personally I can write in C / C++ and understand C# if I want to
I just find the syntax easier / quicker to write, my brain is just more in tune with VB .Net rather than C#
although I recognise it can work the other way as well

With C# for example every line needs a terminating semicolon which is something inherited from the old C days (I find that irritating)
with VB .Net it assumes every line is independent, if you want to put mutiple lines of code on one line you can use a colon :, or an underscore to continue a line which in practice just feels to work out better
also if blocks / while blocks / other blocks are a bit more clearly defined with If / End If, While End While rather than curly braces { } for every block type

I see it as just personal preference in terms of syntax at this stage since essentially both are the same framework / to the point you can easily convert one to the other

Comment .Net / Typescript (Score 2) 536

I work in a medium sized software development company, and we work exclusively with .Net usually Visual Basic
C# is also an option in .Net land, typically with the newer frameworks the differences functionality wise are fairly minor
we started with .Net 2,0 web forms and are now on .Net 4.0, everything is backwards compatible as far as I can tell between frameworks
Another direction would be php, or something more specialised such as Ruby for example

If you want rapid development cycles then having intelisense / auto completion / linq / entity framework is definitely something to look into
these languages are server side, you also may want to consider how much of your website wants to be written in client side languages such as javascript. Personally I'm planning on learning Typescript which is a subscript of javascript, basically easier to write and more class based with intelisense

It all comes down to what kind of functionality you want to put into your web apps, and what your developers feel comfortable with

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