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How Splunk Enterprise Simplifies Compliance

Meeting Requirements for Collecting, Retaining, Searching, Alerting and Reporting on Logs and Machine Data

The Challenges of Meeting Compliance Demands for Federal Agencies

Cybersecurity challenges are rampant throughout all sectors, globally—no one is immune, and the threats will only continue to increase. Regulatory bodies throughout the government are in place to set a baseline for federal IT security, which is a good thing. However, it’s something of a double-edged sword with respect to the increased rigor for data protection and cybersecurity policies, particularly as the Cybersecurity Executive Order further develops.

A few of the primary federal compliance regulations:

  • NIST 800-53
  • FIPS
  • Common criteria
  • FedRAMP
  • Risk Management Framework

Managing the above regulations alone is a complex endeavor; applying technology to simplify compliance efforts rather than complicate them is an entirely different endeavor, and without the right solutions, it can get messy.

Typically, demonstrating compliance controls by reporting on access control, application logs, firewalls, and machine data is challenging and expensive, Splunk explained. Every system generates logs in disparate places and formats, and each auditor request requires a different manual procedure. To compound that, there’s also the compliance requirement of limiting access to production systems. Developers as well as systems administrators can’t access production systems in order to analyze configurations and logs, which cripples their ability to address security and operations problems.

Fortunately, Splunk Enterprise for Automated Compliance allows you to meet compliance requirements easily using a single platform.

Supporting Compliance Requirements With Splunk Using Machine Data

The greatest feature of Splunk for Automated Compliance is the ability to gather all of your data in one place. When your IT or security team needs to report on compliance, it’s simply a matter of creating reports to show current levels on data. Here’s how:

Splunk Enterprise is actually a massively scalable engine for machine-generated data. It collects, indexes, and reins in machine data throughout your entire IT infrastructure in real time. Further, it’s cost effective and flexible. From audit trail collection and reporting to file integrity monitoring, you’re enabled to meet compliance requirements using one solution. Splunk delivers the ability to collect, retain, search, and alert and report on logs and machine data, as well as generate a report (and automate reporting) for compliance analysts and auditors.

“The details are in your data. What are your compliance levels? Do you meet compliance? With Splunk, you can actually look at your compliance levels in near real-time from your data. IT doesn’t have to collect data for 8 different IT groups and then find a way to manually analyze it—it’s all in one place.”

-Josh Wilson, Splunk-Certified Consultant and Architect at August Schell

Splunk has you covered for:

  • Secure data retention
  • Controlled data access
  • Compliance reporting
  • Security monitoring
  • Compliance investigations
  • Audit trail review

Building Upon Your Current Splunk Set-Up, Or Just Getting Started?

Whether you’re already using Splunk for other functions, or you’re in the beginning stages of evaluation but have interest in Splunk for Compliance Automation, August Schell can help your IT and security team. If you don’t have a Splunk expert in-house, it’s not recommended to attempt implementation without outside expertise on both Splunk and compliance, if you wish to use the compliance automation feature. Partnering with a Splunk consultant such as the engineering team at August Schell will ensure your deployment goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

If your agency needs assistance with your Splunk implementation, or using Splunk to enhance your compliance efforts, get in touch with an August Schell specialist, or call us at (301)-838-9470.

risk management frameworkAre you struggling to meet Risk Management Framework (RMF) compliance regulations?

Need to make improvements to enhance your compliance? Finding it hard to document compliance in a readily usable way? August Schell is here to help. 

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