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RE: IT Manager to CISO
From: Craig Hotchkiss <CHotchk () rei com>
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 11:37:13 -0700

CISA would be a good one to help with the audit. 

-----Original Message-----
From: listbounce () securityfocus com [mailto:listbounce () securityfocus com] On Behalf Of Ricardo Ferreira
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2011 5:46 AM
To: security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: Re: IT Manager to CISO

On 04/27/2011 05:37 AM, olufemimogaji () gmail com wrote:
Hi all,

I'm currently the de facto IT manager for a small IT services firm. The nature of our business requires that we 
follow PCI standards as per logical security. Here's the thing, the CISO is leaving next month, and I've been told 
I'll be taking his position. I already have a lot of exposure to info sec, I have a CCNP (the former version with 
ISCW) and a I'm an MCP (Active Directory for WS 2008). What I need to know is what cert I should go out there and get 
to make me more cemented in this new CISO role, at least to keep the auditors happy, as they sometimes like to 
question your competence. The outgoing CISO, even though he was trained by some of our partners, had NO certs, and 
this exposed him to uncomfy questions from hard nosed auditors. Security+ or CISSP exam? Or any others? Any form of 
guiding light will be highly appreciated.


Femi M.

Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone

Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone
Hi all,

My 0.0.2 cents....

I am currently running a PCI-DSS certified payment service provider and even though I have some certifications on my 
bag let me tell you about my experience ( 5 years running and administering a PCI-DSS certified payment service 

1. The auditors are not looking for certs. They are always looking for answers to their questions and you must backup 
up these answers with evidences. and detailed documentation.

2. The target is to make sure you protect the card-holder data.  This is all PCI-DSS about. So what are the controls 
and processes you put together to make sure you are 100% compliant with the requirements. 
Understand them in details. Read them. Check them. Test them. Monitore them. ( PDCA is your friend here). Know your 
environment. Have monitoring tools implemented in all key points of your infra-structure. 
Know your traffic profile....

3. How your network firewall policy effectively mitigate possible attacks. Is there any kind of active-active network 
firewall implemented just in case you have one of them compromised and you can meet the business continuity plan and 
still offering the same level of security? 
How is your risk analysis plan being deployed over the past months....

4. How you have implemented an web-application based firewall to protect the card holder data....

5. The technical staff must be knowledgeable on security, telecom and information technology.  Having certs helps but 
what really matters is experience and knowledge.


So what I mean is OK certification really matters but do not forget the major goal of any QSA. To make sure that 
infrastructure being audited is secure enough and meet all security requirements.
So know your environment and put in place controls and processes that can really help you to manage the 
infra-structure. Log everything and have a very good documentation process.

I know a couple local companies that failed to meet PCI-DSS requirements but has managers with a bunch of security 
certs... and what I learned from these failing companies. Know your environment,have full control of it and document 
everything.  Have a REAL firewall policy and prove that such FIREWALL policy does what is supposed to do. I know a 
couple security managers that do not know how to write a more elaborated rule that can effectively protect an asset 
from the P|CI standpoint. And last but not least PCI does not certifiy people... only companies.

PS. Bear in mind this is my experience.... Having certs is OK but is not mandatory. Knowledge and experience is....


Ricardo Ferreira
Telecom, Tecnologia e Segurança da Informação CCDP, CCNP, CCDA, CCNA, MCSE, MCP
Sotech Soluções Tecnologicas
Rua da Alfazema, 761, 1o. andar - 102/103
41820-710 - Caminho das Árvores - Salvador-BA - Brasil Tel : 55 71 3472.9400 Cel : 55 71 9138 4630

Email:ricardo.ferreira () sotechdatacenter com br
Site: www.sotechdatacenter.com.br

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